Foliage Follow Up-December 2011

Honestly, the foliage follow up, brainchild of Pam of Digging to follow Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is so easy, it is like shooting fish in a bucket. Swiss chard ‘Bright Lights’ is as delicious as it is photogenic, a two-fer.

The Fairegarden is planted with foliage in mind. Food with attractive foliage that lasts through the cold months is such a good thing, it should be considered cheating. A chance seedling of Redbor Kale arose from the compost that was spread to make for better tomato growing in this patch that shares space with Lavender. The tomatoes were a bust except for the little patio types, but the purple kale managed to be hidden from the pesky cabbage moth caterpillars under the tomato foliage and remains intact rather than a lacy doily.

The look of kale is peerless, and the vitamins contained within are virtually boundless. This Italian ‘Lancinato’ was recently added. Why didn’t we get more, she wails!

Flowers are nice, but oh, so fleeting. Leaves last longer. The red mustard is something never tried before. In some containers the leaves stayed small but still colorful. In the raised box planter, the leaves went into hyperdrive…

…compared to the wheelbarrow planter, and…

…in the gravel garden. The bright grass-like plant is Libertia ixioides ‘Taupo Blaze’.

It seems that some deciduous perennials are hesitant to give up for the year. The Thalictrum, Epimedium and Selaginella will all fade away to nothingness with some cut to the ground before new foliage returns in spring, but my, what a show they are putting on at the end of the calendar year.

Magnificent foliage is what makes a garden enchanting, even in December. The promise of towers of bells from the evergreen leaves of foxglove, Digitalis purpurea brings visions of fairy dust dreams until spring returns again.


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8 Responses to Foliage Follow Up-December 2011

  1. Layanee says:

    I just noticed how green the foxglove foliage is in the garden and in those places it has chosen to make a home. It relieves the monochromatic tedium of approaching winter.

    Hi Layanee, thanks for stopping by. Foxgloves are so wonderful, the flowers are fabulous and that evergreen foliage does enliven the winter garden. I have been adding foxgloves of all types with hopes of forest of pastel bells.

  2. Good to see your libertia as we lost all of ours last winter after three nights of -20 celcius. We had several different types most of which we grew from seed. We must get more seed – we miss them.

    Thanks Green Bench. We fell in love with Libertias when we were in England, never see them around where we live. I bought two when we went to Seattle this summer. One looks sort of dead, this one seems to be alive. I hope it can survive our winters.

  3. I just love that Italian or dinosaur kale. So beautiful and tasty. Your other mustard and kale are inviting foliage for the winter months.~~Dee

    Thanks Dee. We eat quite a bit of the chard, the mustard has a real bite to it. When the kale gets larger, it will join the foodstuffs here. All are so pretty right now.

  4. Mm, delicious, Frances — literally for some of your December foliage picks! Yes, leaves (and bark and berries) are what keep the winter garden going. Thanks for joining in again for Foliage Follow-Up!

    Thanks for hosting this foliage recognition day, Pam. Foliage is far more important than flowers in every garden, and gets little respect!

  5. tina says:

    It’s simply splendid in Faire Garden!

    Happy Holidays to you Frances!

    Hi Tina, thanks, so nice to see you here! The frosty garden is looking pretty good right now. Soon it will be time to cut stuff down, the bulbs are already sticking up. How did the season move along so quickly? Happy Holidays to you and yours, my friend.

  6. michaele says:

    Although I am just a recent Faire Garden devotee, this post is as fascinating as I’ve come to expect…you better be careful of the high bar you set so consistently…the air is thin up there!
    I do humbly confess that as I read along, I know I am massacring the pronunciation of the Latin names you use so comfortably. However, I readily forgive myself so don’t feel you have to give me a pep talk. I admire your knowledge base.

    HA, Micheale, your flatterer, you! Don’t be fooled by the written words of the Latin names, I cannot pronounce most of them either, but luckily only have to spell them. You have access to my knowledge base, too, it’s called Google. After writing the same name several times, I might get to know the Latin, but still double check to make sure it’s right when posting. My readers are very astute and I appreciate when they correct me.

  7. Oh the Kale is just beautiful!! Your Winter garden is awesome!

    Thanks Alicia. These winter vegetables are so fun, good to eat and something pretty to look at during winter’s low light.

  8. Gail says:

    Dear Frances, Your foliage is delicious looking….Love, love, love the kales and mustards. I love them when they bolt into flower, too. The container mustard is huge, mine is still quite small. Must plant in better soil! xxoogail

    Thanks Gail. I love the flowers of the kales and mustard, too, and hope for viable seeds from them to continue the line. Some things, like the mustard, flourish in the raised box with the perfect drainage and light, fluffy soil and leaf mixture. Other things do not thrive. Always learning, eh?

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