Typically in January, there are few blooms to grace the garden (even in sunny Texas). There are interesting and beautiful examples of foliage though, more noticeable and appreciated during this less bloom-centered time of year. Pam of Digging hosts Foliage Follow-Up and I’m happy to play along this month!
I love the ‘Nana’ Nandina in winter. It doesn’t produce berries, so it’s considered an “okay,” non-invasive plant for Central Texas. The more sun it receives, the richer the performance of red, burgundy and plum.
The leaves of the Columbine (Aquilegia, sp.) are at their loveliest in the winter. The bright green leaves can be covered with ice one day, emerging fresh and untainted after the ice melts. Columbine are always a touch of verdant spring in the winter.
The wispy, silver Mexican Feather Grass (Nassella tenuissima) accompanies the Soft Leaf Yucca (Yucca recurvifolia) beautifully.
Another harbinger of lush spring and summer is the pass along Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). The Latin name evokes the shape of the leaves.
The Pigeonberry (Rivina humilis) is all but gone in my gardens, except for this one. It developed the burgundy leaf color after the light freezes and still sports berries. Where are those pigeons and doves?
Another pass along plant,Oxalis, is a plant that I always forget about during our long summers. It’s dormant during the warm season, emerging in fall with the cool and the rain.
The Variegated Flax Lily (Dianella tasmanica ‘Variegata’) will brighten my gardens with its variegated leaves until there is a very hard freeze.
It’s showcasing a little bit of pink in some formerly white stripes and I assume that occurred after the light freezes we’ve had.
Bamboo Muhly (Muhlenbergia dumosa) is so pretty–soft, graceful and elegant. This little one survived an early June transplant and the long, hot summer and is on its way to becoming a nice specimen in the garden.
This Bamboo Muhly crowns the Ruby Red Runner (a biological filter plant) in the pond fountain for a double whammy of groovy foliage during this (so far) mild winter.
Finally, I’ll end with the plant that I opened with for Bloggers’ Bloom Day, the Globe Mallow (Spaeralacea ambigua).
I love the color and frill of the leaves which are sensual to the touch with their velvety texture. And I think the blooms are lovely, lovely.
Sorry, Pam, I can’t resist blooming things.
Lots of showy foliage there. I can see I need a lot more winter interest around here. The soft leaves of your yarrow look good right now, I’m going to have to look for that one. Bamboo muhly too. And the globe mallow.
The Bamboo Muhly has been tricky the past two years here in Austin. It froze in some hard freezes and was very slow to come back in the drought. It does well though and I like it. It should do well for you in S. A. It should be deer resistant for you too. The Globe Mallow is great, but maybe not if you have deer. Good luck with your choices!
You have lovely foliage and grow a lot of my favourites!
Thanks! All of these plants are very hardy and tough where I live. Not all are native to Central Texas, though.
You ended with one of my favorites for both flowers and foliage — globe mallow is a real winner. I’m glad you pointed out the columbine foliage also. It’s looking nice and green in my garden again too.
Yes, I’m very fond of the mallow–it’s just so pretty, year ’round. Thanks for the opportunity to profile foliage–there are lots of nice examples on the post today.
I bought a Variegated Flax Lily back in November, but I was nervous about planting it and decided to wait until Spring. I’m glad to hear it comes back reliably even after a hard freeze.
Yes, so far the ones I have at home have returned after freezes, but they do come up a little late. I did lose two of six though in the Green Garden at Zilker, so be aware that they may not return. I think it depends on where you are and how cold it gets. You’re wise to wait until spring to plant.