Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day always sneaks up on me, it hits exactly at that point of the month where I start wondering where the month went and start panicking over the thoughts of yet another turn of the calendar page. But I get over that pretty fast and although my posts are frequently late, Christina at Creating my own Garden of the Hesperides is always understanding, and so this month when she suggested that in spite of my tardiness I might still be able to sneak in even more tropical garden photos, I of course jumped at the idea. The tropical plants really keep the garden fresh at this time of year, and their bold foliage looks big and unblemished and makes an excellent contrast to the seedheads and dying foliage of much of the rest of the garden.
The purple cannas of the tropical garden (Canna indica pupurea?) look great as they catch the light. I promise to not show them any more, but how bout this one last time 🙂
So this post was just going to be a pat on the back for foliage in the tropical garden, but then just like Christina suggests I started looking a little closer at how much foliage brings to the table as far as the overall garden picture…. but before that one more canna…
I might have talked to this Canna ‘Bengal tiger’ at some point, it’s like a close friend, and there’s nothing I don’t like about it.
So the canna foliage was a no-brainer, but there’s something else brewing in the tropics. The Kochia continues to ignite as the season winds down. Not exactly a contrast, this plant is starting to take center stage as an eye-jarring punch of color. It was a lacy pale green all summer but now as it goes to seed the magenta capsules turn color and are soon followed by red tints in the foliage.
Kochia scoparia, the old-fashioned annual burning bush, creating a nice backdrop to pink gomphrena ‘fireworks’ and a just-opened autumn flush of flowers on the red rose ‘Black Forest’.
A few tropical ‘fakers’ are also in the mix. An unknown fig which defied all my neglect and poor caretaking just put out a nice new flush of large, lobed, leaves. No figs of course, but the large leaves balance out all the seediness around them.
A hardy fig which was never supposed to make it (hence my losing the ID tag) now fills too much space in the vegetable garden.
Besides the tropical ‘fakers’ there are also a few actual tropicals which end up outside of their main bed. I have a habit of sticking cuttings in here and there and every now and then they take off to good effect. Coleus are one of the easiest to just stick in here and there.
Coleus ‘redhead’ is one of the best. Carefree, colorful, and I have yet to have it bloom and go to seed. It’s also a nice offset to the lacy cypress vine behind it and the bright marigolds in front.
I could probably put together a post made up entirely of bits and pieces which were stuck in around the garden, but as usual I’m going on to long. Lets wrap it up with more coleus up on the deck.
If you need to know which one this is I’ll look it up, but for now I don’t have the patience to dig through my bucket o’ labels for the tag. Needless to say it’s a good grower, bright, and also not overly anxious to send up flower stalks (and end the foliage show).
Other foliage on the deck includes my pet spikes. They’re a great accent and just plain old cool looking as they keep getting bigger. Some day they’ll wear out their welcome as far as being dragged indoors, but this winter they’re still A-list.
Overgrown spikes in green and purple plus a potted oleander. Not many flowers, but still a nice mix if you ask me.
Rosemary is also one of our must-haves for the deck. It’s scented, always looks neat, and gets used quite a bit by our chef.
Foliage on the deck includes the rosemary plus others such as the strappy leaves of vacationing amaryllis bulbs (hippeastrum) and other future spikes. In the background you might notice the elephant ear sprouting up out of the geranium pot. That’s what you get for reusing potting soil… elephant ears, caladiums, and reseeding million bells become your weeds 🙂
Finally as temperatures cool, the back porch becomes a perfect spot to soak up the last rays of the day. The temperatures out back are comfortable this time of year and the low autumn light backlights the grasses and summer foliage.
Upright elephant ears (Alocasia portora?) looking great in the afternoon light, and offsetting the airier grasses and geraniums nicely.
So I’m glad Christina convinced me to take a look around this month and keep an eye out for foliage. It’s easy to forget how important it is to the garden’s overall presence, and paying attention is even more important when you’re so distracted by this and that flower coming into bloom and then fading away. If I might suggest, why not give Christina a visit and see what else has come up this foliage day, with gardeners from across the globe checking in it’s always a nice time.