Sunday, January 16, 2011

Foliage Follow-up: January 2011

Foliage Follow-up is sponsored by the Digging garden blog on the sixteenth of every month, where we get to celebrate the leafy aspects of our gardens.  On this dreary, drippy day, I decided to concentrate on the few plants I have that tend to disappear in our summer's heat but make a return in the coolness of winter.

Though only starting to peak out from the leaf litter, the Sweet Kate Spiderwort (Tradescantia x andersoniana 'Sweet Kate') has begun to produce some green amongst the brown.  It will primarily shine during the spring, but will fade once things get hot and dry.

Considered by many to be invasive, I threw caution to the wind this past spring and added White Shamrock (Oxalis crassipes 'Alba') to my garden.  It completely disappeared in the summer, but has been coming back strong this winter.

Back in mid-September, from the bare ground, up shot my first Red Spider Lily (Lycoris radiata) bloom.  I'm hoping for plenty more blossoms next fall as the bulbs are producing good foliage this winter.

After almost completely disappearing over the summer, Bear's Breech (Acanthus 'Summer Beauty') always comes on strong once the temperatures start dropping.  Its huge leaves make an impressive show (though recent low temperatures have wilted the plant a little).

Another plant that is completely lacking vegetation in the summer, the Oxblood Lily (Rhodophiala bifida) is once again making its presence known.  Planted only last March, I have yet to get any blooms but hope some will make an appearance this fall.

Wasn't sure if my spring-planted Heartleaf Skullcap (Scutellaria ovata) had made it through the summer heat.  Winter and early spring should be its time to shine, but I'm not completely confident with it yet.

Though present year-round, the Burgundy Glow Ajuga (Ajuga reptans 'Burgundy Glow') does add quite a bit to the winter color.  The burgundy coloration intensifies and spreads during the colder temperatures and makes it quite eye-catching. 

Be sure to visit Digging to see the foliage that other gardeners are sharing from their winter gardens.


  1. Isn't 'Summer Beauty' an ironic name for the Acanthus mollis in our climate? Ha! I just planted one this year and am hoping for a bloom. Will it happen in the first year? I don't know. But the leaves are wonderful in the meantime.

    The heartleaf skullcap took a while to establish in my new garden, but this year it's coming back with a vengeance. The leaves are wonderful all winter, and I look forward to lavender spires in spring.

  2. Pam: My potted Acanthus bloomed its first year (and every subsequent year) - so I'm betting that yours will. And here's hoping my Skullcap follows the pattern shown by yours..

  3. I liked seeing your real garden foliage, unlike my houseplants. I planted bear's breeches a couple summers ago, and it hasn't bloomed yet. It's getting larger, though. It dies back altogether in my zone 5b.

    I liked your GBBD post, and thoroughly enjoyed your garden tour. You have a beautiful place!

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

  4. Corner: Thanks; glad you could could stop by & hope your Bear's Breech blooms this year - they are quite impressive.

  5. Nice looking ajuga. I also planted oxblood lilies recently and have yet to see a bloom. I have high hopes for next fall though!

  6. Jean: The Ajuga's coloration is pretty impressive; the pictures don't do it justice.

  7. Really enjoyed your beautiful photos on this very cold 6 degree winter day in PA. Oxalis is one of the banes of my existence, but I am not sure if it is the same kind you planted.

  8. Carolyn: I shiver just thinking about those temperatures. Had read that Oxalis can be invasive (a category I almost always avoid), but decided to chance fate. Has only been a year, but so far its well behaved.

  9. Hi Rbell, found your blog and I am thrilled that we have many of the same flowers growing in our gardens. First I have to say your pictures are beautiful---great color. I have a blushing bride tradescantia an acanthus and several species of oxalis. If you'd care to take a look---check out the photo gallery 1 at
    Please leave me a comment so I'll know you visited.