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, March 2014

We appear done with our chilly winter winds here in Austin, Texas.  While our winter wasn’t the coldest, it was certainly one of the colder of the past 20 years.  All that’s blooming in my gardens are the earliest of the spring perennials.  The native Yellow Columbine ( Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinckleyana),  are beginning to open, though this one is probably a hybrid between my Yellow Columbine and my Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)–there is a blush of pink that a Yellow Columbine wouldn’t have.P1020900_cropped_3059x2341..new

The native Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is full to bursting with blooms.

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Starting its seasonal flush, these buds will open over the next 3-10 weeks and throughout the year.

Another vine, native Dewberry (Rubus trivialis? Not sure as it’s a pass-along plant), is blooming.  No doubt, the birds are anxiously awaiting the berries that follow.

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My tiny patch of Golden Groundsel (Packera obovata), showcases its first bloom.

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The shock of yellow punctuating a still muted landscape.

And I must post a photo of the first Iris to flower in my garden this year.

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This Iris is a common, tough bulb with a beautiful flower (maybe Iris altobarbata?).    It opened two weeks ago, days before our last and coldest freeze.  Nine bloom stalks appeared during a bout of warm weather and when the front hit, three flowers were blooming and all the stalks had developing buds.There was nothing I could do to prevent damage.

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Mush. They all became mush. I counted 30-plus buds that will never flower.  Sniff.  All I can hope is that my other Iris will bloom as we move through our spring growing season.

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Bloom Day.