Along with luscious blooms, spring is full of verdant and colorful foliage. And like yesterday’s post on blooms in my garden, it was hard to choose which foliage to profile, but here are my picks. Thanks to Pam at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow-Up.
I like to plant Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) for the Eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies, but I also love the gauzy, elegant quality it lends to the garden. Elegant that is, until the larva eat it down to a sprig.
And that “gauzy, elegant” quality is lessened a bit with the Red Oak pollen tassels plopped all over the plant.
The Red Poppies that I let re-seed in my gardens not only have lovely blooms, but wavy, soft green leaves as well.
One of my favorite spring bloomers is the Lyre-leaf Sage (Salvia lyrata). A native Texas ground cover which sends up spikes of blue flowers, it also has interesting foliage and is an excellent ground cover. The scalloped leaves sport a deep burgundy coloring along the veins of the leaves–more prominent in the winter/early spring than at other times of the year, but very attractive year round.
Another favorite is the Mexican Feathergrass (Nassella tenuissima)–it works in so many places, but especially when the sun glints off of its slender, graceful leaves.
I love the look of the bright green, vertical Iris straps juxtaposed with the softer, grey-green scalloped leaves of the ground cover, Heartleaf Skullcap (Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata). This particular Iris plant was nick-named ‘Shoshana’s Iris’ by Pam, after my daughter, who died suddenly in 2006. I don’t know the “real” name for this Iris, but ‘Shoshana’s Iris’ is what I call it now. Interestingly, both of these plants are pass-a-longs. I gave the Iris bulbs to Pam and she gave me the Skullcap. Nice.
I always love how new rose leaves are tinged with purple-to-burgundy leaves. The ‘Knock Out’ Rose has especially beautiful new leaves in the spring, even before its blooms begin.
And, the smaller leaves of the ‘Martha Gonzales’ rose blends green with an outline tinge of red. The heavy dew on the leaves (not to mention the Red Oak pollen tassels, again), add a nice touch as well.
The fabulous Mt. Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) has leaves nearly as fetching as its blooms. The dark-green, simple leaves are beautiful all year, even after the blooms become seeds for the next generation.
New leaves on the Red Oaks are tender, brilliant and fresh. The pollen tassels have formed and mostly dropped this past week,
to be picked up (and deposited EVERYWHERE) by the Sweeper of the Garden.