Foliage Follow-Up Day – January 2018

The biggest news from my garden this month is that I – FINALLY – took the time to thin out my black bamboo. Wow – should’ve done that  years ago… It looks so much better now…

Having some space between those culms makes a world of difference. In their second year, they will turn black. This variety of Phyllostachys nigra is called ‘Hale’ and is said to be one of the blackest.

Love those black culms!

Muhlenbeckia (Wire vine) is another one to keep a watchful eye on. I only use it in containers. Here it’s about to overtake a Nandina filamentosa , but no matter… In a pot, I actually have a fighting chance of controlling it . I love how it catches the light!

In other news, I bought yet another Cheilanthes, with the aim of building yet another fern table – a more sun tolerant one.

This one is a Cheilanthes argentea. The soft peachy color of the new growth contrasts nicely with the blue-gray of its fronds.

In yesterday’s Bloom Day post, I featured this lovely little NOID Hellebore. It’s buried in a large “cramscaping” planter, where I stuck all kinds of larger things. In order to take this photo, I had to brush away both Carex and Mahonia leaves.  My friend Rickii asked me to post a photo of the entire thing, so here goes:

Here is the entire container, which besides the buried little Hellebore (you can see one flower if you zoom in towards the center) holds a juvenile Holboellia coriacea, an Eleagnus ‘Guilt Edge, Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’ a NIOD rescued fine textured grass, and the curly, weepy leaves a Carex ‘Rekohu Sunrise. Yup – you would be right in cautioning me that this arrangement will soon burst out of its cramped quarters. I know. But, that’s a problem for another day. 😉

So, that is the extent of my offering for this month. Head on over to our hostess Pam at Digging, to see what kinds of foliar goodies grow in her garden as well as others, around the world.


About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
This entry was posted in Foliage Follow Up and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Foliage Follow-Up Day – January 2018

  1. Ambitious, but how gorgeous are those carex leaves snaking down the front of the planter? Abundance rules, even in winter!!

    • annamadeit says:

      Haha – I’m a supreme cramscaper! I guess that’s what happens when plant addictions develop in small spaces. My garden is my learning lab, so it’s constantly in flux. Large containers are my favorite “holding tanks”! But yes, about the winter abundance – especially this year where next to nothing has died back…

  2. tonytomeo says:

    The grasses in the planter look almost like the old fashioned Cortaderia jubata (the ‘bad’ pampas grass).

    • annamadeit says:

      Ugh, I hope it’s not… Are you talking about the finer grass? I have no idea what that one is, other than there were many clumps of it on someone’s compost heap in the fall (its size at the time would indicate to me that it is a smaller grass). It had such a nice weepy habit, and mid-green color, figured I would try it out in a planter first. 🙂

      • tonytomeo says:

        Oh goodness NO! I would tell you if it were. I just meant that it looks like it. That grass is a serious problem! However, because I grew up with it, I did like it growing as a weed in my Pa’s back yard.

        • annamadeit says:

          Aha! So you could enjoy the look without the stress! 🙂

          • tonytomeo says:

            Well . . . it was a bit of stress. My Pa had me dig it all up and burn it within the back yard. I left one, but my Pa went and dug it up too! There was plenty outside the back yard. We all hated it because it was such a serious weed, but I thought that it was pretty too. My colleague down south likes the fluffier and prettier garden varieties that are not so weedy. I like them too, but they are a bit more refined.

          • annamadeit says:

            Whoa – I bet that chore kicked your a**. That sounds like a huge undertaking… Hope you had good tools, in addition to adolescent muscle power!

          • tonytomeo says:

            The Cortderia jubata is not as big as the Cortaderia selloana. Also, they did not get as big as they do in other places. Our climate there was rather cool and foggy.
            Getting through the nasty foliage was the hard part. Once I got to the bottom of the plant, I just cut the roots around it and pushed it over. It was a lot of work, but not as bad as taking out bigger and healthier pampas grass.

          • annamadeit says:

            That’s good to hear… whew! I had visions of you battling towering grasses with sharp edges aimed at you in self defense! 😀

          • tonytomeo says:

            Well, there were sharp edges. It wasn’t pretty, but it got done.

  3. rickii says:

    Thanks for fulfilling my request! Those cascading grasses are melodic against the background of the pot…a much different vibe than the close-up you showed before, but both have their charms.

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh Rickii – I love your choice of words… melodic…. 🙂 And yes, I had to show that timid little bloom singled out like that (after all, it was Bloom Day) because all the foliage around it was engulfing it. I do hope it gets bigger as the weeks go by. I’m counting on it to hold its own until I need to disassemble this planter – which I hope is at least for a year…

  4. bergstromskan says:

    Anna, if you can, please bring a bulb(?) of Heliebore when you are coming. It is beautiful.

    • annamadeit says:

      I can look for it – not sure if I can find it in the few days we have left. Most of the ones I see are other colors, but I’ll do my best. If I don’t find one now, I will keep my eyes peeled for one until I do. Also, just so you know, it’s a perennial, not a bulb. Can’t wait to see you! ❤

  5. Evan Bean says:

    Oh, yes! I do love a properly thinned bamboo. I can’t plant black bamboo here. I think I’d lose that negotiation with the landlords. I’m tempted to try it in a pot, but I have enough trouble keeping things watered in summer already.

    • annamadeit says:

      Yeah, bamboo in pots is difficult. At least I think so. I’m taking out the Incense bamboo in the stock tank in the back for that very reason. I just couldn’t keep it hydrated enough to stay pretty.

      • Evan says:

        I wish I could give that incense bamboo a home for you. Unfortunately, it’s the “landlords” again. I don’t think I could convince them to let me plant another runner. I might try working on them a bit, though…

        • annamadeit says:

          I hear you, and I can also see that it might cause some worry. I would love to give it to you, rather than let it go to waste. According to the good folks at the Bamboo Garden, it seems you can control Phyllostachys by planting them in more shade, and by being somewhat stingy with the water – just not too stingy. Lots of good info to consider here:

  6. Peter Herpst says:

    The thinned bamboo grove is marvelous as is your cramscaped container! I wish i’d known more about the nature of wire vine before I planted it in the ground several years ago. It seems that I’m constantly pulling it out of other plants, digging it up or at least swearing at it trying to take over the world.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks, Peter! I hear you about the wire vine – it really does expand in all directions! They have an area at the Iseli nursery that they keep in gorgeous manicured shape. When I first saw it, I asked about it, and was told they have four gardeners that trim it back weekly. Ha! So much for that vague idea I had about using it as a groundcover. I could never ever keep up with that. Thus – for me – a container plant it is!!

  7. Kris P says:

    That black bamboo is very sexy! Is it a spreading or clump-forming variety?

    • annamadeit says:

      It’s a runner, but I knew it when I planted it, so I dug down two feet and lined the hole with corrugated metal before planting it. It took it almost a decade, but it still managed to get otside of its confines. Had I known better, I would have added that foot wide trough of sand that the Chinese use. They know the bamboo will run, but surrounding the clump with sand makes it easier to cut the escaping tentacles. I agree – it is super sexy, and worth the effort.

  8. Well done with the bamboo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s