Foliage Follow-up, September 2014

As with our blooms, the Central Texas foliage perks up with September rains, shorter days, and the suggestion of cooler temperature ahead.  I join with Pam at Digging to celebrate the end of summer, new beginnings for autumn, and all things leafy.

The pond garden is a riot of fascinating foliage.  Just take a look! P1070046.new

Lots of foliage action in this shot!  Clockwise from the bottom, the actual water plants include the lily pads of the two lilies I grow (Colorado and Claude Ikins), the Ruby Red Runner, and the showy leaves of the Pickerel RushPontederia cordata.   All three pond plants contribute to the biological filtration of my pond, though I also have a mechanical filter.

Continuing with the tour d’ foliage, the plants adjacent to the pond include tropical Yellow Bells, Tecoma stans, Soft-leaf Yucca, Yucca recurvifolia, Firecracker Plant, Russelia equisetiformis, Martha Gonzales Roses, Iris, Autumn Sage, Salvia greggii, and Mexican Feathergrass, Nassella tenuissima.  All of these perennials sport differing widths, textures, and colors of leaves.

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Ruby Red Runner dies back in the winter, but by late summer into fall it’s full-on lovely and spreading.

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It’s seeded out in several places around the pond. This plant, usually used as a waterfall biological filter and prized for its attractive foliage, produces teensy puff-ball flowers,

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…which go to seed, thus, the spread.

Another view of the plants near the pond…

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Not much blooming in those photos, but a variety of leaf beauty.

I particularly like these water shots with the creeping roots of the Ruby Red Runner, spreading its spidery fingers toward the lily pads,

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…as if the roots are creeping outward to grab the pads.  Or maybe they’re just reaching out for a watery hug!

The soft, elegant foliage of Lindheimer’s Senna, Senna lindheimeriana,

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lends structure to, but also softens the back of my garden.  Combined with the bright green leaves of the Yellow Bells and spiky, but matching-in-color American Century Plant, Agave americana,

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…the Senna fits well in this spot.

The morning after a recent rain,  the foliage of the Purple Heart, Setcreasea pallida, retained droplets along its edges.

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With “traditional” autumn coloring, (which doesn’t happen for Central Texas on a large-scale until late November/December), the plumes of the Maiden Grass, Miscanthus sinensis ‘Adagio’, beautifully complement the flowers of Turk’s CapMalvaviscus arboreus, and the orange blossoms of Flame Acanthus, Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii.

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Here’s a closer look at the inflorescence of the Maiden Grass.IMGP0268.new

Along with the orange-y and autumn-y color theme, this new ceramic container is planted with the ‘Color Guard’ YuccaYucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’, accompanied by Woolly Stemodia, Stemodia lanata.

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The container sits amidst a nest of blooming and berrying Pigeonberry, Rivina humilis.

What interesting foliage is gracing your garden space now?  Celebrate foliage in your gardens and learn about other foliage by visiting Digging for September Foliage Follow-up.

 

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, May 2014

As we roll into our long warm season here in sunny Austin, Texas,  perennials segue from the early cool season blooms to heat-loving (or at least heat-tolerant) late spring/summer blooms.  Several different native yucca plants grace my gardens this May, such as a Pale-leaf Yucca, Yucca pallida.

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Another native yucca, Red Yucca, Hesperaloe parviflora,

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will bloom continually until fall.  The flowers are delicate looking and favored by hummingbirds.

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Another native yucca, Twistleaf Yucca, Yucca rupicola, shot up a bloom stalk this spring.

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Heat-loving ZexmeniaWedelia texana, begins its long bloom cycle in May.  This hardy perennial blooms prolifically throughout our hot summer and into the cooler October.

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A favorite spring and summer bloom  for butterflies, bees and people is the Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea. 

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Here it resides across from patch of cheery Zexmenia.

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The Heartleaf Skullcap, Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata, is a beautiful, spreading ground cover which develops stunning blue/lavender flowers, blooming April through June.

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In the late spring garden, the Heartleaf Skullcap is stunning–in both bloom and foliage.

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The lilies in the pond are blooming as well. This pretty pink one is the ‘Colorado’ Lily,

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and the creamy yellow is the ‘Claude Ikins’ Lily.

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Both lilies bloom almost year-round in my pond, even occasionally in  winter.

Revel in your blooms, wherever you (and they) May be.  Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day for May.