Monday, December 26, 2011

Focus on foliage

In my last post, I shared some photos of camellias and other flowers blooming in our late December garden. The flowers are fantastic this time of year but they are by no means the only areas of interest. Evergreen foliage is most welcome in the winter garden. The temperatures have been rather mild thus far and there are still colorful fall leaves hanging on as well.

Chinese Holly "O'Spring" (Ilex cornuta) -  This variegated holly is beautiful at all times of the year. I've seen very large specimens in books and on television but this ones seems to be happy at a diminutive size of less than 4 feet.

Italian Arum (Arum Italicum) is a member of the philodendron family. It does look like a houseplant during the winter months but it is quite hardy. Greenish white spathes (flowers) will appear in May and are pollinated by insects. The foliage then dies and bright orange berries appear in autumn, followed by new leaves and the process starts again. This plant can be invasive in some areas of the country.

 
The vibrant russet leaves of Mohawk Viburnum (Viburnum x burkwoodii  'Mohawk') are
still clinging to the shrub.

The dramatic blades of a Yucca are contrasted with the branches
from Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis).

The bright yellow leaves in the lower left are those of Spirea (Spirea japonica 'Goldmound'). Rosemary "Arp", right behind it, stays green all winter. We use it frequently in cooking.


Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

15 comments:

  1. This winter hasn't been particularly hard on the garden...yet. That holly is gorgeous. I have an Italian Arum but it doesn't have the varigated leaves. It isn't invasive here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great winter foliage, Phillip. Happy New Year to you and yours!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The holly is quite spectacular! Larry

    ReplyDelete
  4. Phillip, how's your Winter Daphne doing? I lost one of mine. I need to call Petals and see if they have any.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am glad I am not the only gardener to appreciate O'spring.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Merry Late Christmas Phillip! We too are having a nearly summer like end of year and since my year 'begins' early February... yet everything is still alive now, I'm starting to wonder what to do. I mean...the hydrangeas still have all their leaves on them!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your winter photos demonstrate how much attention you put into the design of your garden. How wonderful to have that beauty all year!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love the color of those viburnum leaves!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Happy Holidays, Phillip. I love arum. I've killed it once but maybe I should try again.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Where did you get your O'Spring? I have not seen a variegated holly locally but would love one!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Jennifer, I can't remember where I found the holly but I know that it was local. I'll see if I can find it in my gardening journal.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love the color of that viburnum.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I just love all your winter foliage! That Viburnum is stunning...love that rich, sultry coloring!

    ReplyDelete