foliage is the thing

Things are heating up slowly (color-wise, that is) as temperatures dip and flowers fade.

Hamemelis intermedia ‘Diane’

The witch hazel will catch fire soon, but as it works up to it the subtle changes keep me fascinated.

Cotinus ‘Purple Robe’

I love the mixture of leaves on the Cotinus that have reached shades of orange amid many that are still summer’s deep purple.

Callicarpa bodinieri ‘Profusion’

Beauty berries have plumped up and turned bright, pearly purple, set against a backdrop of dwarf heavenly bamboo. What a show!

Rosa ‘Dortmund’ hips

If I had hips like Ms Rosa ‘Dortmand’, I’d be sashaying around showing them off too.

Panicum ‘Heavy Metal’

I look forward to the day when I can divide Panicum ‘Heavy Metal’ and his nearby sister, ‘Shenandoah’ so their late-season seedheads can create a haze against the dark trees in the background. That’s what keeps us going, isn’t it? Visions of joys to come.

mallow seedheads

Speaking of seedheads, these tall wands of bronze beads catch the light in such a way that they must remain standing, even though it means much groveling to eradicate the gazillions of progeny.

Paeonia ‘Gold Sovereign’ seed head

Failure to deadhead the tree peony ‘Gold Sovereign’ led to this. I think I may embrace sloth as a general gardening technique.

Eupatorium maculatum ‘Atropurpureum’

Joe Pye continues to endear himself. Who dared to call him a weed?

Cryptomeria japonica ‘Sekkan Sugi’

The light shining through Cryptomerica japonica ‘Sekkan Sugi’ gives you some idea of how we prize it for the bright spot it provides through the darkest days of winter.

ipopomaea mix

The mix of different sweet potato vines planted in a pot creates a nice tapestry.

texture rules

This shot is all about texture, and foliage that will stay looking good on into the winter months. That ground cover is Rubus pantalobus ‘Creeping Berry’, and I can’t say enough good things about it. It has really covered ground, keeps the weeds out, and provides a deep green textural background for bright companions like this Verbascum.

Gaultheria procumbuns

Here’s another groundcover that I like a lot. My wintergreen was getting overshadowed by other stuff, so I dug it up and transplanted about five plants. Only one has survived and is looking great and spreading…go figure. This shot is sort of out-of-focus, but I find that I like the effect. Apologies to all real photographers.

Usually Pam over at Digging hosts a gathering of bloggers talking about foliage on the 16th of each month, the day after Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. I don’t see it happening there today, but her blog is always worth visiting, no matter what she has up her sleeve.

10 thoughts on “foliage is the thing

  1. The beautyberry against the nandina is a great combo for fall. Sorry for dropping the ball on Foliage Follow-Up this month — things got away from me — but I’m still collecting links, so thanks for leaving yours!

  2. Hi!

    I hope you’re having an awesome week! I thought you might like this infographic I helped build about the health, mental, and financial benefits of gardening (

    If you think your readers would like it too, please feel free to use it on the Sprig to Twig blog. There’s code at the bottom of our post that makes it super easy to post on your blog. It’s all free (of course). If you have any questions about posting it, let me know and I’ll try to help.

    I don’t know where else to contact you so I just put a comment here. 🙂


    ~ Janey

  3. Loree~I always thought they were a variety of verbascum, but signage at Joy Creek said Ceratostigma griffithii…couldn’t find Maurice to ask that day. How’s that for a squishy answer?
    You will have to borrow a lot more ideas from me before we get close to even.

    Pam~Not to worry. Who says we should become slaves to even our greatest ideas?

  4. Sometimes it’s good to embrace “sloth.” A perfectly tidy garden can cause the gardener to miss out on serendipity, true? Love your Wintergreen. I can’t keep mine alive. I think it’s too hot and dry where I garden. Yours looks great as do all your lovelies.

  5. Jane~Glad to do what I can to reconcile you to the season. With a good eye like yours, I don’t know how you can resist. Just forget about what comes next.

    Grace~Plenty of serendipity around here. I guess the wintergreen is picky, but if it happens to land in a place of its liking, it will go to town.

  6. Ricki, What great photos! It took me a minute to recognize one of favorite conifers – cryptomeria, what a unique shot. Fall is slow to arrive here in CT, my beautyberry still has all bright green leaves, there is not hint of fall color at all.

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