November Foliage Follow-up

Sunny November morning 150 Can you find beautiful foliage plants at Châtillon right now? Well, if you look hard enough … Good foliage in a cold-climate late autumn or winter garden is something that comes with time, knowledge and a bit of careful planning. Strangely enough, the foliage that’s giving me the most pleasure at the moment belongs to a couple of plants that some call ‘aggressive’ because they’ve forgotten where the boundary between ‘weed’ and ‘desirable’ lies. Garden ‘crossovers’ you might call them (it’s my line they’re crossing!). To the left and below are well-behaved Artemesia ‘Powis Castle’ with a favourite thug, Verbascum thapsus, snuggling up.

The verbascum, in company with borage, is on a bid to take over every square inch of ground I leave bare – and more than a few that I don’t.

Sunny November morning 109 Sunny November morning 083

Next up, another thug. Bronze fennel. I hope I’ll never be without its foliage effect, but I didn’t reckon on having to cosset it here. When I started planting the garden in 2012, one of the first plants the voles ate were the bronze fennels. Vole damage is scary! It’s a case of now you see it, now you don’t. I’ll never forget the day I pulled on the foliage of a rather expensive (wilting) wisteria and up came a virtually non-existent root system. The bronze fennels went the same way. And so – believe it or not – they were replanted in wire baskets to protect them. I enjoy the fennel from the minute it starts pushing through in April to complement tulips ‘China Pink’ and ‘Queen of the Night’. In 2014 it was chopped back just after the tulips faded, but ‘rose again’ to greet the roses (ha!) and Campanula ‘Prichard’s Variety’. Then I chopped it a second time and it was back again for Leucanthemum x superbum and finally, as in the picture above, some late-flowering Salvia sclarea. Good value for one plant – and just as well it’s so tough it can put up with that beating. Finally I did let it flower and then harvested the seed heads to use in the kitchen – but I suspect it’s already had a go at moving beyond the wire baskets.

Sunny November morning 100Sunny November morning 114

And lastly a few grasses that I don’t consider weeds. To the left, Pennisetum alopecuroides, and to the right some little seed-grown Festuca amethystina that should really be into their stride by next summer.

Sunny November morning 077 Finally, looking classy with borage, Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’. This post is my third on the new blog. And do you know, I’m already missing that feeling of having my garden around me that I had on my old Weebly Garden Dreaming at Châtillon site. This is also my contribution to Pam Penick’s Foliage Follow-up at Digging – if you check out her site you’ll come across foliage vastly more exotic than mine! And I’d love to hear about the garden thugs you wouldn’t be without?

9 thoughts on “November Foliage Follow-up

  1. Don Buchanan

    Cathy, enjoying your adventures in gardening, found the new WordPress web site. We’ve just had our first snowfall (about 5 cm, but it’s still coming down). Luckily I got all the bulbs I’ve bought so far in the ground (about 300 this year), but my local nursery has them om at half-price. I always get tempted when the prices go down, and usually have some poor sad bulbs that never make it into the ground.

    1. CathyT Post author

      Hi Don – great to hear from you! Wow, that’s a lot of bulbs, far more than I could ever hope to plant. No snow here yet – not even any frost. This time last year we’d already had our first dump. Take care!

  2. Anna

    Oh it looks most different here Cathy but I can understand you wanting to live nearer the “main road” when it comes to blogging 🙂 A blog is not only a great place for record keeping but for making gardening friends too, sharing information and sometimes plants too so good luck with your new blog home. May it prove a positive move. I would be interested to know what you don’t like about WordPress. I use Blogger but have thought for some time about moving over to WordPress but have still to convince myself to take the plunge.

    1. CathyT Post author

      I hope when you say it looks ‘most different’, you don’t mean worse, Anna! I agree about what a blog is. I think what I’m still coming to grips with on WordPress is that I can’t do the different things in one place that I could on Weebly. On Weebly I had about 4 different blogs going on the same site (all connected with the garden/village). I can’t do that on WordPress – but its so much easier to (for example) just respond quickly to your comment if I happen to be on the computer – it was a right old carry on at Weebly. All in all, after a few more days I dare say I will have sorted out/found ways round my issues. Thanks for the good wishes!

    1. CathyT Post author

      I might do a post about it! – I know that Donna at Gardens Eye View is going to post about it soon – she has lots of methods to pass on. Maybe vole-sufferers should unite!?

  3. Pam/Digging

    I LOVE verbascum too — those velvety leaves and tall yellow bloom spike. Plus the deer leave it alone, which is a plus for me. I had three, and they did seed out the following year, but only to the tune of two new plants. I’m going to have to break down and buy more next year. Thanks for joining in for Foliage Follow-Up!

    1. CathyT Post author

      I’ve enjoyed it Pam – and your gorgeous foliage too. Will carry on browsing everyone else’s offerings during the week! The verbascum took over my lawn in a drought earlier this year, so I’m a bit more cautiously enthusiastic! We don’t get deer up on the terraces here – something to be grateful for.


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