Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – September 2014

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

The first day of autumn coincides with Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD).  The countryside and the garden remain fairly green—very little autumnal leaf color so far. As one sign of the season, stems of the native Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) are covered in purply ripened berries.

In the Northern Hemisphere the fall season arrives today with the occurrence of the autumnal equinox, September 22 at 10:29 p.m. EDT. It was almost 90°F yesterday, but now at 5:00 p.m. it is a pleasant 71°F. The rest of the week should remain in the seventies during the day, dropping into the 50s at night.

There was a surprise shower overnight, not enough to fill the bird baths but any amount is needed and welcome. A few drops remained on this Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine), decorated with bits of red as it transitions toward fall.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Strange as it seems, last week I could detect the fragrance of Winter Daphne. Three of these lovely shrubs serve as hedge at the front of our house.

Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' (Winter daphne)

Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne)

Along the northern side yard camellias, gardenias and hellebores add green interest. The camellias are gaining fat buds that will open in another month to six weeks.  The gardenias in this position look healthy, more so than others in the back garden. Stationed nearby Hellebores are full of strong, deep green leaves.

Gardenia and Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

Gardenia and Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)

For several years I have been monitoring the progress of a small passalong Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box). It requires full shade which is hard to find in my garden. I planted it underneath one of the corner ‘Carolina Sapphire’ Arizona Cypress specimens, where it receives scant early morning sunlight. The plant remains very small but the foliage look great this year.

Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)

Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)

Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)

Sarcococca ruscifolia (Fragrant Sweet Box)

The only featured grass in my garden is Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass). Despite it  not being very well situated, this year it looks very nice.

Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass)

Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass)

A big thank you to Christina at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for hosting GBFD on the 22nd of each month.

 

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26 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – September 2014

  1. Christina

    Lucky you having a hedge with Daphne, they do have the most wonderful perfume. Sarcococca are very slow growing but worth having for the lovely scent in winter, yours looks very healthy. thanks for joining in again this month Susie, it is always interesting to see what plants are growing well for you.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The three Daphne were replacements for some Japanese holly lost several years ago due to drought. I thought maybe Daphne would do well there since they don’t like much water. I’m so grateful they’ve been satisfied so far.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks, the berries are finally turning purple. Actually I must have fallen for the “have to get the native kind” guilt trip but I prefer the Asian ones for sheer beauty.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The daphne is way out of line Marian! I think it just reactivated to some of the first cold nights or something. It’s not really in full bloom or anything, but I could smell the fragrance before I went to inspect the shrubs themselves.

      Reply
  2. Pauline

    Your Callicarpa has so many berries, they are such a lovely colour, do the birds like them as well? I am amazed to see your Daphne flowers opening up, that is so early surely, here they don’t open until the new year.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I think these are just a few errant Daphne blossoms Pauline. It should open in early winter. Today was the first garden club meeting of the new year and our speaker’s topic was “Plants for Birds”. I was happy to see a photo of Callicarpa berries as a recommended food source for currently migrating Gray Catbirds, so we’re right on schedule.

      Reply
  3. Cathy

    Your foliage all looks so healthy! Lots of glossy leaves too. My hellebore is sending up new leaves so I can cut back the ugly scorched ones now. Love that grass – I’ve been looking for some Pink Muhly Grass for some time here, but no luck yet.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Cathy, I’m always attracted to glossy leaves. Hope you can find the Pink Muhly Grass. There is a White Muhly Grass now also and the two colors look great together en masse. Last year I saw a fabulous planting in town.

      Reply
  4. Annette

    My Muehlenbergia is just starting to flower and I can’t wait as it’s the first time I’m growing this grass. The aquilegia is delightful and so is the callicarpa which I cannot seem to find here. Lovely berries!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Annette, hope you enjoy your Muhlenbergia. Mine is not in a well-chosen location and usually flops, but this year it’s nice. Did you know there’s a white version also? They make a great combination. The callicarpa is nice food for the birds.

      Reply
      1. pbmgarden Post author

        Muhlenbergia capillaris ‘White Cloud’ has white inflorescence. There is a gorgeous mass planting near a highway in town that using both the white and the pink. Here’s an image of a similar use.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The Callicarpa was planted many years ago but became lost under a more fast-growing tree. The tree had to be removed a couple of years ago and the Callicarpa has thrived in the resulting sunlight. The daphnes need to wait until early winter and I hope they get the message to be patient.

      Reply
  5. bittster

    Nice you have such an interesting collection of shiny, deep green leaves. It’s one of the things I always associate with southern gardens, and one which I don’t get enough of up here in the cold North!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks! Maybe shiny, dark green leaves help offset the harsh sun–I don’t know, but I love them. I hadn’t thought about them not being as easy to have up North.

      Reply
  6. Beth @ PlantPostings

    Pink Muhly Grass is lovely and very similar to Purple Love Grass! I’m drawn to the beauty of both. You have so many plants in your area that I can’t grow because my winters are too cold–Camellias, Gardenias, and Daphnes … so I will enjoy them on your blog and dream. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Donna@GardensEyeView

    Lovely foliage and a bit of color shifting now…here we are well on into fall. I tried to grow Sarcococca ruscifolia but it took forever and I had it in full shade…not sure where it went but eventually it was gone.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Donna. I don’t know if the Sarcococca is in a good spot or not, it’s under a tree because that’s the only shade I have. It’s supposed to smell lovely though if and when it blooms.

      Reply

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