31 December 2009

Foliar Fireworks for Festive Frolicking in the New Year

Continuing with my sort-of-maybe-retrospective on this past year, I thought I'd offer up a celebratory outburst of foliage to bring in the new year. It's no secret that I'm a big fan of foliage colour and texture as a way to keep the garden always lively and interesting. Although most of the plants included in this retrospective are either perennials or deciduous shrubs/trees, I've waxed lyrical about conifers fairly recently. Well, okay, maybe not quite lyrical. But I did jabber happily on about them.

Because we're all getting ready for New Year's levity (well, some of us are, I'm planning on reading a good book!) I put together a couple of collections of foliage favourites from my garden.
Clockwise from top left:
'Coppertina' ninebark: Luminous copper colour in spring, held well through the summer, deepening to burgundy in autumn. I hugely love ninebarks, as I've mentioned before.
'Frosted Violet' Heuchera: This is one of those no-fuss heucheras, seemingly oblivious to the vagaries of a Fundy winter. Where some of the fancier ones, especially in the orange/gold/scarlet spectrum falter, I find the purple and green-purple combinations do just fine.
Copper Beech. I should have planted my copper beech about twenty years before I was born, because it's going to take it a long while to reach any size. But I love looking out my office window at its rich colour all through the year. Beeches are prone to marcescence, or holding onto their leaves through much of the winter, but I enjoy seeing those dry, bronze-paper leaves even in the wildest of snowstorms.
'Autumn Beauty' fern: Oh, I hope this comes through the winter, because it's a beautiful, beautiful thing! I think it will, but I just planted it early this summer, so it hasn't had a year here yet.
Barberry 'Royal Cloak': I'm deeply besotted with barberries as four-season shrubs, and so are the bees. That's a good enough reason for me.
Lamiastrum 'Herman's Pride': I like lamiums and lamiastrums, even though some are inclined to wander a bit too vigourously for small gardens. 'Herman's Pride' forms a polite clump and has no inclinations for world domination.
'Diabolo' ninebark: Rich purple foliage, dainty flowers, cool bark in winter...ninebarks are awesome here. We don't have real hot summers so ours hold their colour very well.
'Chocolate Wings' rodgersia: Everything about this plant pleases me; it's tolerant of wet soil, it has marvelously textured and shaped leaves that are tinted milk-chocolate, its flowers are cool...I think it's underused and underappreciated.
'Blue and Gold' tradescantia: My first alma mater (The Nova Scotia Agricultural College) has blue and gold as its school colours. Enough said.
Centre: 'Bonfire' euphorbia: There will be many bonfires this evening, celebrating in the New Year. This one, however, will be sleeping until spring. I love euphorbias and have a nice collection of them.

Just a few more foliage collections or plants with which to celebrate the variety of plants:
Clockwise from top left:
A host of young conifers from Baldwin Nurseries in Falmouth
Hardy kiwi vine boasting fresh new foliage
'Aztec Gold' veronica with double grape muscari popping up in the middle.
'Black Negligee' black cohosh (Actaea/Cimicifuga) is an allstar all summer long, flowering late in August.
A variety of flower colours and foliage textures celebrate together
'Nugget' ninebark holds its colour fairly well here.
Centre photo: a Japanese painted fern and an all-green hosta brighten up a shady nook.

It's been quite a year for all of us bloggers, better for some than for others. I'm grateful for the friendships made across the miles, for the comments left by others, for the wisdom and humour and photography and tips that are shared around the world. Here's hoping for a peaceful, happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to each of you. See you in 2010!


  1. Happy New Year Jodi - great blog, great photography and you gave me huge inspiration when I began blogging earlier this year - thanks :-)

  2. All of this beautiful foliage nearly exploded off the page. Happy New Year.

  3. The ninebarks work really well here in Alaska, too. They don't lose their color here, either, so are splendid for foliage effect. I love the euphorbias, too, but had a bad reaction to the milky sap, actually I got some on my face (I am pretty clumsy) and it blistered, so I appreciate the foliage from afar or with gloves now;)

    Love the collages,

    Christine at Last Frontier Garden

  4. Hi Jodi - Here's wishing you a FABULOUS 2010. I'm looking forward to reading your blog all year long.

  5. Your foliage is most festive! :-)

    A wonderful New Year to you!

  6. Beautiful collages! Over the past several years I've realized that foliage is just as important as flowers. I love seeing 'Coopertina' there, I just planted one this fall.
    Happy New Year!

  7. Happy New Year... count the blessings and hope for more ...


  8. Great foliage pics, Jodi. I hope you have a very happy new year too!

  9. I enlarged your collages and they are spectacular! Happy New Year, Jodi! I hope 2010 is a great year for you!

  10. Hi Jodi - very Happy New Year for 2010 - love the Bonfire Euphorbia - not a variety I've seen here at all - hope I'll get more chance to visit your blog during the coming year best wishes Miranda

  11. happy new year jodi!!!
    thanks for stopping by
    we are covered in a soft blanket of snow-which i love
    but seeing your beautiful pics of mom nature makes my fingers itchy to be back in the garden :D
    all the best to you and yours in the new year
    tabby :D

  12. Your collages are BEAUTIFUL! Happy New Year!!

  13. Tsk, tsk Jodi, did you really have to kick off the New Year with so many f-words? ;-)

    A very Happy and Healthy New Year to you and yours, hopefully filled to the brim with loads of garden and blogging fun!

    BTW foliage rocks!

  14. Great minds think along the same lines, Jodi :-) I've always been attracted by foliage and your selections are absolutely beautiful.

    I hope that your New Year will be filled with good health and happiness.

  15. LOve those fabulous fireworks! Especially since we having gloomy weather today.

  16. I love your foliage choices. They really have a lot of zing. Happy New Year!

  17. I just found your blog and wanted to say thanks for the great tutorial. I'll be coming back!

    Happy New Year!

  18. Its the first time rd i am visiting your little e-patch here... and believe me i enjoyed it immensely. Will surely be back to walk ard and comment on ur lovely blog n photographs as often as possible.
    Cheers! Radhika

  19. This is the second blog I've read this morning that featured "Frosted Violet"--I will definitely have to look for that one! I have become enamored by heucheras, and I have to agree that the purple ones seem to do best.

    This is a beautiful collage of great foliage, Jodi. Best wishes for a very happy New Year!

  20. This is a wonderful collage of colors. Thanks for your comment to Autumn Belle's My Nice Garden, i was able to link in your beautiful photos. I love looking at the different species not available in the tropics, as i only see them during my very seldom travels in the other parts of the globe!


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