Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Foliage Follow-Up - June 2014

Foliage Follow-Up is hosted by Pam Penick of Digging every month after Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, to remind us of the importance of foliage in the garden. Thanks for hosting, Pam! Hopefully you'll forgive me for being late, since I'm pushing Foliage Follow-up back after my tardy GBBD post.

I've always loved foliage, but recently I've become more determined to rely more on long-lasting leaves rather than quickly-fading flowers. I'm especially in need of more evergreen foliage in certain areas, even if the garden is rarely glimpsed by its occupants in the bareness of winter.

 Foliage certainly reigns indoors. As window space is at a premium everything must earn its place by looking good 365 days of the year. The exceptions are few and must be very special in flower to merit a spot inside.

Cryptanthus fosterianus is the subject of daily admiration indoors.

Cryptanthus 'Black Mystic' at first disappointed when it lost its black color. I've since come to appreciate it for what it is.

Aglaonema 'Silver Queen', an old standard among houseplants. While I geek out over the rare and exotic, I have a fondness for these stalwart, classic plants.

Ludisia discolor entrances with satiny dark foliage and glittering veins.

An uncommon snakeplant, Sansevieria kirkii var. pulchra has a much different pattern from the more familiar Sansevieria trifasciata.

Begonia 'Little Brother Montgomery' has developed more intense colors during its outdoor vacation, unlike my other begonias which appear washed out to various degrees.

Hosta 'Golden Needle' has bright yellow leaves streaked with green. Containerized hostas are the only ones in my garden safe from deer and slugs.

This colorful Liriope was given to me as 'John Burch', though it doesn't seem to match photos of that cultivar found on the internet. It looks more like 'Gold Band'. For now I'll just leave it at Liriope.

I'm not sure yet what to think of this Heliopsis 'Summer Pink'. I like the green veins, but the cupped leaves detract from the display.

Copper new growth of Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki' adds another color to this multi-hued shrub.

I love the fuzzy red new leaves of Acer griseum.

Cistus x hybridus 'Mickie' has foliage so intense it can only be photographed on a dark, cloudy day. This is my first cistus and I'm impressed and reassured that others should survive in my somewhat colder garden. It survived this past winter after being planted in late November with no damage. I need more!

Yucca filamentosa, such a common plant, but so photogenic.

The flowers, featured in this month's GBBD post, are nice, but it's the foliage of Geranium 'Dark Reiter' that provides the real show.

A mahonia seedling gifted to me by a friend during my time in North Carolina has beautiful form and coppery-orange new growth.

Another mahonia I acquired in North Carolina, this seedling of Mahonia 'Indianola Silver' was marked for removal at Juniper Level Botanic Gardens because it suffered too much damage during their wild winter temperature swings. The wide swings between relatively warm temperatures and major cold, in a completely exposed frost pocket, did a number on it, but before that the whole plant had a fantastic lavender platinum color for most of the late fall and winter.

For the low price of $0.00, I couldn't pass it up. The new leaves emerge with a ruddy tone before mellowing through lavender to a platinum sea-green. In winter the whole plant will have a lavender glow. It resprouted very well from its winter damage and I'm hoping it will prove more hardy in the Pacific Northwest in a less exposed location and with (usually) more gradual temperature changes than it experienced in North Carolina.


14 comments:

  1. Mahonia 'Indianola Silver'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Beautiful, this goes in the "must have" category, wow! Have you ever seen it for sale?

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    1. It's one of my treasures. I'd never even heard of this plant before seeing it and the numerous seedlings Tony selected and was trialing. I don't think it's for sale anywhere. I am pretty sure it originated as a Dan Hinkley selection, since he lives in Indianola, WA. Except for the winter damage it received in NC, I think mine is one of the better seedlings. If it does well in PNW winters, I'll try to propagate it and you can be sure I'll share with you! I also have a few tiny seedlings that I'm growing on to evaluate. I don't know what they'll look like yet or how silver (or not) they'll be.

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  2. I wish I could find that Liriope. The Heliopsis is interesting too - as are the Mahonia. I can't say I've seen any of these down my way.

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    1. Not even the Cistus or the begonia? I'd be surprised if those weren't available in your area.

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  3. I don't usually do houseplants because the succulents move indoors and take up all the space. I can definitely make an exception for that Ludisia. Is it really that spectacular, or is it the photo?

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    1. Jewel orchids are one of my many obsessions. Ludisia is the most common of the jewel orchids and yes, it really is that spectacular. The mature leaves are velvety black with red reverses and those veins glitter in the light.

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  4. That Mahonia is a treasure and a unique beauty! So lucky to have it!!

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    1. It's one of my most prized plants. Actually, it's even better now than when I saw it growing in North Carolina. I think it likes the Pacific Northwest.

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  5. Great photos. Hosta 'Golden Needle' is very cool!

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    1. Thank you, Grace! It is an interesting little hosta.

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  6. I'm also crazy about Mahonia 'Indianola Silver' We'll have to ask about it when we're there in a couple of weeks! Your day glow cistus is also an eye catcher! Lots of great foliage!

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    1. I definitely want to know the story behind that Mahonia. Looking forward to our adventure!

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  7. You are correct about the Yucca filamentosa; it very photogenic and I love the little curls.
    I didn't realize deer go after hosta as well. I feel fortunate to only have slugs to worry about. Nothing a little Sluggo can't handle. How well do hostas preform in pots?

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    1. I have 3 hostas in pots, 2 dwarfs and one larger. I've only had one of them, a dwarf, for long enough to evaluate its performance in a pot, but it's thrived for many years in a pot. It started out as 'Pandora's Box', but reverted to a plain blue-green. Nice, but no 'Pandora's Box'. My larger one is 'The Shining' and it seems to be performing well in the few months I've had it in the container it's growing in.

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