The Wearing of the Green
An apt phrase for March in Texas if there ever was one, with apologies to revolutionaries everywhere. No doubt this ditty was sung in the past week somewhere in Austin, Texas, but my focus is on verdant foliage in my spring (officially!) garden. With thanks to Christina of Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for hosting Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day, spring has most definitely sprung in my home town. Let’s take a quick stroll through this Texas spring garden, shall we?
The columbines are flowering, but their leaves are lush during fall, through winter and into spring bloom time. This little one is paired with a passalong daylily leaf, emerged from winter dormancy, which won’t bloom until early summer.
And this group of columbines leads in a nice foliage vignette which includes a potted American Century Plant, Agave americana and Cast Iron Plant, Aspidistra elatior.
I grow only the native Texas columbines, the Aquilegia chrysantha and the Aquilegia canadensis because others will fry to a crisp in the Texas summer heat.
Engelmann Daisy or Cutleaf Daisy, Engelmannia peristenia, sports deeply lobed fuzzy, gray-green foliage.
The bright yellow blooms will accompany the foliage later in the season.
Lyreleaf Sage, Salvia lyrata, is attractive year round,
…and the foliage makes an excellent ground cover. I planted Lyreleaf as a groundcover in the area where my honeybee hives are located. The plants withstand moderate foot traffic and we can place our beekeeping equipment on the rosettes with little negative impact, as long as the Lyreleaf are not blooming or setting seed.
And once the blooms open, the bees don’t need to travel far for gathering nectar and pollen.
Glorious in burgundy rimmed foliage are the leaves of the Martha Gonzales Rose.
There are currently only a couple of roses open, but I love the color of the tender, new leaves.
Golden Groundsel, Packera obovata, is in full blooming mode, but its foliage demonstrates a bit of a split-personality. Most of the year, the plant acts as a low ground cover with ovate, serrated leaves hugging the ground. As the bloom stalks shoot upward to their flowering ends, the leaves along the stalk form lance-shaped and fern-like.
It’s a foliage twofer.
One of my favorite plants for shade/part-shade is the White Yarrow, Achillea millefolium. It’s always lush, elegant and beautifully spring-green.
I know many people suffer oak allergies and I am sympathetic to their sniffling and stuffed-headed misery, but the pollen tassels on the Shumard Oak, Quercus shumardii, are golden and gorgeous.
I look forward to seeing them every year.
This Shumard branch shows off its new chartreuse leaves,
…accessorized with a tassel skirt, amidst a background full of the stunning native small tree, Mountain Laurel, Sophora secundiflora. The dark green leaves of the Laurel are punctuated by clusters of the signature fragrant, deep purple blooms. Nothing speaks early spring in Austin like that pairing!
What foliage do you sing about this bonny March? Have a look at foliage from gardens everywhere by visiting Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day and happy spring to Northern Hemisphere gardeners and a good autumn to gardeners in the Southern Hemisphere .