foliage…where would we be without it?


Rosettes that will soon begin to send up tall stalks of common foxgloves could easily pass for something more exotic. They migrate into and around the garden from surrounding meadows and roadsides. It is always fun to see where they will pop up each year.

Lysimachia ‘Alexander’

Shy little rosettes of Lysimachia ‘Alexander’ push their blushing noses through the mat of spent stems, giving precious little indication of the aggressive, upright plants they will become.

emerging peonies

Herbaceous peonies are deep scarlet when they first emerge. In the three years they have been in the ground, they have yet to bloom. That’s OK by me, because they are spectacular foliage plants.


My sumac does not go in for a showy dying act in the fall, but displays some subtle coloration as the leaves unfurl.


Variegated sedum is at its very best from now through June, when it starts to produce lackluster, leggy flower stalks. Pinching it back has not proved to keep it looking fresh, so I just ignore its profligate ways until cutting back time in the early spring.


Peeling bark and a satiny finish that invites stroking are every bit as good a reason to grow this eucalyptus as its aromatic leaves.

cherry and cedars

In its cloak of lichen, the volunteer cherry seedling seems almost to be in perpetual bloom. Against the dark background of tall cedars, it brightens the woodland we see out our dining room window year round.

I am a day late, so you may need to scroll down a bit when you click to find Pam’s foliage follow-up post, with links to other foliage fanatics amongst us. Have fun!

6 thoughts on “foliage…where would we be without it?

  1. Wendy~Hmm, I never thought about it that way, but they do look kind or science-fiction-ey.

    Grace~You will like it even better when it grows its little PINK gloves.

  2. Pam~Thanks for the link, though I think readers would enjoy seeing the bees climbing into the Aloe blossoms on their way to the foliage (the readers, not the bees).

  3. Jane~Eucalyptus pauciflora ssp niphophila from Cistus is in its 7th year here. It is a very fast grower, but not terribly strong. R has built a sturdy prop that we hope will help it survive. I think Cistus has lost several of their Eucalyptus over the last couple of years.

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