Saturday, 22 February 2014

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day ~ February 2014


This month I've finally got my act together to come up with a post for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day which I hope to join in on a regular basis. I'm starting with just two plants this month both of which are new to me. In fact the first is one so new that it has only been resident less than a week and still has to be planted in the garden. I came across this plant late last year at a meeting of my local garden club. The topic for the evening was 'Gardening For Winter Interest'. Our speaker bought living samples from his garden to illustrate his talk. I was most taken by the evergreen pittosporum tenuifolium 'Irene Paterson'. She is evergreen and will apparently form a shimmering mound about three feet high. I didn't think that the snipping I took home with me would root and sure enough it did not oblige ~


However I've been on the look out since and found an online source at Burncoose Nurseries in Cornwall. 'Irene' was ordered late on Tuesday evening, left Cornwall on Thursday afternoon arriving here in the north west of England just after noon yesterday. She and her travelling companion were both extremely well packed. I'm slightly apprehensive as I broke one of my unwritten rules of not buying plants that have been grown in the warmer south and also because I'm not sure how hardy 'Irene' is. Time will tell. Meanwhile I'm looking forward to seeing her grow and although her foliage was the main attraction, I am also looking forward to seeing her tiny purple flowers. One garden writer describes them as honey scented whilst another detects a cocoa aroma. Either sound more than acceptable to me.


My second plant was spotted when garden visiting a couple of years ago. It is bergenia purpurescens  'Helen Dillon' form. This is somewhat of a chameleon of a plant with green leaves which slowly turn a deep burgundy over the winter. I knew when I saw that I wanted to grow it with hellebores and snowdrops. I've agonised where to plant it and am not sure whether it will stay where it is. At the moment it's adjacent to a double pink hellebore, in proximity to the emerging leaves of cardamine pratensis flore pleno with a solitary galanthus' Blonde Inge' to the front (not visible in this photo). Of course the snowdrop will make a huge clump eventually - well that's the plan anyway.


I know that flowering plants have crept into this foliage post but I thought that it would be legitimate. I agonised whether to plant the bergenia next to the frilly spotty dotty hellebore you can see below ~


The thinking was that the bergenia foliage would reflect the coloured speckling. Pondering over this now has made me think that the latter combination would have been preferable. Maybe I will be able to divide the bergenia in the future or treat spotty dotty hellebore to a new leafy bergenia companion. The leaves on the bergenia take on an almost orange glow when back lit by the sun which is most attractive. Although leathery some creature has been nibbling the leaves which surprised me. I don't remember it happening last year so hope it's just a once off.

With many thanks to Christina over at 'Creating my own garden of the Hesperides' who kindly hosts this meme each month.

15 comments:

  1. The bergenia has a beautiful, glossy foliage. I think it would bring the spots on the hellebore out beautifully.

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  2. I love your indecision :) I'm always the same - take an age to decide where to plant, then when it's in the ground I think of somewhere else. I had never noticed the beauty of Berginia foliage until this afternoon. I was up visiting my local nursery, all the beds have just been tidied and wow! What a statement they made. You are going to love this I'm sure.
    The Pittosporum - I grow one up here and it's been in the ground for 3 year, so far so good but then again we've never had a bad winter. I grow mine close to a fence just to give a wee bit protection. I wish your well Anna.

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  3. I know it's a foliage post, but I couldn't help but comment on your dotty hellebore. It's a beauty!

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  4. I love that pittosporum - going to have to look out for it now :-)

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  5. I have a similar pittosporum, I actually like them all, yours has a more spotty variagation which is most attractive. Thank you for joining in GBFD this month, I do hope you will be able to join in future months too. It is quite legitimate to include flowers when, as here, you are discussing their combination with a foliage plant. I think I agree that the spotted Hellebore would be marginally better with the bergenia.

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  6. That really is a beautiful pittosporum Anna, what a find. I love both your thoughtfulness and indecision on where to plant your begonia. I had look up the Lady's Smock, I didn't know there were cultivated doubles, very pretty. Not sure about begonias! I thought I hated them, but lots of gardeners I admire use them, and they are tough and evergreen. Or everted! Wonder if they would take salty north winds?

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  7. We have pittosporum in our garden at home and I've never known it's name until reading this, so I must thank you for the identification. The bergenia is really pretty. I'd love to understand more about this type of planting.

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  8. My friend has a Pittosporum and although it is an unshowy plant its fragrance is delicious. I must say your garden looks remarkably weed free and I love your freckley Hellebore.

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  9. Pittosporum t. are a bit delicate especially when you have a longer cold spell. I like the vivid red foliage of Helen, quite temperamental like the lady herself :)

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  10. I have a couple of P. Irene Patterson in the garden here and I have to warn you they will grow a lot more than 3ft. I clip mine each year and one is 8ft tall and the other 6ft, she also spreads quite a bit sideways! Your red leaved Bergenia is is such an amazing colour, do you know what colour the flower is?

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  11. That bergenia is indeed very attractive - having seen Julie of Peonies and Posies using a flower in her vase last Monday I have look at at them in a different way although the one I have is very bog standard and literally picked up off the pavement! A three foot mound of pittosporum sounds a better bet than 6-8 feet - does Pauline's comment have you worried?! ps just read Mrs Pettigrew Lives for a Day - absolutely charming, exactly the right word to describe it! Thanks for the recommendation

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  12. I love that red Bergenia just where it is - you'll have to get another one for the speckled Hellebore Anna!
    I never used to be keen on Bergenias but have become quite attached to mine now, although they are a bit tatty and probably need dividing.

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  13. I love red - leaved Bergenias; they are wonderful for winter. They look good with Hellebore ericsmithiiI Winter Sunshine too. I haven' t come across Helen Dillon, I am going to look out for it, it's gorgeous. Your Pittospormum is lovely and I adore your spotty double Hellebore.
    I have never had any success growing Pittospormums from cuttings either.

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  14. Love those ruby leaves, even redder than my young bergenias which I have raised from seed. That dotty hellebore is stunning too.

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  15. Thanks for all your thoughtful comments. I think that I've come to the conclusion that bergenia will meet up with spotty dotty hellebore at some point. Pauline, unfortunately the bergenia has very pink flowers but I can live with them because of the winter foliage. Thanks for the advice re potential height - I suppose I can always give it a haircut :)

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any
specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.