Sunday, June 24, 2007

I'm a Fool for Foliage

I like my flowers... but for color, contrast and texture , foliage plants can't be beat. They are the real work horses in the garden.

Hosta 'June'
My Hosta, of which I have many, anchor down the shade portions of my garden along with azaleas and rhododendron. They look great from May through September. The varying sizes, colors, and shapes are endless. They even get a bloom in Mid to Late Summer, which is why Hostas are also know as August Lilies. I don't actually like the blooms (ick), so I usually cut them off and put them in vases with my other cut flowers. When left on the plant I think the flower detracts from the leaves.

Variegated Liriope

These loverly foliage plants look a lot like houseplant spider plants, but they aren't. There are quite a few varieties out there available, it seems more every year, but they seem mostly to be variations on a theme. They are either white/yellow variegated or solid green, and slightly different in size. The flowers which come in August, are varying shades of blue. They multiply in a year or two you can separate them and have several new plants of the same size as the original.

Gold Mop

This pretty little evergreen is the brightest shade of chartreuse you'll ever want to see. It brightens up any landscape instantly, it akes the hot sun, and requires very little care. A quickie trim in the spring to keep it to the size you like is all it needs. I take a few pieces of it off in the winter to add to my Christmas arrangements, it adds real punch to the normal evergreens used.

Crimson Pygmy Barberry

This deciduous shrub is tough. In the sun, which it prefers, it practically glows with color. With not much sun, it stays green (but,who wants that?). For the most part, dwarf Barberries keep a nice shape if left to themselves. Its a nice shrub to place in front of groundfloor windows as a theft deterent (or to keep teenagers in the house) becuase it is VERY thorny!

Variegated Sage.

This herb is a reliable performer in my garden. It has spread nicely, and nothing seems to bother it much. I walk past it often, and as it hangs over the stepping stones a bit, its wonderful fragrance is stirred up as I travel past.

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