First up is Phormium 'Maori Queen.' I added 3 of these to the new bed along the front walkway, created as a byproduct of the recent removal of the front lawn. I looked for more to add on the other side of the walkway when it was finally ready for planting but I've yet to find more locally.
|Phormium 'Maori Queen' looks especially good when backlit|
Another variegated selection is Erysimum linifolium 'Variegatum.' This plant and the others surrounding the backyard fountain have been in place going on 3 years now. They looked scraggly in the heat of mid-summer and I'd planned to replace them all this fall but light pruning, the cooler weather, and rain seem to have snapped them back into shape.
|Erysimum linifolium 'Variegatum' also makes the most of the light|
I planted Melianthus major in early spring and it sat like a lump doing nothing until recently when it suddenly produced new growth. It, too, may be responding favorably to the cooler weather and rain. We're due for more rain today - in fact, we've already had some light rain this morning.
The hanging succulent basket by the front door I planted in late summer has begun to overflow as the individual plants grow larger, earning it the attention of passers-by.
|Sedum 'Lemon Ball' is taking over, although the Kalanchoe and Senecio are holding their own|
|Despite receiving regular watering, the unidentified Kalanchoe has turned a delicious burgundy, mirroring the red stems of the variegated Portulacaria afra|
|Photo taken from above the basket showing some of the succulents almost buried behind the Sedum|
But my very favorite succulent at the moment is Agave gentryi 'Jaws.' I've seen photos of this plant elsewhere and thought it was attractive but I was unprepared for the effect it had when I saw it in person. I scooped it up (carefully) and took it home after seeing it last week while on a shopping trip with friends. It's currently situated in the front garden near my new Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder,' where its orange and red spines echo the Leucadendron's foliage color. It's said to get 3-4 feet tall and 4-6 feet wide at maturity and to be suitable for placement in either sun or shade. I hope the latter information is correct as it gets only partial sun where I've placed it, at least this time of year, but I'll keep a watch on it and move it if necessary.
|Look at the size and color of those spines! The leaf imprints are wonderful too.|
|The emerald green leaves show tinges of blue at the base|
Pam at Digging hosts this monthly foliage follow-up. You can find her foliage picks and links to other gardeners' selections here.
All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party