Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day, May 2015

Joining with Christina and  Creating my own garden of the Hesperides, I’m pleased  to showcase fab foliage for May from my garden today.  We’re water-logged here in Central Texas and while I’m appreciative of the rain, I wish it would stop.  Or at the very least, slow down a bit.  My soil is heavy and wet, but my plants are happy.  What I grow in my garden  can take the extremes of Texas weather: from scorching hot, bone-dry summers to frog-drowning floods.  Texas gardeners live with anything and everything.

The late May star of my back garden is the Heartleaf Skullcap, Scutellaria  ovata ssp. bracteata,  a cool season perennial which does spread.IMGP7787_cropped_3259x3268..new

A lot.  But I love this groundcover.  The flowers are a stunning violet-blue, appreciated by pollinators, especially bees. Its foliage is soft and beautiful–to view and to feel.  An attractive gray-green, the leaves are thick, soft, and scalloped, while set opposite one another along a hairy stem.

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Heartleaf Skullcap foliage is nice to touch, but imparts a slightly sticky residue and this trait is (supposedly) what makes it unappealing to deer. The bit of icky-sticky left on my skin when I pull up the plants at the end of Skullcap’s growing season is its most objectionable quality to me.

Skullcap is a favorite of mine: it waves a fetching blue/gray throughout spring and early summer and combines beautifully with many other perennials, each with their own interesting foliage.

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Below, it contrasts with  Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea, and its bright green foliage,

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…and here, it’s planted with tiny-leafed Pink Texas Skullcap, Scutellaria suffrutescens,IMGP8228.new

…and the maidengrassy Miscanthus sinensis ‘Adagio’. Hiding underneath the Skullcap is a clump of Kelly green, aromatic, and fleshy Garlic ChivesAllium tuberosum.

A brighter, lacy green is found with Common YarrowAchillea millefolium.   IMGP8165.new

This stand provides a nice backdrop for the Protector-In-Chief.  Doesn’t he look happy and content?

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This fun grouping fills in the northern, shady border of a little back garden bed.IMGP8167.new

It’s a  mixed-bag of foliage characters, including white-stripey Dianella/Variegated Flax LilyDianella tasmanica ‘Variegata’, Katie’s Dwarf RuelliaRuellia ‘Katie’, and ColumbineAquilegia. This particular Columbine is one of the natural hybrids of my A. canadensis and A. chrysantha.  Photobombing on the far left is a containerized Yucca filamentosa, ‘Color Guard’ and some Iris straps, and spreading its succulence in the remainder of the bed is a creeping Sedum, probably Sedum diffusum ‘Potosinum’, though it’s a passalong to me from a friend, so I’m not positive of its identification.

And a bird’s-eye view….

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Isn’t Columbine foliage  pretty?  Especially so, when adorned with raindrops.

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This young Goldenball LeadtreeLeucaena retusa, glows in the late afternoon west sun.

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Its fragrant, powder-puff flowers are done for the year, but the foliage will flutter in the breeze until the first hard freeze.

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The happy pairing of the structural and evergreen Sparkler SedgeCarex phyllocephala ‘Sparkler’ and white-blooming, herbaceous Four O’Clock, Mirabilis jalapa, is garden serendipity. IMGP8226.new

The ‘Sparkler’ sports jazzy stripes in the razor-thin leaves and paired with the Four O’Clock’s lush, smooth leaves–it’s a handsome combination.

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There are many shapes, sizes, and colors of gorgeous leaves in gardens–mine and others. Take a look at the lovely Creating my own garden of the Hesperides and see interesting foliage from all over the world–and Happy Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day!

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