foliage first

For many of us, foliage is anything but an afterthought…even in June

heather spilling over rocks

It took a long time for Calluna vulgaris ‘Cottswood Gold’ to begin spilling over the rocks shoring up this berm, but it was well worth the wait.

Hakanachloa macra

A similar effect was achieved instantly with this Hakanachloa macra from our garden bloggers’ plant swap (thanks, Loree). That’s Panicum ‘Shenandoah’ in the background.

Lychnis coronaria

I find Lychnis coronaria to be at its prettiest right now, just before it begins pumping out all of those hot magenta blooms.

Rhododendron ‘Ebony Pearl’

New foliage on Rhododendron ‘Ebony Pearl’ comes in fiery hues before fading to near-black.

Sambucus negra ‘Eva’ & Hydrangea quercifolia

New foliage of Hydrangea quercifolia emerges into the waiting embrace of Sambucus negra ‘Eva’.

Abies Koreana ‘Horstmann’s Silberlocke’

The cones on Abies koreana ‘Horstmann’s Silberlocke’ keep getting bigger and more colorful, but I’ve yet to find the right camera setting to capture them effectively. I’ll keep trying, but believe me when I tell you that they are purple, with little crests of chartreuse…stunning.

group of pots

If you doubt my commitment to foliage, here is a grouping of pots by our front steps. The only thing blooming is the Saxifrage stolonifera, and that came as a surprise.

Haworthia reinwardtii & ?

I have learned to give center stage to any pot that has reached its moment of glory as has this simple terra cotta filled with Haworthia reinwardtii (that dark, fleshy plant in back) and another succulent whose name I do not know. They are elbowing each other for dominance and will probably be unable to cohabit much longer. For the moment, it’s a match made in heaven.


Given my track record, I am inordinately pleased to see the fresh little bunny ears sprouting on this Opuntia (once again, thanks to Loree. Foliage fanatics unite every month on Pam’s blog, Digging.

9 thoughts on “foliage first

  1. Foliage fanatics unite indeed! That single Opuntia paddle in the matching pot is pretty stunning, as are many of your dark-light foliage combos. But those cones may be the star of your post for me.

  2. I DON’T doubt your commitment to foliage and this post is pretty clear confirmation! I’m enjoying that same Hakonechloa macra from the same danger garden source, doing something akin to that drifting effect in my garden, too. And your little opuntia ears are just sweet!

  3. I was just thinking of that Opuntia paddle today! I picked up one (same source, a neighbors frequently shedding plant) to take up to my friend Erin in Seattle and found myself wondering how yours was doing. Thank you for the update and I’m so glad it’s growing. If you need more Hakanachloa this fall just say the word…seriously! I won’t bring any to try and get rid of but if you want more I can make it happen…easily!

  4. Pam~You would really be wowed if you could see them in person.

    Jane~ If we keep having these swaps, do you suppose we will all end up with the same things in our gardens?

    Janet~We haven’t had a blossom on that Rhody yet, but I think it will be a very pale pink. Stay tuned.

    Kim~The variety of Rhodys might surprise you.

    Alison~The Abies is slow growing and quite compact. We keep ours in a big pot.

    Loree~I would be thrilled to have more Hak to extend that planting. So far, it seems to be happy there and I love the look.

  5. I had to do a double-take. I though it was “Foliage Fantasics,” which I suppose it could be since yours indubitably are. I have that Haworthia on my kitchen window sill. The only indoor plant I own. 🙂 That Rhodie is amazing. Please share another photo when it turns dark, pretty please! Panicum ‘Shenandoah’ is one of my favorites! It looks great next to your Hakonechloa.

  6. Wonderful post…you have me kicking myself for not grabbing some of the Hakanachloa grass at the swap…what was I thinking!!! I love the pairing of the Oakleaf Hydrangea with the dark-leaved Sambucus…sheer drama!

  7. Grace~Making a mental note to feature ‘Ebony Pearl’ after it reaches its black stage.

    Scott~Seems we can prevail upon Loree to bring us more at the next swap (see above)

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