Foliage Day-It’s Everywhere!

When looking around the garden for Foliage Follow Up Day, the very good idea of my friend Pam of Digging to showcase foliage after singing the praises of flowers for Bloom Day on the fifteenth of each month, it is almost too easy. Like looking for sand at the beach.

Above: Planted in a felt bag, carrots and Calendula officinalis ‘Pacific Beauty’

Flowers are fine, they’re great, but foliage is what makes a garden.

Above: Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’ and Salvia greggii ‘Desert Blaze’

Leaves chosen for color, shape, form, texture and size have been added to the Fairegarden over the years.

Above: The lower portion of the Gravel Garden and the front portion of the Yellow/White Garden, up the stairs to the left

Special seedlings have been selected as they appear, to grow on and even name, when there is an interesting color and form.

Above: Heuchera ‘Faire Piecrust’

Container plantings that are permanent are based solely on foliage.

Above: Northern maidenhair fern, Adiantum pedatum, Ajuga reptans ‘Silver Bells’ and Heuchera sanguinea ‘Sioux Falls’, among others, growing in my first hypertufa trough.

Annuals are sometimes added, again based solely on foliage.

Above: Leaf man trough with Sagina subulata ‘Aurea’, Juniperus horizontalis ‘Blue Pygmy’ and an unknown succulent.

I wish these succulents were hardy here, and would make baby rosettes. Perhaps we will find a way…

Even weeds can turn into foliage focal points.

Above: Dog fennel, Eupatorium capillifolium has been encased in two metal pillars at the shed entrance to the knot garden.

It is fun to experiment with color, shape and size.

Above: In the Yellow/white Garden, Sedum alboroseum ‘Mediovariegatum’, Thymus ‘Hi Ho Silver’ and the large glaucous leaves of Rudbeckia maxima.

It is also fun to eat the foliage, on occasion.

Above: Ruby Swiss chard, Beta vulgaris ‘Ruby Red’ surrounded by garlic chives, Allium tuberosum.


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17 Responses to Foliage Day-It’s Everywhere!

  1. Frances, you have done it againb with another set of stunning photographs, making me very jealous indeed. have a great weekend


    Thanks Simon. No need to be jealous, I take thousands of shots to get one or two. Anyone can do it! You too, have a great weekend.

  2. junglegarden says:

    Fantastic looking foliage 🙂


  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your garden looks so lush despite the droughty conditions Frances. I bring in my Echeverias during winter and they do make babies. Happy FF and have a great weekend.

    Thanks Lisa. We have been lucky with the rain here after a horrible June and early July. The garden is showing its appreciation. I am trying to avoid bringing stuff inside except the orchids. We’ll see what happens. You too have a great weekend!

  4. I love your trough! Pieces like that in the garden are so much fun.

    Thanks! The hypertufa projects are fun and add lots of interest to the garden throughout the year. Here is how to make one: How To Make a Hyertufa Trough.

  5. Some impressive foliage especially the containers with the ferns and succulents…love the fennel.

    Thanks Donna. That trough is one of my favorites, even in winter the mosses and ajuga carry it. The dog fennel is a true weed here, just popped up in the gravel paths and was moved to focal point location. When it blooms, very, very tiny flowers, it is simply joyous.

  6. Lola says:

    Fantastic Frances. I always enjoy your post as they are so interesting & colorful.

    Thanks Lola, you are so very sweet to say so. I do appreciate you!

  7. What a treasure-trove of inspiration, Frances. Those greens in the first pic are quite refreshing. And I adore your leaf man trough. As an added bonus you have helped me identify the weed peeking above my 6 foot privacy fence from my neighbor’s yard – dog fennel. I don’t think he has it corraled (sp?) in the charming way you do but at least I now know I have flowers to look forward to. LOL

    Thanks Georgia, I am glad you were inspired! It is true that foliage is what makes a garden beautiful. Flowers are merely accessories. The flowers on the dog fennel are very tiny, like little fairy lights when the sun hits them!

  8. Hi Frances, After gardening for twenty years, learning as I go, this year I decided that foliage was the way to go, with touches of color from annuals and the die hard perennials such as the rudbeckias. Thanks so much for this post that reinforces that thought. Love the troughs and succulents! Linda

    Thanks Linda. It took me quite a while to realize about the importance of foliage, too. I believe most beginning gardeners are all about flowers. It’s a good thing we evolve, even or maybe especially in our gardening.

  9. Pam/Digging says:

    You are a master of foliage, Frances — I’m especially admiring your Scotch moss planter. And you were the one who turned me onto the lovely and indispensable Color Guard yucca. Thanks for joining the foliage celebration — as you say, it’s as easy as “looking for sand at the beach.”

    Thanks Pam, I consider that a high compliment coming from the true master! Color Guard has proven to be a highlight here, so much so that I added more of them.

  10. Jeannine says:

    I love the leaf man trough!

    Thanks, Jeannine, I love him too. He was supposed to be a large deeper round trough, but the sides broke off.

  11. Sarit says:

    You have a beautiful garden and great pictures too… Absolutely loved it.
    And that blue succulent with finger-like structures is a probably a Senecio mandraliscae

    Thank you, Sarit, for the kind words and the plant identification.

  12. I am not familiar with dog fennel but I do like the idea of disarming the enemy and having him (it) work for you instead of against you. I bet vigilance is still required.

    Hi Kathy, thanks for visiting. The dog fennel is not invasive here at all. These are the only two plants that have ever shown up, moved to this location from where else but the gravel paths. I have decided that only thuggish plants can even survive here on this rocky, steep slope.

  13. Your garden certainly is a standout when it comes to fascinating foliage. I love the look of Swiss Chard! I’m not crazy about the taste, but it’s so lovely.

    Thanks Plant Postings. It is difficult to take a long view of foliage that looks like it does to the human eye, the light is always wrong somehow. But in fall, when it is foliage that is aflame with vivid color…

  14. Refreshing and happy looking foliage! With every picture I viewed I thought, “this one is my favorite.” The caged fennel, the hypertufa troughs, it’s all wonderful!

    Thanks Outlaw Gardener. They are all my favorites, all the plants that are growing here. If they are not, out they go!

  15. Barbara H. says:

    Hi Frances,

    I’m just back from a week away and beginning the task of catching up. I laughed at the dog fennel – I’ll have to keep this trick in mind! I have a huge one at the corner of the shed that seems to like repeat performances.

    Welcome home, Barbara! Last year I used a tall stake for the dog fennel, it needs something to hold it in bounds. I had these metal thingeys and decided they would look good with the formality of the knot garden area. That the dog fennel is wild as all getout gives me a smile, too.

  16. charles porter says:

    I too, have left some dog fennel to spike to the sky as two pillars at my drive on each side, along with some zinnias and cosmos,,,I love the color texture and height,,,eww dont touch it stinks, hahah but its nice to know im not the only one who doesn’t believe in weeds,,,i dislike that neg word,,,your gardens bring us all much pleasure,,,thank you

    Hi Charles, thanks for visiting. Yes to the no more weeds, except crabgrass, that is a weed. Your vignette of the dog fennel and flowers sound perfect. Maybe I will sow a few flower seeds around mine next year. Thanks for the idea.

  17. sharon says:

    how on earth do you keep glass garden stuff from limbs would get them for sure…lost a few gazing balls

    Hi Sharon, thanks for asking, that is a good question. First, this glass is extemely thick, and secondly, I moved the mushroom and leaves far away from tree limbs. This little vignette is in a sunny, open spot.

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