I’m late – again – but joining in with Christina’s Foliage Day meme to celebrate all things leafy.
As the days grow shorter and the sun lower in the sky I become a little obsessed with light. There is a softness to the morning and evening light at this time of year that can make plants sing out in a way that boosts the spirits, and I am really enjoying having some silvery foliage in the garden, it’s adding a whole new dimension. Once again it is all about the euphorbias. The narrow leaflets of Euphorbia characias wulfenii seem to catch and reflect the low sunshine beautifully, the whole plant shimmers, a phenomena enhanced by the near-constant play of the wind.
The leaves of the Euphorbia myrsinites, on the other hand, cast wonderful shadows, creating a fabulous textured edge to the front of the fence border.
I am still enjoying the contrasts between different forms, none more so that between the Anemanthele and the now-neghbouring phormium. I am so glad I moved it!
The pale creamy-yellow stripes in the phormium catch the light wonderfully, but I have so far totally failed to capture this on camera.
Elsewhere I am enjoying the sight of the foliage that will persist through winter, providing relief from bare soil and branches – including the Scorpion Vetch and the common, but to me still wonderful, Euphorbia amygdaloides robbiae.
The tiny seedlings of Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravens’ Wing’ have bulked out really well in the front garden, so I am really hoping that they will be back and flowering next year. In the mean time, I will enjoy the feathery purple foliage for as long as possible.
The weather has been so warm that there are very few signs of Autumn as yet, though the acer is just beginning to show signs of redder tints, and the Witch Hazel in the front garden is definitely starting to turn. There are lots of buds on the latter, so I am hoping for plenty of flowers come January.
I love living somewhere that has four such distinct seasons, and of all of them Autumn is, I think, my favourite. Something about the combination of the light, the sense of things slowing down, and yet at the same time the promise of a new beginning as represented by bulb planting and fattening buds on plants losing their leaves. Of course, come Spring, I’ll probably be saying that is my favourite season! It is definitely one of the two, I love the transitions. So I want to see the changing seasons played out in my garden, with plenty of dynamism from leaf colour, and later, stem colour. But being greedy, I also want plenty of interest during the winter months too, hence my desire to plant plenty of perennials with interesting seedheads to create good silhouettes against the sky. I’m excited about Verbena bonariensis, its still flowering at the moment – which I am not complaining about at all – but the seedheads, silhouetted against the sky, are going to be wonderful.
Even better is the fact that, impossible to capture on camera, I can nontheless see these same plants silhoutted against the sea from where I sit typing this in the back room, an excellent reason for keeping the door open! Not foliage, I know, but part of the winter architecture of my garden, I hope.
Thinking ahead to winter, I have added to my collection of grasses and sedges in the front garden by planting some of the Carex ‘Coman’s Bronze’ that I sowed this Spring. They are planted in amongst the feet of the Russian Sage, with Agastache rupestris. The agastache has the most wonderfully scented silvery foliage and gorgeous burnt orange flowers which pick up the colours in the carex, but over winter, the sedge will shimmer and dance in the wind and bounce golden light around. At least, that’s what it is going to do in my imagination – I know lots of people think they just look dead, but I really like the combination of bronze and silver with blue and purple, so I will be sowing more of the same seed next Spring too.
By then I will be getting excited about the crocus leaves poking their way up through the ground at the feet of the witch hazel, and looking out for signs of the narcissus I have planted – and hoepfully, later, the tulips and alliums assuming I get them in the ground! In the mean time I will be enjoying the foliage that is here now, whether it is about to drop and carpet the ground or will be staying around through the dark days of December and January. For more lovely foliage why not check out Christina’s blog, and the links there to other people’s leafy celebrations.