Posted on 24 January, 2017Comments (0)
My love of flower arranging has led me to plant every possible foliage plant in my garden. This does not mean that the plants do not flower or add colour to the garden but they have the additional benefit of decent foliage. Think of brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ with good ground covering silvered leaves and very pretty blue flowers or rodgersia with leaves like a horsechestnut and spires of pink or white. At this time of year I have been picking skimmias. The green budded ‘Kew Green’ and the red budded rubella. Combine these with some of the enormous range of pittosporum now available and you have a really colourful display. My favourite pittosporum is ‘Warnham Gold’ a shrub that I have picked bits off since it was tiny and it has still managed to grow and glows in the garden. The holly bushes I am picking have taken a long time to grow to a decent size but once started they romp away. If you want berries on your holly check its sex. ‘Golden King’ is female and ‘Silver Queen’ is male, very confusing! You need both sexes to have berries. Perhaps the neighbours have the ones you need. The euonymus like ‘Silver Queen’ and a similar gold one are also slow to get going but eventually turn into climbers and give you lots to pick. I do not have many conifers but a gold one, a blue one and yew give me all I need.
Apart from all the lovely colours, from grey through silver and gold to deep purples that you can get in foliage, you need to consider their shapes. Do not have too many small leaved ones together, add something bold. Look at the shapes and think of adding spires of leaves like iris foetidissima, crocosmias, yuccas or phormiums. Think of the texture of the leaves, are they matt or shining, smooth or rough. You should be able to pick something from the garden all year round. Take a trip to the garden centre and see what they have looking good at this time of year.
Those of us on clay have to be careful that we do not just dig a hole and plant without making sure that there is free drainage for the plant. If in doubt fill the hole with water and wait a while to see if it drains away. Yew is very susceptible to wet feet and will turn bronze if it is not happy. Other plants will try to get away in the spring and then fail.
I think the gardening year starts in February when the first flowers start opening their buds and the days really seem to be lighter and longer.
[Please note that this message is not posted on behalf of Bentworth Parish Council and does not necessarily reflect the Parish Council’s policy]