I've been appreciating my small collection of succulents this summer more than ever. Two of the foliar stars of the group include Dyckia choristaminea 'Frazzle Dazzle', which has improved in color significantly since going outside for the summer,...
And Kalanchoe orgyalis. It really earns the common name "copper spoons."
One of my foliar slips in the GBBD post was this Cistus 'Mickie'. It might even be brighter than the rudbeckia in my last post, especially contrasted with the blue-green of Yucca filamentosa.
Lobelia laxiflora var. angustifolia is finished blooming in my garden. Does it keep blooming if you water it? I don't know, because this one is growing in my summer-dry bed. But I love the texture of the leaves radiating around the burgundy stems.
Speaking of burgundy, and lobelias for that matter, Lobelia cardinalis 'Queen Victoria' may have lovely red blooms, but the dark leaves are just as beautiful and set off those red blooms nicely.
This volunteer river of Carex comans has filled in from the tiny seedlings it was comprised of in spring. It's giving me a positive preview of my plans to separate out these seedlings and plant them in drifts throughout this bed. Again, I don't think those salvia blooms would look half as nice without the silver backdrop.
Epipremnum 'Cebu Blue' is a constant favorite. I'm happy to say that, after cutting it back, it is branching out exceptionally well. It had been one long vine wound round and round in the pot. I've grown related plants before and always had trouble getting them to branch and fill out. I'm giving all credit to the new greenhouse, where 'Cebu Blue' is spending the summer. Indoors, they always seem to send out just one or two new shoots after cutting them back. Next time I see silver pothos again, I'm grabbing one and giving it another try.
The new growth on Erica arborea 'Estrella Gold' is a glowing chartreuse from a distance. It becomes even more intriguing on close inspection, when constellations of bright buds reveal themselves. I'm so glad I found two of these beauties for the driveway island makeover. Now I just need one more...
This is a seedling of Corylopsis spicata I found in North Carolina. I don't think the parent was a golden-leaved variety, but this little seedling seems to be. At least, given how vigorously it's growing, I think it's naturally light-colored and not just chlorotic. I might find out when it goes in the ground.
I love watching fern fronds unfurl. Blechnum gibbum is pumping out fronds again after yet another near-death experience. Clearly, my plants know better than to leave the Pacific Northwest. I plan to listen to them from now on. One of my goals this winter is to keep this fern looking good, rather than loosing most of its fronds. I bet it will love spending winter in the greenhouse.
Rhododendron rushforthii had me worried. It sent up a couple sad little shoots during my time in Wisconsin, which resulted in one new leaf that lacked the gorgeous silver color I bought it for. It then sat doing nothing, with a couple unhealthy looking buds, for a long time. A few months outside in the good old PNW has brought it out of its funk with lots of healthy new growth that is already starting to acquire a metallic silver sheen.
Look at all those new shoots! You can also see some crispy edges from its winter indoors in Wisconsin. This is one of the few relatively hardy vireyas, rated to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. This species has been grown outdoors at the Rhododendron Species Botanic Garden for several years and is worth a try in a mild garden in the Pacific Northwest. Mine will be spending winter in the greenhouse.
And since I finished GBBD indoors, here's Begonia 'Moonlit Snow'. This has quickly become one of my favorite indoor foliage plants. The silver patches literally sparkle, and the reddish new leaves mature to a gorgeous black-green.