Foliage Follow Up: new leaves springing up

Berberis thunbergii purpurea

My focus on foliage this month is all about newly emerging leaves. The branches of the Berberis thunbergii purpurea have acquired a hoary coating of lichen. I’m not sure how healthy it is for the plant, but I do like the way it sets off the tiny, colorful leaves.

magnolia leaf bud

I spent many years mistaking these small buds on the magnolia for flower buds (false hope springs eternal). Now that it has finally graced us with blooms the past two years, I can recognize them for what they are. The flower buds have a fuzzy surface, while these are smooth.

tree peony

Peony foliage is super satisfying from beginning to end. Here a tree peony, ‘Chinese Dragon’, begins to unfurl.

Alchemilla mollis and herbaceous peony

Herbaceous peonies come up from the ground bright red, there on the right, while Alchemilla mollis captures water droplets in its pleated leaves on the left.

Oxalis ‘Klamath Ruby’

The new leaves of Oxalis ‘Klamath Ruby’ are folded up, showing the purple that will be harder to see once they open fully.

Hydrangea ‘Wave Hill’

Tender little poufs of leaves decorate the tips of Hydrangeas’ otherwise bare branches. This variegated lacecap is ‘Wave Hill’.

noid Hydrangea

Another Hydrangea, this time noid mophead that blooms in a heavenly shade of blue.


You can see why these are called trout lilies when you look at the markings on the leaves. I have several Erythroniums but this is the best of the lot. When it blooms, the pagoda blossom will be creamy ivory in color. I wish I knew its full name so that I could order more.

variegated sedum

Sedums are some of the first things to poke their little noses above ground.

Euphorbia ‘Excaliber’

Euphorbia ‘Excaliber’ pleases me most right now, when it looks almost like a ground cover with beautifully patterned leaves.

Acanthus spinosa

Hard to believe that Acanthus spinosa will soon dominate this berm. I have to dig up several of the outliers each spring just to keep it from swallowing everything else. Plenty to share, and it is one of my favorite plants in the garden. Now I’ll send you to Digging, where Pam can connect you with other foliage fans, as she does each month on the 16th (I’m obviously late, but Pam is forgiving (she is a gardener after all).

11 thoughts on “Foliage Follow Up: new leaves springing up

  1. Aren’t you loving the garden right now, Ricki? Every day it’s something new popping up. I was fortunate to get most of my compost/mulch spread so I’m not dealing with weeds as much as I have in years past. I love your ‘Excalibur’. I planted one last year, but it’s still small. Patience, patience. Great post, as always.

  2. Loving the acanthus and euphorbia. I hope you get some magnolias this year again. Leaves are great, but an occasional flower doesn’t hurt! Happy belated foliage followup day–and an early happy start of spring. It’s here, at last!

  3. I would like to see more spring growth in my own garden, but things got really knocked for a loop with our late freeze. In the meantime, I’m enjoying seeing signs of spring in yours, Ricki. —Pam

  4. Alison~Thanks for telling me what I want to hear about the lichen.

    Linda~I’m sure you do, with all those seedlings coming up. Won’t it be grand?

    Grace~Weeding first, mulching after…am I crazy to love these chores? Excaliber is very well behaved, unlike some other Euphorbias.

    Loree~It was a gift, noid, but I think it’s Magnolia grandiflora.

    James~Two blossoms two years ago, four last year on the magnolia, so I think we are on the path to abundance after a long wait. It was planted in ’03. And yes, the first bloom was cause for celebration.

    Pam~Only too happy to share.

  5. An excellent foliage post! I’m so excited to see some of these very same plants emerge during the next few weeks. We’re a little behind you here in the north, but seeing these beauties in your post is so encouraging. Happy spring, Ricki!

  6. Beth~I hear you. Many others are ahead of us, a gentle reminder of what we have to look forward to.

    Peter~”Hope” is even more critical than a “Green Thumb”.

  7. Lichen is usually a sign of pure air and rarely caused any damage to the plants it is living with. the peony does have perfect new foliage, lots of people have shown it today.

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