Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Savouring spring foliage

I love this time of year! The winter skeletons of our trees are becoming greener by the day. Everything looks so fresh, bright and full of promise for the year ahead.

Its easy to only think of perennials in terms of flowers and colour but this amazing group of plants have much more to offer. Its a case of looking at plants in a different light and appreciating their foliage and form in life and in death.

I thought I would share a few shots of some lovely foliage from the garden.

I always look forward to the pleated bright green sword like leaves of crocosmia emerging in spring.

Sedums are great plants, they have all year round interest starting with their large suculent like fleshy leaves. They have lots of different foliage colours from blue greys through to dark purples. Pictured above is Sedum 'Herbstfreude' (Autumn Joy) and Sedum 'Matrona'. They have beautiful large flat heads of flowers through summer, loved by bees and long lasting seed heads through winter providing great structure.

Grasses provide great spring foliage and instantly add a naturalistic feel to a planting giving it movement and grace. This is Hackonechloa macra my favourite Hakone grass coming from Japan's Honshu Island.
It looks great in pots and is very easy to blend with other plants. I think this species grass is much easier on the eye than many of the different cultivars of this grass. Simple is often best!

How exciting! The first crimson thistle's are emerging on Cirsium rivulare'Atropurpureum'. This great plant is perfect for naturalistic planting and associates well with grasses. Preferring a moist soil in full sun it will start to flower from early summer. Keep deadheading the spent flowers and you will be rewarded with fresh new ones.

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