Saturday, January 16, 2010

Foliage Follow-Up - January 2010

Now THIS is more like it. I love flowers, yes I do. But I realized as I was taking these pictures for Foliage Followup that while I decorate with flowers, I DESIGN with plants. I could have a whole garden without flowers, but without foliage of all shapes, textures and colors? Never!

Oh, my! Did YOU know that Mondo Grass has a berry? And not just any old berry, but a perfectly gorgeous BLUE berry? I have never seen this before, what a treat!

Carex 'Sparkler' now there is a fitting name for a plant; this is a lovely choice for adding sparkle to a shady corner.

I use variegated Boxwood as a well-behaved accent throughout the garden, but never, ever as a hedge. A girl has her standards.

The winter coloring of Dodonea purpurea (Purple Hopseed Bush) is all kinds of gorgeous; in summer it is more subtle, but always graceful, and a nice companion to Prunus caroliniana compacta (Carolina Cherry Laurel) for an evergreen hedge.

Coprosma 'Evening Glow' is another favorite accent plant with it's glossy, colorful leaves and compact, rounded habit.

Ilex x. Mondo 'Little Rascal' from Monrovia is a fantastic little evergreen shrub for sun or shade; here it makes a nice groundcover at the base of my bamboo...

Another Nandina 'Firepower' gives a pop of color in the bamboo grove; the groundcover is Isotoma fluviatilis (OR Laurentia fluviatilis OR Lobelia fluviatilis OR Pratia puberula; will someone PLEASE make up their mind what this poor plant is called!?) Whatever its name, this is a white-flowered variety that makes a beautiful green carpet.

The variegated English Ivy planted in the honeysuckle pot gets some nice pink tints in winter.

Protea, Mother Fern, Crassula tetragona, succulents and ivy in peaceful combination on the Buddha porch.

Asparagus Myers (Foxtail Fern) and Fatsia Japonica in a sheltered corner of the courtyard near a carved pine post from Mexico.

Yucca 'Bright Star' is a real cutie in winter with those pink edges.

Oops! Snuck in a Crassula flower! I almost lost this Jade Plant last winter; it's enjoying a more sheltered spot this year and seems quite happy!

And this is why I love Loropetalum; great foliage and flowers, happy in sun or shade, does something interesting all year round. Just don't shear it, please!

Carex testacea is at its glossy green-orange best in winter.

Another all-star in my book; Coleonema 'Sunset Gold' is the kind of plant I place front and center in the garden; soft, friendly, bright and easy-going.

Woolly thyme; fabulous low-water groundcover, softens everything!

Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Golf-Ball' is just a good, good boy.

The Artichokes are looking awesome!

And the Euphorbia 'Helena's Blush' just keeps getting more intense.

Here's my blue Senecio, by the way (he was feeling left out with all the attention his green buddy with the cute flowers has been getting.) Great combination with the Aeonium. Have I ever mentioned that all these succulents came from Succulent Gardens in Castroville? They are an awesome resource for designers. These were donated for the APLD booth at last year's SF Flower & Garden Show, and I got to take them home. Big thanks to Robin Stockwell for his generosity and wonderful plants!

Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' is transforming by the day.

And finally, Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue' is one of my favorite ornamental grasses; I have probably used more of these in gardens than any other plant. You can see why...

Big thanks to Pam Pennick from Digging for suggesting 'Foliage Followup!' Go to her site for links to more fabulous foliage!


  1. WOW! Laura I want to live in your garden! Every one of those photos is just breathtaking. I so wish that I could grow blue Senecio, well and Leucadendron too. Sigh. Great shot of the blue mondo grass berry!

  2. Your garden is rich, supporting many plants. That blue berry is so beautiful.., and colour unusual.... ~bangchik

  3. Kathryn/plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.comJanuary 16, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    Very pretty! Love the Buddha garden. Love the blue berry!

  4. The mondo grass berry almost looks like Dianella.

  5. Gorgeous, gorgeous! Where to begin? I love the blue senecio, absolutely covet it. That blue mondo grass berry--so cute! Must comment on your variegated boxwood and your sort-of apology for growing it. Ha--that's how I feel about variegated privet. Some turn their nose up at it, but I love it as an accent (and it has never proved invasive for me, so that's not a concern). I would use your var. boxwood if I could find it. I forgot to show off my 'Sparkler' sedge this time, but I grow it and adore it also. Thanks for participating in Foliage Follow-Up, Laura!

  6. Beautiful photos!!! I saw my first Coprosma 'Evening Glow' a few weeks ago and love it! If only all the Sunset Coprosma repens were that fun. Great plant picks!

  7. Great pictures. I've seen the berries on Mondo Grass, just never that BLUE! You've got so many of my favorites...sorry I didn't make it out today to take photos.

  8. Okay, your nandina looks so gorgeous at the base of the bamboo that I'm feeling bad that I put it in my recent post about plants I'm tired of! So maybe a new post about using common plants in uncommon ways is in order??

  9. Oh! Love that Mondo berry!! What a color! Gorgeous foliage... stunning photos... the light in some is magic.

  10. I would love grow coprosma but its just too cold here to get it through the winter and I've no room to keep it inside. Your Nandina Firepower looks amazing. Its a favourite of mine.

  11. I KNEW that Mondo Berry would be a hit!! Thanks everyone for your kind comments. I'm sure a visit to my actual gardens would be a bit of a letdown, as there is a lot of weedy chaos going on (often just outside the camera frame!) But if God is in the details, then all is well in my garden too!

  12. OMG that berry looks like a blue marble that you hot glued on! Hey...wait a minute...

    Nah, you wouldn't do that to us. Right?

    Great photos!


  13. Haha Theresa, it looks like a shiny blue wood bead to me! That's why I included the stem so you could see it was legit, in reality is smaller than a pea. I did retouch some dust specks, but the color is bonified!

  14. Great post, Laura, that's some stunning foliage. The artichokes look so full and healthy and that blue berry is just amazing.

  15. Does that Carex grow well for you? Fast? Lasting? Planning a whole swath of Carex....

  16. Benjamin, Carex grows very well, appreciates regular water though, and can be a generous seeder...

  17. WOW! What a lovely collection you have in your garden.

  18. Wish I can see your garden! I am sure it is a basket of colours!:)

  19. Hi Laura,

    I would love to get your opinion. We live in Southern California and are landscaping our backyard, which is currently just a dirt lot with rod iron fencing all around. Our neighbors on one side have Wax Leaf Privets and carolina cherry trees surrounding their border, and it's very lush and beautiful. I was leaning in the same direction until my landscaper suggested we do the border with purple hopseed. I am torn... it seems like a very bold choice, and I'm concerned I may have regret if we plant it. I love the mediteranean look and feel of lavendar, sage, rosemary, coupled with some iceberg roses. Just wondering if I will be happy with the purple. I was hoping to find pics online that really show what it will look like, to no avail, Thoughts?