Greens, Blues, Greys

I’m enjoying lovely leafiness which has come into its own in a bed adjacent to the  front entrance of my home.   Let’s take a wide view to get the bearings of this raised bed.

I planted the Soft Leaf Yucca, Yucca recurvifolia and the Red YuccaHesperaloe parviflora as anchor plants in this bed because they are both evergreen and grow to respectable sizes.  Most of the other plants are smaller shrubs or groundcover-type perennials: some are evergreen, some are herbaceous perennials, and a couple are annuals.  There are also some other native perennials, a smaller yucca, and a native perennial grass, all located out of view of these photos.

Reminding me of tiny hands that are spread wide, I’m pleased with the deeply lobed foliage of this little annual/bi-annual thing, a native Wild Geranium, Geranium carolinianum.  It was a gift from birds, or maybe, the wind, but grows well with other pretty-leafed plants.

Tiny, dark green and fragrant leaves of Damianita, combine with soft, frilly poppy leaves, complement the ornate leaves of Wild Geranium.

Tiny, dark green and fragrant leaves of Damianita, combine with soft, frilly poppy leaves, complement the ornate leaves of Wild Geranium.

I noticed one Wild Geranium in the garden a few years ago, left it to seed, and each late winter, more return.  I like its sprawling nature, lacy foliage, and sweet, tiny blooms.  I’ll pull up all of the individuals soon because a few seeds left assure plants for next spring, but many seeds left guarantee too many future Wild Geraniums–much more weeding work–and who wants that?

The Wild Geranium foliage clamors for well-deserved attention underneath the Red Yucca,

…while a seedling Mexican Feathergrass, Nassella tenuissima echoes the spray of the Red Yucca.

This extravagant set of leaves belongs to another spring annual, a member of the Papaver family, seeds of which were generously gifted to me last year by TexasDeb of the charming  Austin Agrodolce.

Poppies popped in my spring garden for many years, seeds of which were given to me by a German friend long ago, but over time they’d declined and last year I had few poppies to ooh and aah over.  The new poppy seeds from Deb were a timely and quite welcomed gift.  With or without raindrops, I love the scalloped edges of poppy foliage, either alone,

…or in concert with other interesting foliage.  This one poppy certainly holds its own alongside the petite grey leaves of  Germander Sage, Salvia chamaedryoides, the Wild Geranium, and blooming DamianitaChrysactinia mexicana–as well as the points of the Soft Leaf Yucca, bearing down on the rest.

A wider look includes both newly planted Globe MallowSphaeralcea ambigua allowing for some silvery leaf action,

…not to mention a couple of orange beauty blooms.


The Germander Sage was an impulse purchase, but I like it–the blue flowers and grey-green leaves are hard to beat.  It’s hardy and easy to grow–a requirement in my garden–and it’s definitely a water-wise addition to this sunny, dry bed.


The sunshiny blooms of the Damiantia almost steal the show from their foliage host and plant partners.

Almost, but perhaps, not quite.

Tidy, smooth leaves of the not-in-bloom Rock Penstemon, Penstemon baccharifolius contrast in form and shape with matte, wavy poppy leaves.


Spiky Twistleaf Yucca, Yucca rupicola appear to reach out from frilly poppy foliage, giving fair warning of their pointy ends as I lean into the garden to weed or photograph.

I’m always poked–somewhere–by those ends. Always.

And from another angle,

…blue-green Soft Leaf Yucca, minty-green poppy foliage, and vivid green Twistleaf Yucca are a verdant combination worthy of any celebration of green in the March garden.

This Green Anole certainly approves–of the straps of the Soft Leaf Yucca, if not of the photographer’s intrusion,

…while his bigger buddy looks askance at me.  Does he know how well he reflects the colors of the Soft Leaf Yucca?  Or, is it the other way around?

In celebration of the foliage in the March garden, many thanks to Christina and her lovely Creating my own garden of the Hesperides.   Check out her Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day for a look at foliage in many gardens, from many places.


20 thoughts on “Greens, Blues, Greys

  1. The poppy leaves are beautiful Tina and a great promise for the flowers to come, I’ve been trying to establish them in my garden with no success at all. The Teucrium has an amazing deep blue flower, mine are very pale but I think mine are more shrubby. Do you know the Latin name so I could look for some of these. Thanks for joining GBFD this March spring day (although it isn’t very spring-like here.


    • Thanks, Christina. The poppies have started blooming and they’re lovely. The Germander Sage is Salvia chamaedryoides–there’s a link to some info in the text. It’s a native to the Sierra Madre Oriental mountains in Mexico. Last summer in my garden it looked a bit tired toward the end of August or so, but it rallied and blooms on and off. Our winter was VERY mild, so it retained leaves, but I read that it can be more of a semi-evergreen in cold temperatures.


      • Thanks Tina, the common name for Teucrium in English is Germander which is what made me think that it was that, the flower has a very similar form too. I’ll check the link as it might be good here if I could get seed.


      • Oh, yes, I figured as much. This plant has quite a few common names (which is why I always give the Latin name). Here are some of the others I came across: Mexican Blue Sage, Germander Sage, Blue Chichuahuan Sage. But “Germander Sage” seems the most common of the commons.


  2. Well planted! I’m with Christina – that Salvia chamaedryoides is sure a beauty. I’m betting more of our near-neighbor’s natives are going to become relied upon standards in our area as the temperature zones shift with warming trends. So much going on here and yet the overall effect is not chaotic but rather visually symbiotic, with the whole reflecting so much more than masses of any one plant might.

    I’m tickled the poppy seed found a good home in your beds. My germination attempts here failed abysmally. Again. Something here does not love a poppy (or potentially loves a poppy seedling way too much!).


    • The poppies are bloomin’ up a storm now–thank you so much! I’m sorry that they don’t work in your situation. It’s funny how that happens, as you’re not all that far from me. The salvia was a good find, I think. My biggest concern for it now is that the Soft Leaf Yucca is leaning a bit over it, so I hope it doesn’t smother the smaller sage.

      I hope this combo of plants isnt’ too clustered and chaotic. I adore the Globe Mallow, but don’t have many good places for them and this spot, where I just planted two more, is good–full sun, hot and dry, and protected from wind. My front garden gets lots of wind in the spring (like now!!) and those Mallows can be weak wooded, so the one I have out by the road sometimes suffers broken limbs. There’s no place in my back garden that gets the sun requirements of the Mallow. I suspect that the Damianita will decline in the next few years, so the Mallow will fill in that area. That’s the plan, anyhow….


  3. Your garden looks so lush and green Tina, I grow the poppies Deb gave you the seeds for, on my impoverished sandy soil they grow prolifically, pollinators love them too.


    • Yes, they’re the European poppies, I believe. They generally do well here, though I’m sure they bloom earlier for us than for you. So pretty–I always look forward to seeing them and so do the bees!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Everything looks so lush Tina, beautiful!
    In between the few good plants we found in our new garden (new for us) were a couple of Yucca filamentosa.They are so great, especially considering our long ‘bare’ season.


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