Friday, July 9, 2021

July foliage highlights

As temperatures rise, my cool season flowers have mostly disappeared while most of my "warm" season flowers have yet to take the stage.  As dry as we've been, I'm not at all sure what kind of show I'm going to get from the usual summer flowers.  However, there are plenty of beautiful foliage plants worthy of attention.  A lot of these are succulents but there are some flashy shrubs in the mix too, as well as a few dependable workhorses.

The colorful Aloe labworana in the center of this shot is more visible since I cut back the huge Echium candicans ' Star of Madeira' above it after it finished flowering

Cutting back the flowering plants in this bed on the south side of the garden allowed the 'Blue Glow' and 'Blue Flame' Agaves to reassert themselves as the lead performers

A few cobwebs can't mar the beauty of Agave 'Blue Glow'

The squid Agaves (Agave bracteosa) are getting larger but they mingle well with other plants.  They pup like crazy, though.

Centaurea 'Silver Feather' has hardly bloomed at all this year but its foliage is its real claim to fame

Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold' is one of the garden workhorses I mentioned.  I have several of these shrubs scattered about, grown mainly for their yellowish green softly scented foliage.  Their pale pink flowers are mostly done for the season.

Coprosma repens 'Evening Glow' is one of the smaller mirror plants in my garden.  Unlike some, it retains its variegated color.  It's supposed to grow up to 4 feet tall but mine have stayed about a foot high.

Leucadendron 'Cloudbank Ginny' is perhaps more well known for its flowers than its foliage but I was pleased to notice that my plant is bulking up nicely despite this year's pitiful rainfall total

Leucadendron salignum 'Chief' lost about a third of its height a few months ago when I gave it its annual haircut.  It's already regained much of its height.  The summer foliage takes on a lovely red hue than provides a stained glass look when backlit.

Leucadendron 'Jubilee Crown' has been in my front garden for 4.5 years now and I often debate whether it should go.  Unlike most Leucadendrons, its foliage is feathery and I can't say I love its cones but it's another plant that's pretty when backit.

Leucadendron 'Pisa' distinguishes itself for its form, stature and silvery-bronze foliage

I don't commonly think of Leucospermums as great foliage plants but I find the form and foliage of this Leucospermum 'Goldie' very appealing even when its flowers are gone

Lomandra longifolia 'Breeze' is another of my garden's workhorses.  It's a great low-maintenance grass substitute.  I have clumps in both my front and back gardens.  I couldn't even guess at the number off the top of my head.

I've slowly acquired a LOT of Mangaves.  The two in the colorful pots here are Mangave 'Bad Hair Day'.  They sit on either side of our front door.  I previously tried growing one in the ground but this type is much better suited to pot culture.

Mangave 'Coffee Jitters' also seems best suited to a pot (although would perhaps be better presented without a hose bib behind it).  This one was a gift from Gerhard of Succulents & More when he visited my garden earlier this year.

Mangave 'Jaguar' on the other hand does fine planted in the ground

These are two of my original Mangaves, 'Lavender Lady' and 'Bloodspot''Bloodspot' was acquired in 2015 and 'Lavender Lady' came on board in 2017.  I've got many more Mangaves but I'll share them at another time.

This is the heartiest bromeliad in my collection, Neoregelia 'Guinea x Pepper'.  It's equally happy in a pot and in the ground.


I'll close with a couple of the smaller succulents that can easily escape notice.

Acquired earlier this year, this is diminutive Aeonium sedifolium.  Isn't it sweet?

This is Haworthiopsis attentuata (aka zebra haworthia).  I've got this one and a couple others planted in the ground but I think I probably should move them to a pot where they'd be more readily visible.  They have colored up nicely here, though.


Another heatwave is settling over Southern California this weekend.  The coastal area is expected to escape the worst of it but you never know for sure what's going to happen.  At least there aren't Santa Ana winds in the mix on this occasion.

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend!


All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

22 comments:

  1. This is a post I could look at over and over and over again. Wow. First of all I remember (years ago) wondering why you didn't have many agaves. Obviously that's not an issue. You grow so many of the plants I would be growing if I had your climate! Oh and that Mangave 'Coffee Jitters' is just a perfect match for the container you've put it in.

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    1. Other than the one clump of Agave attentuata in front of the garage, there weren't any agaves here when we moved in, Loree. My first acquisitions probably didn't make a big impact in the early years as almost everything I planted came out of 4-inch pots, including all the 'Blue Glows'. It took quite awhile before they bulked up.

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  2. Foliage posts are my favorite. Your 'blue glow' Agaves are outstanding and are favorites of mine: what an amazing presence. Aeonium sedifolium is very high on the cuteness meter.

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    1. The Aeonium is billed as "rare" and, as I'd never seen one until May when I made a trip to a succulent nursery known for unusual specimens, the hype may be true.

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  3. I am also a huge fan of interesting foliage & your garden is the perfect example of why that is - So Gorgeous! I'm always on the lookout to add more interesting foliage plants to the garden, but in my case it's all about the hostas, sedums, etc. It's funny how most of us gardeners start off thinking more about blooms but our perspective inevitably changes over time.

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    1. I's still easy for me to get fixated on flowers, Margaret, but I've accepted that it's really foliage that makes the backbone of a garden in most cases.

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  4. A. 'Blue Glow' is such a gorgeous plant, I really love seeing yours. And M. 'Jaguar' is equally fabulous. Lastly, yes, that diminutive Aeonium is uber adorable!

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  5. That answers my question - Sunset Gold. Haven't seen that here.

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    1. That Coleonema reportedly hails from Western Australia, Diana. It was supposedly marketed as New Zealand's "Shrub of the Year" at one time. It's been sold in the US since the 1980s.

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  6. Thinking of you in the heatwave to come. The garden looks so beautiful. Fingers crossed. Above all please stay safe.

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    1. Thanks Jessica. We've been lucky with respect to the heat, at least by comparison to surrounding areas. The Delta variant is active in Los Angeles County but I'm vaccinated and still proceeding with caution. I hope you're staying safe too.

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  7. It's always a joy to see your garden. The zebra haworthia gives thoughts of some kind of alien tentacles trying to escape the earth! :D

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    1. The zebra haworthia is an interesting plant and deserves more attention than it gets buried behind larger succulents.

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  8. Love the blue color of the Agaves.

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    1. Agave 'Blue Glow' is a beautiful plant. I don't imagine you see many of those in the Chicago area!

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  9. That aeonium is so sweet! And I just recognized a former pot holding that fine neoregelia! Lomandra 'Breeze' is an incredibly tough plant -- I didn't realize you had a few. It all looks so lush. I was looking up Tanacetum niveum on your blog, how long it bloomed, whether it reseeded, and came across that Centaurea 'Silver Feather' going back years -- such a fine plant!

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    1. I got the diminutive Aeonium at Green Touch, Denise ;) I have probably 10 Lomandra 'Breeze', 8 'Platinum Beauty', and 2 L. hystrix - I've yet to try them on the back slope but that may be next. Re Tanacetum niveum, it's been a short-lived plant here and has never self-seeded. I bought 3 more from Annie's earlier this year and one has already given up the ghost.

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  10. Despite the heat so many of your plants are looking great. Grew Coprosma one year as an annual pot plant but it was rather uninspiring. One of those plants that seems to do better planted in the appropriate gardening climate. Just found out the other day that my Agave 'Shaka Zulu' is actually an alternative name for A. Blue Glow which I have been looking for. Go figure.

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    1. We've actually evaded the worst of the heat here along the coast, Elaine, which is less common on the east side of the South Bay peninsula (where I am) than on its west side. I can only hope the trend continues. I never knew 'Blue Glow' had another name!

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  11. Squee! that little aeonium is the cutest. Although all your aeoniums are stunners...I bet that Jubilee Crown would be great for adding texture to arrangements.

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    1. I have used 'Jubilee Crown' in arrangements now and then. That's literally the plant's saving grace at present ;)

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