Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day – January 2015


Anyone who’s read this blog for any length of time will know how much I love my Melianthus Major (above).  And seeing it in the sunlight today prompted me to join Christine at My Hesperides Garden with her Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day, even though I’m a day late!

I’ve used my Macro lens, so these photos are close ups, deliberately concentrating on individual leaves, rather than the whole plant.

It’s been interesting to look at foliage rather than flowers today (and just as well at this time of year!) and I’ve been interested to see how much blue/silver toned foliage I have,  including this tiny Pachyveria succulent,IMG_5825

Phlomis italicaIMG_5844


young Digitalis foliage, IMG_5846

Euphorbia mysinitesIMG_5871

Lavender IMG_5853

and Olive.  IMG_5841

The only red at this time of year is the Cornus and the inherited Phormium below.  I’m not really a fan of phormium and I’ve inherited four.  One I think I should really have out, but the rest provide good structure, so I’ll probably leave them alone this year.IMG_5832

My lovely Stipa tenuissima grasses are looking quite dead, but they will return!   Meanwhile they’re still providing lovely movement along the back of the grass bed.  I’ve combed them through but don’t usually cut them back.  They should start regrowing fairly soon.IMG_5849

One plant I don’t think I’ve ever featured before is another inheritance, a bottlebrush, Callistemon citrinus.  This has got quite large now but I’ve read you can’t prune too severely as it won’t regenerate from low down (a bit like lavender) so I think I should give it just a light trim this year, immediately after flowering, to try to keep it in check.IMG_5864

And to finish, I guess these catkins are strictly flowers, but somehow they sit better here than on GBBD!  These are the lovely catkins of Garrya Eliptica, also known as the Silk Tassel Bush.


With thanks again to Christina for hosting this lovely meme.

18 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day – January 2015

  1. mattb325

    Very lovely photos – the close-ups are very nice. With Callistemons, contrary to conventional wisdom, you can do hard pruning, but it is tricky – it needs to be done in stages. Around May (or whenever the lasts frosts are in your area), pick one inconspicuous, but leggy branch only and lop it off. Then wait to see if it re-shoots. If it does, your plant can then be cut back successively each season – it can several to get the desired shape. One reason that all-over hard pruning doesn’t work is that many Australian plants store any phosphorous they take up from the soil in the roots (almost like a waste product) rather than using it. Many Australian natives are actually killed by high phosphorous, so if you take all its leaves away, the plant is forced to use its energy reserves (which of course are rich in phosphorous) so it dies. But taking just one branch at a time should work, if that branch doesn’t re-shoot by autumn then you know that you can’t hard prune the rest of the plant.

  2. Christina

    I think your climate must be milder then mine in winter; the effect of being near the sea. I love your image of Melianthus Major, it is a plant I must add here, I’ve been intending to do that ever since I started the garden.

    1. jenhumm116 Post author

      Hi Christina I would definitely recommend Melianthus major – it’s one of my favourite plants in the whole garden.
      And interesting about the difference in our climates – I’m sure you’re right that our proximity to the sea provides protection.

    1. jenhumm116 Post author

      Hi Rusty Duck, the Melianthus is certainly tender, so given a proper frost it would be a sludgy mess now.
      I’ve been very lucky, this is the second winter it hasn’t been frosted (so far, fingers crossed) but as a result it’s got very large, and if I’m honest, a bit leggy. I’m now trying to work out what best to do between cutting back to regenerate growth and leaving well alone and admiring!


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