Thursday, January 22, 2015

Looking at Leaves

Sedeveria "Sorrento"
Sedeveria "Sorrento"
I got a late start on Garden Bloggers' Foliage Day, but here is the January report.  Mostly pictures...

First the beautiful powder blue and green of  Senecio "Blue Fingers".
Senecio talinoides var. mandraliscae, Senecio "Blue Fingers"
Then the promise of spring flowers from the bulbs.  Dutch Iris "Blue Magic" is up...
Dutch Iris leaves
as is Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum arabicum).
Ornithogalum arabicum, Star of Bethlehem
Also there is Dietes irioides, commonly known as Fortnight Lily, whose handsome, deep green fans have just sent out their first bud stalk.  I have been happily impressed with the elegant presence of the Dietes clump and will be even happier as it begins to bloom.  By the way, my aunt recently recommended Dietes (as well as Argyranthemum frutescens, the Marguerite Daisy) for successfully growing under Eucalyptus trees, a notoriously difficult situation for plants.
Dietes irioides, Fortnight lily
All in all, the leafiest plant in the whole garden is probably still the Salvia greggii "Autumn Moon"...
Salvia greggii foliage
but it has some competition for the title from Eremophila "Outback Sunrise", which has yet to flower, but has held its lush green foliage fresh for months.
Eremophila "Outback Sunrise" foliage
Lastly, there are the bronze/purple foliaged plants, which I am learning to appreciate more and more in this garden.  Sedeveria "Sorrento" (see also my post on these earlier this winter) is thriving.
Sedeveria "Sorrento"
I love the purple hues of my newly planted Penstemon parryii.  I suppose the colour will change as the weather warms.
Penstemon parryii foliage
Another recent acquisition is the slightly curly leaves of the little groundcover Tetraneuris aucalis.  The yellow daisies perch on wiry stems some 12 in (30 cm) or more above the mat of leaves.
Tetraneuris aucalis foliage
And finally, once again, there are the smoky leaves of Eremophila "Valentine".  This is proving a superb addition to the garden.
Eremophila "Valentine"
Thanks to Christina for hosting GBFD each month at My Hesperides Garden and for encouraging a good look at the foliage that brings its own grace and beauty to complement the often more ephemeral flowers.

Last of all, a look (almost) upward at the leaves of the little Acacia tree (Acacia salicina, see also here), quietly evergreen... or eversilver...
Acacia salicina


  1. Everything is looking great Amy! I'll be interested to see how the Eremophilas do in your garden. That's a genus I'm interested in but have yet to add to my own garden.

    1. I've really fallen for the two Eremophilas I've planted, Kris. The flowerbuds on Valentine are still not open, but they've already provided weeks of accent colour. And the foliage of both plants is appealing in itself - to my eye, at least ;-) Thanks!

  2. Thanks for joining in GBFD again this month Amy. I was late with my reminder this month, sorry. Do your Dutch iris always come up this early? Mine are up too and I don't remember that there have been shoots so early other years, but maybe I just didn't take any notice until they flowered. But my Star of Bethlehem isn't showing at all yet, it usually flowers in April. I'm fascinated by Penstemon parryii, I've not seen that before, it's lovely.

    1. Isn't that Penstemon parryii foliage a wonderful colour, Christina? I just love it! As for the bulbs, they are all first year plantings here, and I've been surprised at what has come up when. In my old garden, the small and species narcissus could be relied on to show up as soon as they got a warm spell during the winter. But no narcissus are up at all now. I went so far as to dig down and check N. canaliculatus and Iris "Harmony". Both seem to be sprouting deep down in the ground so I am trying to be patient! Unless perhaps I should have planted them higher in this warmer climate? And Star of Bethlehem came up a couple of months ago - not long after I planted the bulbs... Maybe they are as confused as I am...!