Foliage Follow-up, May 2012

Three days after my first Bloom Day, I can only succumb to the fact that I’m hooked! Taking photos of your garden and posting them online is really, really fun! But, for as great as they are – blooms are blooms – and generally as temporally significant as a one-hit-wonder. In the grand scheme of a year in the garden, they are not what carry the show. It’s the foliage that provide color, texture, contrast and structure – any designer can tell you that! So, I am grateful to Pam Penick and her blog Digging down in Austin TX for hosting a continued celebration to the monthly Bloom Day – the Foliage Follow-Up. This means I have another reason to go outside and pretend I’m a photographer. Today, it is raining here in Portland, OR, so forgive me if I include a few photos from less wet days in there. They were all taken this past week.

I planted for year round color and contrast here. Mostly grayish greens and reds with bright variegation in summer. In winter when everything else turns to mud, the red twig dogwood looks great against the evergreen cypress, and cheers me up as I sip my morning coffee. I admit being pretty happy with this corner. It holds up well.

I planted for year round color and contrast here. Mostly grayish greens and reds with bright variegation in summer. In winter when everything else turns to mud, the red twig dogwood looks great against the evergreen cypress, and cheers me up as I sip my morning coffee. I admit being pretty happy with this corner. It holds up well.

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Schizophragma hydrangeoides 'Moonlight' looking good against what little brick we have in our plastic house. Whoever it was who sold the vinyl siding to the previous owner was a phenomenal sales person. I think the brick is the only part that isn't covered up. Grrr.... If you think my front yard looks like a jungle - there is a reason for that. Anything to detract from that siding...

Schizophragma hydrangeoides ‘Moonlight’ looking good against what little brick we have in our plastic house. Whoever it was who sold the vinyl siding to the previous owner was a phenomenal sales person. I think the brick is the only part that isn’t covered up. Grrr…. If you think my front yard looks like a jungle – there is a reason for that. Anything to detract from that siding…

A variegated grass winding its way through a lace-leaf Japanese maple.

A variegated grass winding its way through a lace-leaf Japanese maple.

The fabulous thorns of a magnificent rose that is probably as old as the house. Lately, I've been trying to figure out exactly what it is. I think it might be an Etoile de Hollande...

The fabulous thorns of a magnificent rose that is probably as old as the house. Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what it is. I think it might be an Etoile de Hollande…

A wonderful low-growing and shade-loving bamboo - Sasa Veitchii - that comes out of winter with a white lining on its leaves. One of my favorites!

A wonderful low-growing and shade-loving bamboo – Sasa Veitchii – that comes out of winter with a white lining on its leaves. One of my favorites!

This is one of those photos I should have snapped before the rain weighed down the leaves of the Siberian iris. This little vignette didn't look half bad - perhaps you can still get a sense for it.

This is one of those photos I should have snapped before the rain weighed down the leaves of the Siberian iris. This little vignette didn’t look half bad – perhaps you can still get a sense for it.

New coppery growth of a fern against a Nandina.

New coppery growth of a fern against a Nandina.

Oddly colored leaves of a deciduous rhodie. I attribute it to abuse on my part. I let it sit unplanted for over a year. Good thing there isn't a Humane Society for plants...

Oddly colored leaves of a deciduous rhodie. I attribute it to abuse on my part. I let it sit unplanted for over a year. Good thing there isn’t a Humane Society for plants…

The leaves of a Bamboo iris pressing forth through yet another Japanese maple.

The leaves of a Bamboo iris pressing forth through yet another Japanese maple.

Hostas never look as good as in spring - shiny and new. Some people don't like them much, but I love them in all shapes, sizes and colorations.

Hostas never look as good as in spring – shiny and new. Some people don’t like them much, but I love them in all shapes, sizes and colorations.

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A Hydrangea protecting a Maidenhair fern.

A Hydrangea protecting a Maidenhair fern.

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Love the new foliage of Cotinus coggygria 'Golden Spirit'. It keeps the sun shining even on a rainy day!

Love the new foliage of Cotinus coggygria ‘Golden Spirit’. It keeps the sun shining even on a rainy day!

A Santolina 'Lemon Fizz'. This is fairly new to me. Not sure if it's reverting to its old self, but I know I really like the dark and light greens together.

A Santolina ‘Lemon Fizz’. This is fairly new to me. Not sure if it’s reverting to its old self, but I know I really like the dark and light greens together.

Hostas and ferns - always a favorite combo, if not very unique!

Hostas and ferns – always a favorite combo, if not very unique!

A Rubus lineatus contrasted against a Hebe. Those leaves make me swoon - so pretty!

A Rubus lineatus contrasted against a Hebe. Those leaves make me swoon – so pretty!

Okay, I know these are flowers, but I thought it was so cool how this Clematis is snaking its way through the Dogwood. Let this prove that Clematis doesn't always have to be put on the rack.

Okay, I know these are flowers, but I thought it was so cool how this Clematis is snaking its way through the Dogwood. Let this prove that Clematis doesn’t always have to be put on the rack.

Rain caught in my Melianthus. Who needs diamonds when you can have this?

Rain caught in my Melianthus. Who needs diamonds when you can have this?

The black of the 'Black Lace' Elderberry against a Corokia. The leaves in the background is a Bamboo iris.

The black of the ‘Black Lace’ Elderberry against a Corokia. The leaves in the background is a Bamboo iris.

A variegated Japanese Fatsia snuggling with Lonicera 'Baggesen's Gold' in the shade under my gigantic, evergreen Magnolia tree. On a hot day, hiding behind these too, is hidden one of the best reading spots in the garden.

A variegated Japanese Fatsia snuggling with Lonicera ‘Baggesen’s Gold’ in the shade under my gigantic, evergreen Magnolia tree. On a hot day, hiding behind these two, is one of the best reading spots in the garden.

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There is still a lot of work to do, but so far I like how the dark and the chartreuse provide counterpoints for the Fan palm's textural interest, and other more medium green shrubs.

There is still a lot of work to do, but so far I like how the dark and the chartreuse provide counterpoints for the Fan palm’s textural interest, and other more medium green shrubs.

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About annamadeit

Born and raised in Sweden, my aesthetics and outlook on life are strongly shaped by a culture rich in history and tradition. I care a great deal about environmental responsibility, and my aesthetic reflects the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia. I was trained as an architect at the University of Cincinnati and as a color specialist at the Scandinavian Colour Institute in Stockholm. I'm obsessed with plants and gardens, and aim to take my skill set a step further by designing gardens as well as interiors. As someone so aptly said: " Architecture is the skin that separates the exterior from the interior". So true - you can't successfully focus on one without incorporating the other. I'm also an avid cook, and I love to ski. In addition, I put time and efforts into trying to rectify things that I feel are wrong in my immediate community. As you will see, The Creative Flux will touch on all these things, and more. For sure, it's all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blog!
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20 Responses to Foliage Follow-up, May 2012

  1. Wow – – each image lovelier than the last. Thank you for sharing. I found this very inspiring – I’m a real foliage gal and I have lots to do to keep filling in my garden…

  2. Alison says:

    You have shown lots of great foliage combos here! I actually thought at first that the Siberian iris weighed down by rain was Hakone grass, which drapes that way over its companions deliberately. I love Hostas and ferns together too, they are both workhorses in the garden. And the pleated leaves of Rubus lineatus with the small Hebe leaves works beautifully.

    Re: Your question on my blog about Petasites. I don’t currently have it contained. It was in a pot its first year and I got sick of watering it, so I thought I’d see how it did in the ground. I had heard that the variegated form was somewhat less aggressive, but I’m pretty sure now that they were wrong. I’m already thinking I’ll dig it up and put it somewhere where I don’t mind it spreading.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Alison! Yeah, if I were you, I would contain it asap. I have the variegated one too. Just last week I had to take apart a dry-stacked wall to get at the root shoots that were hidden on the inside of the wall, whereas the foliage was outside the wall. I thought I removed all of it last year, but apparently if there is even a tiny bit of root left in the ground, it will re-sprout. I wish I had a spot where it could roam freely, because it is such a cool plant! But I don’t, so now it gets to battle it out with the bamboo. Actually, it serves me pretty well as a water watch-dog. It will invariably tell me if I’ve been to restrictive with the hose. Much more so than the bamboo!

  3. Ricki Grady says:

    Stunning photos of a garden I hope to see in real life one day. The raindrops were your friends in this photo shoot.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Ricki! You are welcome to visit anytime, as long as you don’t mind all the stuff you DIDN’T see in these pictures. That’s the great thing about a camera – you can highlight just what you want! As for the rain – yes, those drops are precious – for so many reasons. I always seem to take better photos on a cloudy day than I do in sun…

  4. Kris P says:

    Your foliage combinations are spectacular. I always get envious when I see what grows in the Pacific Northwest – much of what you presented would immediately wither and die in my area of Southern California. I particularly like the red/gray foliage combinations and have been experimenting with some of that myself, albeit with SoCal-friendly plants. The Nandina/fern combination is also nice – is that an Autumn Fern (Dryopteris erythrosora)? That I might be able to duplicate…

    • annamadeit says:

      Thank you Kris! Yes, I’m still amazed at the possibilities in PNW. I moved here from Sweden, so you can probably imagine that I feel like a kid in a candy store… You are absolutely right – it is an Autumn Fern. Not sure what the Nandina is – it was here when we moved in. About the reds… I saw the most beautiful plant via another blogger down in California. I’m copying her links for you to see below. If I thought I could keep it alive up here without too much babying, I’d be all over it in a second! πŸ™‚

      β€œI did two posts for my New Zealand Tea trees. One in early Spring this year: http://farawaypeachgarden.com/2013/03/15/flowering-shrubs-and-flowering-trees-new-zealand-tea-tree/. One recently: http://farawaypeachgarden.com/2013/05/05/new-zealand-tea-tree-flowers-and-my-little-flowers/. I am crazy about plants that bear lots and lots of flowers. It’s even better if they are hardy. This one fits the bill on both fronts. Hope you like it.:-)”

      • Kris P says:

        Thanks for the links, Anna. I actually have 2 New Zealand Tea Trees in my dry garden now (albeit light pink rather than the darker pink shown by Faraway Peach). Although I lost 1 of the original 3, you’re right that they generally do well here. Come to think of it, maybe I should try another at the bottom of my slope to screen a neighbor’s chain link fence. Thanks for the prod!

      • annamadeit says:

        Anytime! Let me know how it turns out! πŸ™‚

  5. Lemon Frizz is a new one for me too this year. That bright chartreuse color is fabulous. Your foliage combinations are gorgeous! Lovely photos. I agree with Ricki, the raindrops were you friend for your photo-shoot. Cheers, Jenni

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Jenni – yes, the raindrops did add some sparkle! Guess I’m a rainy day gardener too! πŸ™‚ Does your Lemon Frizz show both green and chartreuse, or is it only chartreuse? I don’t mind the way mine looks, but I wonder if that’s how it grows…?

  6. Pam/Digging says:

    Absolutely stunning foliage, and your overall garden views are lovely too. Thanks so much for joining in this month!

  7. Wow, you have some incredible examples of great foliage combinations! I’m especially partial to the Japanese Maples, mixed with just about anything. But the Grass/Maples combo is especially lovely. I don’t have Japanese Maples, so I really appreciate seeing them in other gardens.

  8. Laura says:

    I love how your shots capture the mood of a rainy day in your beautiful garden. I’ve never thought to combine grayish greens with reds before…simply stunning. Now I want to add a clematis to my dogwood too.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thank you Laura! Yeah, the red came about as it harks back to the brick of the house. If I ever get that vinyl siding down, I can paint the rest of the house whatever I want, but for now, I just want to distract from it. And at the rate things grow here in PNW it luckily hasn’t taken that long – yeay! πŸ™‚

  9. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Yowsa! What great foliage and beautiful combinations you’ve created. I’m especially fond of your deep red and green and white variegated foliage combinations! Simply gorgealicious!

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