Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fabulous Foliage of Spring - March 2011

Don't get me wrong, I love spring blooms as much as anyone, 
but I would venture to say that most gardeners are equally as excited about 
spring foliage... 
when the "wasteland" of winter once again becomes like the Garden of Eden.

*  *  *
"He will make her deserts like Eden, 
her wastelands like the garden of the Lord"
Isaiah 51:3b 

*  *  *
Yes, we anxiously await the first blooms of the year, 
but even before a single bloom appears, 
new life springs from the soil and stems.

This post is dedicated to the fabulous foliage of spring.   

The Japanese Maples are putting on new leaves.

Orange Dream lives up to its name in early spring color, then changes to a bright lime green.

Mikawa Yatsabusa was transplanted last fall and seems to be liking its new home in the garden.

Sango Kaku (Coral Bark) will change to a bright lime green in the coming weeks.

And the newest kid on the block,
Peaches 'N Cream,
is starting to reveal its veining and deeply lobed leaves.

 Farfugium Japonica 'Kaimon Dake'  
has cream colored edging in early spring.

This 'Bengal Tiger' Canna has certainly earned its stripes.

This Creeping Jenny groundcover is starting to brighten up the shady spots.

The Japanese Holly Ferns are slowly unfurling their fiddleheads to reveal their dark glossy foliage.

The fuzzy soft gray/green foliage of Lamb's Ear (Helen von Stein - Big Ear) adds a nice contrast to the bright green spring growth of so many other perennials.

'Powis Castle' Artemisia is another soft gray/green aromatic foliage that stands out next to the moss rock boulder.

Persicaria 'Red Dragon'
has beautiful patterned burgundy foliage in the spring.
This showy plant grows about 3 feet tall and wide, is easily propagated by divisions, and only requires cutting back after a hard freeze.   Easy!

The Red Sorrel took a hit during the freezes, but then sprang back to life.

The leaves of the Oakleaf Hydrangea are growing larger each day!

The Iris foliage is standing tall now, 
ready to put on its spring show in a couple weeks.    

The Oxalis triangularis is blooming now, 
but the real show is the spring foliage.  
'Hameln' Fountain Grass is lush with new growth, as well.

This is such an exciting time of year when changes are taking place daily.   

I hope you are enjoying all of the fabulous foliage springing to life 
 in your little slice of Eden.

Happy Spring Foliage!

Toni :-)

P.S. Join Pam over at Digging for more fabulous foliage!


  1. Great foliage photos here...I love the Canna and my Bloody Dock has come back after the cold too.

  2. Toni; any idea where you got Persicaria 'Red Dragon'? Persicaria grows well here and I haven't seen it before.

  3. I agree! Love seeing the leaves on everything coming out/up!

  4. You are so right that we look forward to spring foliage as eagerly as spring blooms. It fills up the garden again and adds a freshness that we've missed all winter. I love your mass planting of purple oxalis, and your maples!

  5. How neat!! I have orange dreams on order and had considered Mikawa yatasabusa. Today was really the first day of spring like weather here and wherever I found hellebores that weren't covered with snow, I trimmed and gave a shot of osmocote. My biggest concern with the J maples since I've only recently started planting them, is when to remove the protective burlap coverings... last year the delicate foliage was damaged by the cold harsh winds we got in April... Larry

  6. Oh, Toni your foliage is just as stunning as your blooms! Nice to see the peaches and cream leaves.

  7. @Darla: Thanks for the new wrinkle in my brain. I had never heard the red sorrel called Bloody Dock. It is a new plant for me. I just saw it at an herb show and had to have it.

    @ProfRoush: I got the Persicaria from a garden club friend of mine. And I just recently passed on a clump of it to a client of mine. I love pass-along plants, but that doesn't do you any good. Put the word out in your local gardening groups and see if anyone has any to share.

    @HolleyGarden: Three cheers for spring!!

    @Pam/Digging: Freshness -- yes, that's a great word for spring. Everything does look fresh and new before it is beaten down by days of 100 degrees and no rain. But let's not go there yet; it's spring now and I'm going to cherish every minute of it!

    @Larry: Wow, Japanese Maples in WI? Didn't know they would work there. Burlap seems like a lot of work. You will love both of those maples. The OD is gorgeous spring and fall color. The MY is a very small interesting tree -- great for bonsai.

  8. @Karin: Thanks! The Peaches 'N Cream leaves are quite unusual. I am looking forward to their full unfurling. Just wish I had one of those super duper macro lenses to capture their beauty a little better.

  9. LOVE the iris with the purple oxalis (I think?) nestled at its base. They look really good together!

  10. Ah, you're ahead of me by a few weeks. But I also have foliage on my mind. I agree it's as exciting right now as the blooms!

  11. @Blackwamp Girl: Yes, that is purple oxalis at the base of the iris. Good eye :-) I was going to comment on the oxalis in that particular picture but then decided to add another picture featuring mostly the oxalis. It works well at the base of the irises to fill in the not-so-pretty spaces between the iris bases. It is such a wonderful shade plant. I love it with gray foliage or lime green or variegated foliage.

    @ PlantPostings: Enjoy the emerging foliage :-) Every day of spring is like The Secret Garden!

  12. Love that mass planting of Oxalis...I've never seen it displayed that way and it is gorgeous!

  13. Hi Cat! I have "mass plantings" of oxalis all over. I put oxalis in containers, too. I am more careful about this now, but when I changed out the containers from season to season, the old container soil went in my compost. Then I'd put the finished compost back in my beds, and lo and behold, I have oxalis popping up all over the place. I love it, though. Such a great shade plant :-)

  14. thank you Toni for sharing some wonderful foliage, I love interesting foliage it last much longer than the flowers, Frances

  15. Wow, Toni, what a lot of color springing to life in your gardens! I wish I could plant Japanese maples here, but I'm a coward and lack Larry's energy and dedication to wrapping against winter damage. I will have to simply enjoy (and covet) your maples from afar.

    The Japanese Holly fern is amazing and the red sorrel has such beautiful veining. I'm patiently waiting for the snow to melt.

  16. I have to agree with you - its not just the blooms! And your foliage is looking particularly WOW-worthy!

  17. you have some mighty gorgeous foliage

  18. Great photos Toni!

    I agree... you need great foliage for a great garden.

    Waiting for the last frosts to pass so that my foliage can come out of hiding.

  19. I love the Japanese Maples when they first open. The color is so intense and Coral Bark is a fav of mine.

  20. Hi Toni, You have a great collection of foliage in your garden. We have yet to pass into spring and everything is still as brown as a sepia photograph. I for one would be more than a little excited to see a little green!!

  21. @Island Threads: I think the longer you garden, the more you appreciate foliage because the beauty is not as fleeting as the blooms -- although I love me some blooms :-)

    @Karen: No way, no how would I be wrapping maples every year to protect them. Way too much work. You can grow lilacs and peonies, so we are even :-)

    @Christine, Donna, & Julie: Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I'm amazed at the changes every day in my garden. Spring is so fun!!

  22. @GWGT: I can't decide whether I like the maples spring color or fall color the best. I took a couple cuttings of the Orange Dream and stuck them in the ground. If they root, I am going to be so excited!!

    @Jennifer: Hang in there. Warmer days and lots of green are on their way. The robins are moving north, so that means spring is on its way!

  23. I am certainly a lover of foliage, and you have shown why! There is such an amazing variety of color and form available, even without the flowers. I think your Japanese maples are stunning, and you have reminded me of my last years desire for persicaria. Must have!

  24. Heaven in a yard! You are a little ahead of us Toni. But we're catching up quickly!! Beautiful plants and photos!

  25. Wow, nice garden! I love all your flowers and I happen to have made similar choices. I am starting out, new to gardening but I am loving every moment. I am also afraid of making rookie mistakes. I seem to always find a plant that I love every time I visit a garden center. Checkout my garden and let me know what you think