Tag Archives: foliage

Leaves

Leaves

Leaves

On the first day of middle school (in the US this is ages 11-13, grades 6-8), our daughter’s science teacher announced an important assignment would be due at the end of the school year—a collection of 25 natural items. Flowers, leaves, rocks, insects, bones, the choice was up to the student.

I do not remember how our daughter settled on collecting leaves, but in the following months family excursions often included scouting around for an interesting specimen to add to the collection. Each leaf was sealed in a plastic bag and documented with Latin and common names, location and date found, and the name of the person who collected it.

Some of her earliest items collected lost their nice color or crumbled if the bag lost its seal, but by the end of the school year she had built up enough items. The night before the project was due was a long one as I recall. The leaves were laid out on foam board, hand written labels were prepared and applied and the entire collection was covered in a sheet of self-adhesive transparent acetate.

School projects come and go, of course, but now more than 20 years old, this one has survived the test of time. I love this one for its strong design and for the memories it holds. For many years until I retired, it was prominently displayed in my office. Colleagues and visitors frequently remarked on it, sometimes bringing up stories about their own favorite trees. One day my supervisor made good on a promise and brought in a scrapbook that held his own childhood leaf collection.

Over the years the labels on our daughter’s leaf collection became illegible as the permanent black ink used to record the data faded to yellow. By taking macro photographs of the labels I was able to decipher the writing (and for some reason recently I felt compelled to retrieve the identifications). Although not a focus of concern when gathering the leaves originally, it is interesting to note 19 of the 25 belong to native trees.

 

Leaves – Row 1

Row 1 (left to right)
Quercus marilandica (blackjack oak)
Found Chapel Hill NC. Collected By MLM. Date Found September 9, 1991
Native to the eastern and central United States

Quercus stellata (post oak)
Found Chapel Hill NC. Collected By MLM. Date Found October 12, 1991
Native to the eastern and central United States

Quercus alba (white Oak)
Found Chapel Hill NC. Collected By MLM. Date Found
Native to eastern and central North America

Quercus nigra (water oak)
Found Chapel Hill NC. Collected By MLM. Date Found September 9, 1991
Native to the eastern and south-central United States

Quercus falcata (southern red oak)
Found Coker Arboretum. Collected By MLM. Date Found November 29, 1991
Native to the eastern and south-central United States

Acer palmatum (Japanese maple)
Found Coker Arboretum. Collected By MLM. Date Found November 29, 1991
non-Native (Japan)
 

Leaves - Row 2

Leaves – Row 2

Row 2 (left to right)

Quercus michauxii (swamp chestnut oak)
Found Coker Arboretum. Collected By MLM. Date Found November 24, 1991
Native to bottomlands and wetlands in the eastern and central United States

Quercus rubra (northern red oak)
Found Chapel Hill NC. Collected By MLM. Date Found Unknown
Native of North America, in the eastern and central United States and southeast and south-central Canada.

Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak)
Found Chapel Hill NC. Collected By DVM. Date Found November 24, 1991
Native to North America in the eastern and central United States and eastern and central Canada.

Ginkgo biloba (ginkgo)
Found Coker Arboretum. Collected By MLM. Date Found November 24, 1991
non-Native (China)

Latin Name Unknown (Japanese Lemon)
[yuzu (Citrus ichangensis × C. reticulata]
Found Chapel Hill, NC. Collected By MLM. Date Found April 22, 1992
non-Native (China and Tibet)

Ilex opaca (American holly)
Found Chapel Hill, NC. Collected By MLM. Date Found Unknown
Native to the eastern and south-central United States

Leaves - Row 3

Leaves – Row 3

Row 3 (left to right)

(top left) Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Found Chapel Hill, NC. Collected By MLM. Date April 26, 1992
Native to eastern North America, from southern Maine and southern Ontario west to Iowa, and south to central Florida and eastern Texas

(bottom left) Morus rubra (red mulberry)
Found Chapel Hill, NC. Collected By MLM. Date April 23, 1992
Native to eastern and central North America

Liriodendron tulipifera (yellow poplar)
[Tulip poplar]
Found Chapel Hill, NC. Collected By MLM. Date Found April 22, 1992
Native to eastern North America

Maclura pomifera (Osage orange)
Found Chapel Hill, NC. Collected By MLM. Date April 29, 1992
Native to Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas

Magnolia stellata (star magnolia)
Found Chapel Hill, NC. Collected By PBM. Date April 24, 1992
non-Native (Japan)

Magnolia grandiflora (southern magnolia)
Found [ ] Collected By MLM. Date [ ]
Native to the southeastern United States

Magnolia × soulangeana (saucer magnolia)
Found St. Pauls, NC. Collected By Virgie McDonald. Date November 16, 1991
non-Native (hybrid, France)

Leaves - Row 4

Leaves – Row 4

Row 4 (top center, then left to right)

(top center) Ficus carica (common fig)
Found Coker Arboretum. Collected By MLM. Date April 29, 1992
non-Native (southwest Asia)

Pinus patustrus (longleaf Pine)
Found St. Pauls, NC. Collected By Virgie McDonald. Date Found November 16, 1991
Native to southeastern United States

Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Found Chapel Hill, NC. Collected By MLM. Date April 26, 1992
Native to eastern and central North America

Latin Name Unknown (round lobed sweetgum)
[Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Rotundiloba’ (Round-Lobed Sweetgum)]
Found Coker Arboretum. Collected By DVM. Date Found November 24, 1991
Native, originally discovered in 1930 in North Carolina.

Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Found Chapel Hill, NC. Collected By MLM. Date April 22, 1992
Native to eastern North America

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Found Chapel Hill, NC. Collected By MLM. Date Unknown
Native to North America

 

Sassafras

Sassafras

My favorite leaf in the collection?

To this day a mere glance at the small dancing Sassafras always makes me smile. If leaves can have personalities, this one seems to have a cheerfully upbeat one.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – September 2015

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

I am joining Christina at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD, today. After such a hot, dry summer I have not enjoyed much time in the garden lately. I usually am sad to say good-bye to summer, but Fall begins here tomorrow and I find myself relieved.

The dogwood has limped through these hot days. It gets too much sun in its 14-year temporary (let’s just put it here for now) location. A nearby juniper that used to provide it shade had to come down several years ago, leaving the dogwood quite exposed until the replacement tree can grow large enough to become its protector. Yesterday I noticed the dogwood is starting to form fruit. When I took these pictures, I believe I heard a deep, tired sigh.

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

After displaying its beautiful flowers in mid-July this Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily) put itself to work on the task of increasing the show for next year. This is the first year I have grown Blackberry Lily and it is easy to understand why it got its name. Big green pods formed by mid-August and now a month later, these richly black seeds have emerged.

Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily)

Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily)

Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily)

Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) is native to Southeastern United States. This is a deciduous shrub with loose, open branching. The magenta berries are less visible than in other Callicarpa species, but the cardinals, finches and other birds in the garden find them easily.

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) blooms its heart out in early spring. After being cut back to the ground it drapes itself again in soft, fresh green leaves, making an attractive ground cover.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Thanks to Christina for hosting. Be sure to visit her to see her featured foliage and find links to other foliage highlights of other GBFD bloggers.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – August 2015

Betula nigra (River Birch)

Betula nigra (River Birch)

Christina at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides hosts GBFD on the 22nd of each month to highlight the importance of foliage in our gardens. The past week has been unusually busy with little time for the garden so Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD) sneaked up on me this month.

In a side garden along the front drive Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed ) has formed long okra-like seed pods. There are two other Asclepius tuberosa in the main garden, but neither has formed the pods.  I cannot find a label for the shrub in the background—some kind of slow-grower, a juniper I think. Visible in the upper left corner is a Betula nigra (River Birch) that grows at the street just on the edge of our property.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

I like the river birch. It began dropping leaves very early this summer because of the drought. The shaggy cinnamon-red bark is characteristic of this native tree.

Bark of native tree Betula nigra (River Birch)

Bark of native tree Betula nigra (River Birch)

By the way a week ago in another part of the garden I saw my first Monarch(s) of the year. I usually see them in October here. Without a camera on two consecutive days, I watched one nectaring on remnant flowers of a Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes.’ There is something special about seeing the Monarchs that raises a feeling of gladness and appreciation.

I was recently complaining about how that Rudbeckia had been knocked over in a storm and needed to be cut back, but now I think I will leave it a bit longer.  A child of that one, the ‘Irish Eyes’ below is in the side garden just at the gate. It splayed over also after the same storm, but I managed to tie it up. It is not blooming much now but the foliage is still looking healthy. It received some extra water this summer because I was filling a nearby bird bath almost daily. In the background the river birch is visible again.

Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Silvery Dusty Miller has spread with wild abandon in the western border. It is easy to pull out when I finally decide “Enough,” so I let it roam this summer. It is not as attractive when it flowers so it is time to clip it back. Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ is new this year. Fresh new leaves of Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) add softness to this area.

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' (Ascot Rainbow Spurge) and Dusty Miller

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ (Ascot Rainbow Spurge) and Dusty Miller

Thanks to Christina for hosting. Be sure to visit her to see her featured foliage and find links to other foliage highlights of other GBFD bloggers.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – July 2015

Aegopodium podagraria (bishop's weed) with Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilo polyxenes) caterpillar

Aegopodium podagraria (bishop’s weed) with Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilo polyxenes) caterpillar

I am joining Christina at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD, today. Usually by this point in the summer everything is brown and crisped by the hot July sun. The days have been intensely hot and oftentimes storms have passed us by without providing any nourishing rain, but by watering selectively I have managed to keep the perennials and annuals from dying back this summer.

Years after accepting and planting a friend’s offering of Aegopodium podagraria (bishop’s weed), I discovered it is invasive, so when visitors admire it I have gently refused their requests to share. Yesterday I found a colorful Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillar among its leaves.

I plan every year to tackle eradicating it but other areas of the garden get my attention instead. The variegated version that I have is supposed to be less problematic, and honestly, except for the guilt, it has made a wonderful ground cover along the narrow northern side of my house.

Aegopodium podagraria (bishop's weed) with Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilo polyxenes) caterpillar

Aegopodium podagraria (bishop’s weed) with Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilo polyxenes) caterpillar

Aegopodium podagraria (bishop's weed) with Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilo polyxenes) caterpillar

Aegopodium podagraria (bishop’s weed) with Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilo polyxenes) caterpillar

Note: This summer I have enjoyed seeing and trying to identify butterflies. I have photographed quite a few yellow and black Eastern Tiger Swallowtails (Papilio glaucus) this month. When I looked up this caterpillar and discovered it to be a swallowtail I thought it was the Eastern Tiger that I had been seeing so often; however, when captioning my images into WordPress I finally realized I had two different swallowtails. The caterpillar is Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilo polyxenes).

The elephant ears in the blue planter have recovered since the last time I showed them, although they still scorch from the hot sun and they stay thirsty. They are uncooperative when I photograph them but they look nice against the Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’ (Blue Point Juniper) hedge.

Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘Black Coral’  (Black Coral Elephant Ear)

Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘Black Coral’ (Black Coral Elephant Ear)

Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘Black Coral’  (Black Coral Elephant Ear)

Colocasia Royal Hawaiian ‘Black Coral’ (Black Coral Elephant Ear)

Another ground cover I like, Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper) has lived up to its name and has spread across a path into a well-behaved section of Sedum.

Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper) creeping into Sedum

Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper) creeping into Sedum

Planted in March this Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ (Ascot Rainbow Spurge) tends to be lost among the running perennial Dusty Miller. The Dusty Miller needs to be reined in and sheared back. In spring this bed was full of columbine and the rainbow effect of the Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ foliage stood out better.

Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' (Ascot Rainbow Spurge), perennial Dusty Miller

Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ (Ascot Rainbow Spurge), perennial Dusty Miller

There still is plenty of Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) spreading itself around. Its leaves look fresh and green.

Liriope muscari, perennial Dusty Miller, Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Liriope muscari, perennial Dusty Miller, Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

perennial Dusty Miller, Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

perennial Dusty Miller, Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Another Euphorbia  purchased this spring has lovely color. It is called ‘Shorty’ (Shorty Spurge).

Euphorbia 'Shorty' (Shorty Spurge) with Iris leaf

Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ (Shorty Spurge) with Iris leaf

Euphorbia 'Shorty' (Shorty Spurge) with Iris leaf

Euphorbia ‘Shorty’ (Shorty Spurge) with Iris leaf

Many insects like this dragonfly seem to gravitate to the flowers that are spent or the foliage that is brown, at least when I am trying to photograph them. This is a female (males have the white tails) Common whitetail or long-tailed skimmer (Plathemis lydia) perching atop an iris leaf. In the background is airy foliage of Achillea filipendulina (Fern-leaf Yarrow).

Common whitetail or long-tailed skimmer (Plathemis lydia)

Common whitetail or long-tailed skimmer (Plathemis lydia)

Thanks to Christina for hosting. Be sure to visit her to see her featured foliage and find links to other foliage highlights of other GBFD bloggers.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – January 2015

Leaves for Creative Design Workshop

Leaves for Creative Design Workshop

Today is Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides.

I decided to diverge from reviewing my garden this month, as winter foliage here looks very similar to last year’s January GBFD entry, and instead concentrate on some leaves I learned about this week during a floral design class.  I do not grow any of these plants, but I have become interested in adding plants to pbmGarden with foliage that would be usable in flower arrangements.

The workshop teacher purchased these materials from a florist or wholesaler. She encouraged us to take home leftovers, so I have examples of four leaves. The point of using these particular leaves in our class was to experiment with leaf manipulation.  (Leaf manipulation is a very cumbersome term I think.) In contemporary floral design it refers to altering the shape of the leaf through techniques such as rolling, folding, trimming, braiding to create a more abstract shape.

Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant)

Aspidistra elatior is a commonly grown shade plant with dark evergreen leaves. Many new species are becoming available. There are amazing patterns found in the variegated forms.   This a plant I never would have become interested in growing until I started working with it in flower arrangements, but now I wonder if I can find a shady spot to try it.

Aspidistra leaves are versatile in flower design. They are glossy and thick with strong spines and hold up well to being manipulated or altered. I photographed the leaves alongside a 16-inch ruler.

Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant)

Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant)

Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant)

Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant)

Fatsia japonica

I first heard of fatsia a few years ago through reading garden blogs. Fatsia is in the aralia family (Araliaceae). It seems to like shade although I came across some reports of it growing in sun. Although rated hardy only to zone 8 (my garden is zone 7b), I have seen it growing outdoors in this area.  As I am entirely unreliable when it comes to pruning, I  worry about the mature size of this plant in my garden, even if I could find partial shade.  It grows 6-10 feet wide and high.

Fatsia leaves are large, with an interesting palmate shape that makes them useful for flower arrangements. In contemporary design some or all of the lobes might be trimmed to create an unexpected element.

Fatsia japonica

Fatsia japonica

Arecaceae (Fan Palm)

I don’t really know which fan palm we used in class and there is no use in me guessing (illustrates the need to use botanical name over common name).  One tidbit I did learn while researching is that Sabal palmetto, which I have always known as palmetto palm, is also commonly referred to as fan palm. Sabal palmetto is native from North Carolina to Florida. It might be nice to have palm leaves outside in the garden to use for arrangements, but currently I have no plans to add a palm to the garden. My sisters have them in their Fayetteville, NC garden.

According to my instructor fan palms are frequently used around Easter time in church arrangements. For contemporary flower design, one example of altering a fan palm might be to cut the fan-shaped leaf in half and use a section turned on its side.

Arecaceae (Fan Palm)

Arecaceae (Fan Palm)

Arecaceae (Fan Palm)

Arecaceae (Fan Palm)

Xerophyllum tenax (Beargrass)

Beargrass leaves are popular in flower arranging. In arrangements these are effective when groups of leaves are held firmly at the base and the tops are allowed to drape softly down, but for a more contemporary feel they can be bunched together and tied, looped, braided or otherwise manipulated. They have finely serrated edges and are rough to the touch.

Native to the Pacific Northwest, beargrass is harvested by Native Americans for basketry. Interestingly the flowers look amazing.

Xerophyllum tenax (Beargrass)

Xerophyllum tenax (Beargrass)

Xerophyllum tenax (Beargrass)

Xerophyllum tenax (Beargrass)

 

This was a rather offbeat GBFD post. By the end of February I should be back out in my own garden, maybe with an aspidistra. Thanks to Christina for hosting GBFD on the 22nd of each month. Visit her at Garden of the Hesperides to discover what foliage displays she and other garden bloggers are featuring today.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – October 2014

It is Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD) and well into autumn, the garden overall remains fairly green. Suddenly this week a few maples around town became brilliantly red. Today is the first time this season the morning seemed really cold when I went out to explore the garden. There was a chilly wind and the garden was still in shade.

Several people commented on the use of Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) in my latest Monday vase. There are many clumps in my garden. This one seems newly regenerated and shows off its silvery, gray-green hue and thick, richly textured leaves.

Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Lavender is another silvery-leaved plant I find useful in flower arrangements and it is always lovely in the garden as well.

Lavender

Lavender

Standing in early morning shadows, the Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood) still holds all of its leaves, but most of the berries are gone. This dogwood from the Arbor Day Foundation has always seemed odd to me. Unlike the trees at my former garden, this one is rather short and its leaves seem smaller and more elongated than normal. Maybe it is my imagination.

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood) In Early Morning Shade

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood) In Early Morning Shade

Next to the dogwood the American beautyberry is still covered with purple berries, although upon close inspection it is clear the birds have been feasting on them.

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) in front of 'Carolina Sapphire' Arizona Cypress

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) in front of ‘Carolina Sapphire’ Arizona Cypress

One flower I remember being fascinated with as a child is Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily), which grew in a mossy area of my grandparents’s front yard near a large blue spruce tree. After longing for some for many years, finally this fall I planted six bulbs courtesy of some special friends who gave me a nice gift card from White Flower Farm.

The foliage appeared almost immediately. Unfortunately this means I cannot expect to see the spidery red flowers this year as the foliage emerges only after the flowers have bloomed. The leaves should overwinter, then disappear in early spring. Next fall seems like a long time away.

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

Recently I toured Plant Delights Nursery at Juniper Level Botanic Garden with a group from my garden club.  It was my first visit and I should have brought along a better camera. One plant I was interested to see growing was Ruscus (Butcher’s Broom). Our garden guide said Italy grows tons of this for the florist industry to use as foliage in arrangements.

Sure enough, in a floral design workshop yesterday, we began our project using ruscus foliage to define the line of the design. I cannot be sure ours was true ruscus, or Poet’s laurel, which is apparently often sold as Italian ruscus.

Ruscus - Plant Delights

Ruscus – Plant Delights

Hedera (Ivy) Vine -climbing juvenile ivy form - Plant Delights

Hedera (Ivy) Vine -climbing juvenile ivy form – Plant Delights

Where I live in North Carolina most people recognize two invasive plants, Kudzu and Ivy, so it was surprising to see vines of Hedera (Ivy),  roaming freely up a large tree at Plant Delights.

Our guide explained Hedera (Ivy) is a vine in its juvenile form, but after many years and 30-40 feet later it matures into an adult. The gardeners at Plant Delights allow the ivy vine to run up this one tree so they eventually can have seeds from the adult form.

Hedera (Ivy) runner with variegated leaves. Juvenile form - Plant Delights

Hedera (Ivy) runner with variegated leaves. Juvenile form – Plant Delights

In its adult stage Hedera changes its form from vine to shrub. Its leaf form changes as well and it apparently settles down and becomes well-behaved.

Below, our garden guide is reaching toward the shrub form.

Hedera (Ivy) Shrub -adult (mature) form - Plant Delights

Hedera (Ivy) Shrub -adult (mature) form – Plant Delights

Here are a few more scenes of foliage in the shaded garden at this nursery.

Hosta - Plant Delights

Hosta – Plant Delights

View at Plant Delights

View at Plant Delights

View at Plant Delights

View at Plant Delights

One last interesting plant we saw during this garden visit looked at first like eucalyptus.  In fact it is Baptisia arachnifera, a plant native not to my state of North Carolina but rather to another southern state, coastal Georgia. Because of rules surrounding its classification as a federally endangered plant, the nursery can sell it but cannot ship it outside of North Carolina.

Baptisia arachnifera (Wooly Wild Indigo) - Plant Delights

Baptisia arachnifera (Wooly Wild Indigo) – Plant Delights

Thanks to Christina for hosting GBFD on the 22nd of each month. Visit her at Garden of the Hesperides to discover what foliage displays she and other garden bloggers are featuring today.

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.