Sunday, January 16, 2011

Foliage Follow-up, January 2011

Since I recently talked about the plants that are looking good in the dead of winter I thought I should take advantage of Foliage Follow-up to share some, well, just plain bad looking foliage. You know…the down and out stuff. Like this Echium wildpretii… Phlebodium pseudoaureum, or Blue Fern.
Adiantum pedatum, or Maidenhair Fern.
Dyckia hybrid, Burgundy Ice, in the back garden…
And in the front garden. At least the both seem to have new growth in the center, even if they are a little burnt around the edges.
The old fav, Hakonechloa, or Japanese Forest Grass. Euphorbia Rigida Cordyline, toast. This is an interesting combo, dead Cordyline in front, live Cordyline in back. Both of these are sprouts from a plant that died in winter 2008/09. Why is one still green? Phormium. Still love them, still watching them die. This is the only one I planted new last spring...I miss the years our Flax and Cordy's grew to amazing size unharmed winter after winter! Puya coerulea, same story as the Dyckia above…old growth not looking so good, center growth shows potential. There is another category of bad foliage, and that would be the reprehensible damage caused by a gardener (that would be me), attempting to protect their plants from cold damage. When covering this Agave look what I did, the shame! Even worse, in a moment of extreme weakness I wrapped my Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Harmony,' it was predicted to be a very bad night and I didn’t want to suffer the defoliation I witnessed around town after last winter. I caved in and wrapped it in a sheet, and I broke the tallest stem. I am a bad bad gardener. (penance paid and moving on…)

Heading out to photograph dead foliage I was very excited to see there are a few signs of new life in the garden, this was an unexpected surprise! For example the Hosta tips are emerging… And the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is always pushing the calendar… Lobelia ‘Queen Victoria’ Sedum Pameri, see the brown crispy bits? That was the foliage after the November freeze. Almost instantaneously this amazing plant started putting on new growth. And most surprisingly of all, a Peony starting to push out (it’s the red bit near dead center) Life! And it’s only January, the garden is good. For more fun Foliage-Follow-up visit Pam over at Digging!


  1. I have some brown and mushy foliage laying around here too. Now, I must go look for new growth!! Hostas seem to poke up later here...betcha' I'll be a looking in just a minute though!

  2. I assume Hakonechloa returns from its roots (research seems to indicate it withstands low temperatures) - its on my Gotta Get list. Hurts to see the Dyckias suffering - hope they come back strong.

  3. Good to see someone being honest about the stte of their foliuage - these are the first pictures i've seen anywhere that could be inmy garden

  4. I actually like the golden (brown) foliage of Hakonechloa in winter, and it's smart of you not to cut it back yet. I never see it in Austin (too hot & dry, I think, RBell), but that's the way I feel about inland sea oats, whose brown, leafy stems I leave up all winter.

    Sorry about the phormiums and echium -- sad losses.

  5. Darla, I was very surprised to see the Hosta seems too early.

    RBell, yes...from the roots, I haven't lost one yet due to the cold either. If we have a hot summer I bet the Dyckias will be happy campers. If we have another one like last year...toast.

    A Year, it's that time of the year isn't it? We are all experiencing some ugly foliage. The thing is even your pictures of dead foliage look fabulous!

    Pam, I should leave my Sea Oats up sometime...they flop all over the place for me so I usually get fed up and cut'um back.


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