Sunday, July 16, 2017

Foliage Follow-up - July 2017

As summer heats up, shade becomes all the more important so, when it came time to identify subjects for the foliage follow-up post hosted by Pam at Digging, trees came to mind.  This past winter I once again had our Magnolia grandiflora "thinned" to accommodate a neighbor's view concerns but the crew went further than I'd expected and, until recently, I felt it looked a bit sad, not to speak of the fact that it provided limited shade.  It's finally looking like it should again.

The Magnolia standing proud in the front garden (left) and a recent flush of new growth along its branches (right)


I also had all 4 of our Arbutus 'Marina' thinned.  They've filled out again too but, this month, even more than the shade they provide, you've got to admire their handsome peeling bark, which is particularly evident at this time of year.

This particular tree sits on the northeast side of the house.  Its bark peels to a degree all year but look at the curls it's got now!


A few other foliage selections also caught my eye.

Purchased as Chondropetalum tectorum, this Cape Rush may be more correctly classified as C. elephantinum, although mine seems to fall mid-way between the 2 species in size.  I originally planted 3 in my street-side succulent bed in 2013 but only this one thrived.  I wish you could see how the sheaths on the joint stems gleam in the afternoon sun but I wasn't able to capture it well in the mid-afternoon glare so I made do with this early morning shot.

The dominant plant in this foliage mash-up is Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset', which develops bright red bracts in summer.  L. salignum 'Winter Red' is planted in front of it.  At maturity, the former should be about twice the size of the latter.  The hedge of Xylosma congestum is shown in the background with Stipa tenuissima in between.  The gray-foliaged semi-weed threatening to engulf the Leucadendrons from the left is Helichrysum petiolare 'Silver Mist'.

I brought this Persicaria 'Red Dragon' with me as a cutting from my former garden.  It's struggled in my current garden even in this afternoon shade location next to the house but I thought it looked pretty good here with the window shade pulled down behind it in a our futile effort to keep the house cooler.  I'm going to try taking some additional cuttings this fall to see if I can find a more hospitable location for it elsewhere.


It's hard for me to let a foliage-focused post go by without featuring at least some succulents so here's this month's selection:

The planter stand here had belonged to my mother-in-law but the rusted steel bowl it originally held corroded and slowly fell apart.  I bought a cheap shiny steel wok, which accommodated me by quickly rusting outside.  I planted it up with a mix of succulent cuttings with a Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' in the center.  I like the way it glows in the mid-day sun in what's otherwise a fairly shady spot on the covered patio on the south side of the house.


Finally, as my Agapanthus flower stalks begin to look scruffy in July, mass decapitations are generally part of my summer tidying-up process.  This year, inspired in part by the Alliums spray-painted blue after the flowers faded I saw during the 2017 Garden Bloggers' Fling, I decided to try leaving some nude Agapanthus stalks in place.  I haven't decided yet whether it's worth the effort of cleaning them up.  We'll see.  For now it's just an experiment.

Painting the seedpods would probably improve the color contrast but I've no intention of taking things that far.  The contrast may be greater when the stalks dry and the Xylosma hedge behind them is trimmed, producing a flush of fresh orange growth.


For more foliage follow-up posts, visit Pam at Digging.


All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

16 comments:

  1. Kris I want to come visit your garden RIGHT NOW! Everything looks simply gorgeous.

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    1. You're welcome any time, Loree, although in my opinion my garden is at its worst from July through September. The backyard pink/brown fuzz fest is at its height right now, which has me avoiding a wide area around the damn mimosa tree.

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  2. Kris, that Magnolia is just wonderful! I imagine that it dominates the garden, the Magnolias are always scene stealers!

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    1. I cannot take much credit for the Magnolia, MDN - it came with the house and garden! It is happy there, though, and thankfully it has forgiven me for giving it a bad haircut this past winter.

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  3. Awww, c'mon, spray paint a couple of those Agapanthus seed heads. Let's see how they look gold, or orange.

    Aren't Leucadendron in their red state the most gorgeous things ever? The only "red state" I like these days.

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    1. Ha! I think I'd have to step into Wonderland (or would that be Through the Looking Glass?) before you'd find me spray painting flowers.

      Leucadendron seem to get better and better with each passing year. I couldn't even tell you off the top of my head how many I have now.

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  4. I think the Agapanthus seedheads look good, even green! Like little alien pods. Your garden looks great, and I'm glad all your trees are growing back.

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    1. Thanks Renee! Now that my view-obsessed neighbor has moved on, I've begun thinking whether I can squeeze in another tree (or 2) somewhere without irritating someone else.

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    2. I somehow missed that your neighbor has moved. I'm sure you are relieved!

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    3. I am indeed! And no one has accosted me about my garden since, except to complement it.

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  5. I am reminded that a couple years ago I was hysterical after my husband over-pruned our magnolia, leaving an ugly gap in front. I should have kept my temper; now the gap is completely gone. I always love interesting bark - your Arbutus 'Marina' is amazing!

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    1. The same tree trimming service has pruned the Magnolia before, Deb, so I was lulled into a false sense of security there and didn't keep watch on what the trimmer was doing. But, as you also discovered, fortunately time healed the wounds.

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  6. The arbutus bark is stunning, the cape rush too. I can't keep persicaria happy in my garden either. Too dry, I think. I do love its leaves though. Pam/Digging: penick.net

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    1. I have one shady area that seems to stay damp longer than most areas of my garden so that may be a perfect spot for the Persicaria, assuming I can get a cutting to root. I'm waiting for cooler weather here before I try that, though.

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  7. Arbutus 'Marina' is such a striking tree; a favorite of mine from the San Francisco Fling. Love your succulent bowl and the agapanthus seed heads are gorgeous!

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    1. I love those Arbutus - they look great all year.

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