Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Foliage Follow-up: Back-lit Beauties

One thing that becomes especially clear to me every Bloom Day is that, despite my intention to put increased emphasis on foliage when renovating my garden, I'm still a flower fanatic.  Foliage Follow-up, sponsored by Pam at Digging, is a helpful kick-in-the-pants reminder of the value of striking a balance between flowers and foliage.  I need regular reminders.

This month, as I was taking last-minute photos of some flowering plants, I also snapped a few foliage shots.  The most striking of these were the ones in which the sun back-lit the plants' leaves.

A mature clump of Agave attenuata sits near the boundary I share with a neighbor

My relatively small Agave ovatifolia makes the trailing Lantana next to it in my dry garden look more striking

Leucadendron 'Chief' taking on its summer color in my dry garden is shown here catching the last of the afternoon sun

Leucadendron 'Ebony' shows a touch of red when back-lit

Leucadendron 'Jester' pairs prettily here with Melianthus major and Phormium 'Amazing Red'

Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' remains one of my all-time favorite plants - this one, still small, was added to my front garden late last year but it already has a presence in the garden

Is it coincidental that many of these photos featured Leucadendrons?  Perhaps.  I do have a LOT of them.  But these plants also have a stained glass quality that never ceases to draw my attention.

Visit Pam at Digging for more ideas in using foliage.


All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

32 comments:

  1. If I could only grow Leucadendrons I would have them everywhere. You have some beauties.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel the same, which is why I do have them everywhere!

      Delete
  2. What Chloris said! They're so pretty, especially with the sun shining through them! 'Jester' is my favorite. I so admired Leucadenerons in gardens when the fling was in the bay area!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Jester', planted last year, is still small but I love it too - it set the tone for the plant selection in its bed.

      Delete
  3. There is something so special about that light coming in at low angles. Early morning or late afternoon either one - the foliage that takes advantage of either can be breathtaking, and yours are wonderful examples. Every bit as lovely as flowers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This time of year getting outside to take early morning photos is unusual for me (and currently largely pointless as our "June gloom" blankets us in fog until mid-day) but, thankfully, there's plenty of time now for early evening photos.

      Delete
  4. If my garden ever trends to "more xeric", I will definitely add a bunch of leucadendrons. I covet yours. So pretty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are addictive. I had just one Leucadendron in my former garden but I'm up to 9 here - considering the mature size of the plants, that's a lot.

      Delete
  5. You're getting the balance already it seems Kris with your fine choice of xerics you've added to your garden :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With the trees and the hedges plus the xeric shrubs and grasses I've added, I'm getting closer to a balance but, with lots of flashy flowers on display at this time of the year, the foliage tends to get overlooked.

      Delete
  6. Your Leucodendrons are spectacularly healthy! I love the backlit agaves - it all looks stunning

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope the Leucadendrons stay healthy, Matt. I lost 2 very suddenly in late summer last year and never could determine the cause.

      Delete
  7. Love that Agave attenuata! And the color range from the Leucodendron foliage is reason enough to add another... ;-) I especially like the last vignette with the nasturtiums - what a great green/orange tones combination!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' looks good with everything.

      Delete
  8. So you're climate is mild enough for Agave attenuata? I'm jealous although for you it's probably nothing special.

    Love all your leucadendrons!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agave attenuatas are everywhere here but, in my own garden, they like a little shade. The two large clumps of mature A. attentuata planted along our west boundary are pupping like crazy and I've transplanted a couple of those. I also put a few small plants in at the bottom of my slope last year.

      Delete
  9. I'm planing a shrub border and hope to incorporate a Leucadendron.They are marginal here , but that has never stopped me before !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope it does well for you. L. 'Wilson's Wonder' has been the most resilient variety for me, although 'Chief' is tough too.

      Delete
  10. I love your leucadendrons! The Agave attenuata is gorgeous, too. I wish I could grow those outside.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agave attenuata are rather like Agapanthus here, Even - so common that they're almost dismissed.

      Delete
  11. I've run out of space for shrubs but was in denial until I killed a 'Wilson's Wonder' and a 'Pisa' this summer --- poorly placed in too much shade and/or root competition. So lovely to see them in your garden!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's too bad, Denise! I lost 2 Leucadendrons myself late last summer, 'Golden Tip' and ' 'Rising Sun'. I think 'Golden Tip' may have received too much water (!) as it died within weeks of planting but I was at a loss to explain what happened with 'Rising Sun.'

      Delete
  12. You've managed to work in several beauties that I wish I could grow...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure I'd have a lot fewer Leucadendron if I had to haul them under cover each winter, Loree.

      Delete
  13. I wish Leucadendron was hardy here, I would have as many as you if it was! That's a great shot of your Agave attenuata.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That shot of the Agave attenuata was a bit of a fluke but, once I saw how pretty it looked with the sun lighting up the leaves, I decided that would be my theme for this month's foliage post.

      Delete
  14. Your leucadendrons are brilliant. I also loooove Agave ovatifolia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the whale's tongue agave was my very first agave purchase after moving in here. I was impressed by the beautiful specimen featured in Pam Penick's blog. Mine was very small at the start and, while it's probably doubled in size, it still has a long way to go.

      Delete
  15. Your photo of the Agave attenuata is just so beautiful. wow.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Nice shots, great plants. The Leucadendron count is going up here, too.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow...your Agaves are amazing. The Leucadendron 'Jester' is also beautiful. I love all the tropical looking foliage in your gardens!.

    ReplyDelete
  18. You had me at Agave attenuata! I LOVE those. I ordered one online once...the emotions are still too raw for me to talk about it.

    Now I need to google "Leucadendron Austin Texas"!

    ReplyDelete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions. However, with apologies to bona-fide commentators, due to a significant increase in spam, I've eliminated the option to post comments anonymously.