Garden Bloggers Foliage Day: 22 May 2015

Today is Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day, sponsored by Christina at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides. My garden is in a stage of transition right now; the peonies and iris have finished for the spring, and I’m waiting for the blooms of the chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus), phlox, hibiscus, hydrangeas,and coneflowers. So it turns out to be a great time to focus on foliage.

This is the third season for the purple leaved hisbiscus ‘Midnight Marvel.’ It should begin to flower in two or three weeks and continue for several months. My single oak leaf hydrangea is just beginning to open at the edge of the woods, and the ‘Wine and Roses’ weigela has finished flowering but I expect it to retain  its purple blush throughout the summer.

Berckmann’s arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Berckmanii’) is one of my favorite shrubs/small trees. Its bright lime green, almost gold foliage contrasts well with other greens in the garden, and it holds its attractive oval shape as it grows.


The foundation planting on the “shady” side of the house is also going through a transition. The Aucuba japonica ‘Mr. Goldstrike,’ Camellia japonica ‘Governor Mouton,’ and the Encore azalea ‘Autumn Lily’ have completed their spring bloom cycles, while the dwarf crape myrtle, Heuchera villosa ‘Caramel,’ hosta, and ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea will be starting soon.

Panorama 1

‘Summer Glow’ maple continues to hold its golden color and stand out against the darker green of the woods. All my hostas are completely leafed out and many are showing signs of bloom scapes.

I have several clumps of Autumn ferns (Dryopteris erythorosora) growing in the woods. They got there as rejects from pots on the front porch and have thrived and spread in their new habitat. I have started dividing them and moving them around the garden in the company of hostas.

Autumn Fern (Dryopteris erythorosora)

Autumn Fern (Dryopteris erythorosora)

The foundation planting at the back corner of the house is a combination of plants selected primarily for their foliage: various hostas, an unidentified arborvitae, English boxwood, variegated liriope, Autumn fern, and carex. Hostas, liriope, deutzia and Heuchera dolce ‘Beaujolais’ add the color throughout the garden.

Juniperus horizontalis ‘Mother Lode’ is a low growing ground cover which makes a vivid contrast with turf. The Japanese maple in the front yard was an “oprhan” in need of rescue (without a label) some years ago, but it has clearly found a good home.

About johnvic8

John Viccellio retired after 24 years in the U. S. Navy and began to dig into gardening when he could finally land in one place. He completed the Master Gardener course in 1992 and has since designed and constructed two of his own gardens. He wrote a monthly garden column for ten years and was a regular contributor to Carolina Gardener magazine. John published his first book, Guess What's in My Garden!, in 2014. He lives in a retirement community in Matthews, NC.
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14 Responses to Garden Bloggers Foliage Day: 22 May 2015

  1. Christina says:

    Your post perfectly illustrates what I intended for GBFD, that is that although we all love and anticipate flowers it is the foliage plants that tie the whole garden together. Thank you, John for joining in GBFD and sharing so many lovely plants that look great with or without flowers. Christina


    • johnvic8 says:

      Thank you, Christina. Your meme has caused me to take a different look at my garden and how foliage can enhance the whole picture, particularly during the “flower-down” times that always occur.


  2. pbmgarden says:

    John your plantings are so well thought out. I really like the hostas.


  3. johnvic8 says:

    Thanks, Susie. I’m not so sure I can take credit for “well though out.” Far too often I put something in, find it’s not right, and then move it. Trial and error might be a better description 🙂


  4. Tina says:

    Such a variety of foliage types–just beautiful. The Hostas and Japanese Maple can grow where I live, but with care and protection from the blaze of the Texas sun.


  5. Pauline says:

    You have so many wonderful foliage plants John, and they all look wonderful with their neighbours! Your purple leaved Acer certainly looks very much at home in your garden, I bet it was pleased when you rescued it!


  6. Wow, that Arborvitae looks like it’s glowing! Nice selection of Hostas.


    • johnvic8 says:

      Thank you, Jason. The Berckmann’s arborvitae is one of my favorites. I found it at a Lowes’ garden center. I’ve asked about it at several of the “best” in our area, and none of them had heard of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. bittster says:

    Looks great. You have a great range of foliage color and shape, it really gives a nice feel to your beds.


  8. Lovely ! You are inspiring me to move my Thuraya out of pots and into the ground . ..


  9. johnvic8 says:

    Thank you. I’m not familiar with Thuraya. Hope you will show it some time.


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