Foliage Follow-Up: May 2013

May is a time for fresh green foliage, before heat and drought and little critters give us leaves looking tired and tattered.

To begin with, there is wild ginger (Asarum canadense). Not really ginger, but the root does have a strong ginger smell. A nice groundcover native to eastern and central North America.

Wild Ginger
Wild Ginger with Lady Ferns

Then there are the ostrich ferns (Matteucia struthiopteris). They are not yet at their full height, which can be four feet or more. This is their third spring in the garden.

Ostrich Ferns with Bleeding Heart
Ostrich Ferns with Bleeding Heart

Another native plant that I like to use as a groundcover is wild strawberry (Fragaria virginica). This time of year it also has little white flowers. Later there will be tiny strawberries that are edible but best left to the birds and critters. I use a weed whacker to keep the wandering stolons in bounds.

Wild Strawberry
Wild Strawberry

Starry Solomon’s Plume (Smilacina stellata) has inconspicuous flowers in spring. The striped berries that come in late summer are much more interesting. The foliage is nice, also.

Starry Solomon's Plume
Starry Solomon’s Plume

The wild currant (Ribes americanum) has fully leafed out by now. The maple-like leaves have a nice texture. I like the dangling chartreuse flowers as well.

Wild Currant
Wild Currant

The peony buds are not yet open, but some of them have attractive and unusual foliage.

Peony. Can’t remember the variety.

As I say, this is a time of year when all foliage can delight the eye, just by virtue of being fresh and new.

'Darlow's Enigma' foliage
New ‘Darlow’s Enigma’ rose foliage on arbor.

Are the fresh green leaves of spring in your garden making you happy?

35 Comments on “Foliage Follow-Up: May 2013

  1. As I said in my last post, may is my favourite month. The green of new foliage is so wonderful. I have just bought Smilacina Stellata to be in my north bed in front of the kitchen window. The flowers are supposed to have a nice smell?
    The peony is nice with that foliage.

  2. That peony foliage is lovely. Yes, the different shades of green everywhere are uplifting.

  3. The new leaves in Spring makes me a happy gardener 🙂 My favorite in Spring is Thalictrum Elin with beautifull strange colour of blue leaves. Funny, in my language, Duttch, we say Broken Heart to Bleeding Heart!

  4. Absolutely happy :-). I love the fresh lime-green/baby-green foliage of the plants. Everywhere I am looking now, it’s green and green with surprises emerging here and there. Life is beautiful.

  5. Welcome Jason!
    Your photos are always great and very interesting ….
    I watch them with great joy. They are very interesting and beautiful …
    I admire them a wonderful spring flowers. Your garden is exemplary.
    Your plants are a real decoration of the garden.
    I send greetings.

  6. I am also enchanted with how fresh and new all the foliage looks around here. I love your little gate and stone path! I am always looking for good ground covers, and I like how you use the wild ginger and the wild strawberry to spread about. They are charming looking without stealing the show from what is growing above — exactly what a ground cover should do.

  7. Spring shades of green are like no other time of year and they look soft in all light. Every spring I make a point to stop and drink it all in on a daily basis. I believe your peony is P. tenuifolia. It looks very happy. A few years back I tried to grow one and failed.

  8. Hmmm, I see some plants I know and others I don’t. I will have to look for some wild ginger, it must smell delicious and I love the foliage of the peony you’ve shown, so frilly and different, a nice addition to the garden.

  9. That peony has cool ferny foliage, I’ve never seen one like that before. I have native wild ginger here too, but it’s our western native. Asarum caudatum, with a similar gingery smell to the roots. I love spring foliage too, everything is so new and fresh.

  10. I couldn’t agree more…there is nothing like the fresh growth of new foliage. LOVE Ostrich Ferns…they are the best!

  11. I am one that love the fresh new growth of foliage, especially in those shady spots. I like the fern leaf peony. They add such nice texture when the flowers fade.

  12. Everything certainly looks very fresh and crisp in your pictures. It’s nice to see things springing back to life after the winter.

  13. Some lovely native plants you have there. I loved the shot of your ostrich ferns. I have a plan for a bed alongside the shady side of my garage and ferns were in my thoughts. This gives me ideas.

  14. I agree–everything is so green! It seems like an especially lush year, with all the rain followed by sunshine. All the birds and animals seem happy, too (maybe that’s just me projecting, but their behavior has been especially energetic). I’m a big fan of the Wild Ginger. I don’t have a lot of it in my garden, but I’m hoping to add more. Any advice for transplanting it? Or should I go with new plants. Most of what I have grows naturally in the woods.

    • I’ve only planted plants that arrived by mail. Haven’t done division or transplanting. But seems like it should be pretty easy as long as you keep the transplant moist.

  15. I love how fresh everything is in May. I haven’t seen a fern leaf peony in years. Yours looks so robust. I love wild ginger but don’t have enough shade for it. Your garden looks fabulous! 🙂

  16. Hello Jason!
    Your garden is so beautiful …
    With each passing day it becomes an enchanted garden …
    Glad to enjoy your plants.
    I send greetings.

  17. Hi Jason, it’s not the fresh green of foliage that’s making me happy, but the pink of the flowering cherry at the moment. It’s turning the green, pink!

  18. You’re right, it’s just so refreshing and such a joy to see green everywhere! 🙂

    The foliage of your peony is particularly striking, really soft and feathery. Gorgeous!

  19. I’m fascinated by the peony foliage. Of course they don’t grow in Austin, so I don’t have any experience with them but have always thought of peonies just as a pretty flower. But I’d grow those for the foliage alone.

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