Foliage and Fruits of June
Recently a friend told me I needed more color and variegation among the foliage in my garden. I admit that when I think about plants, the foliage is often an afterthought. That’s one reason I like to participate in Garden Bloggers Foliage Day, sponsored monthly by Christine at My Hesperides Garden, which nudges me to go beyond the flowers.
There is some interesting foliage in the garden this June, as well as the first fruits and seedheads of the season. Gray’s Sedge (Carex grayi) has very interesting seedheads, perfect for small boys to throw at each other.
Near the Gray’s Sedge is a patch of Bishop’s Weed (Aegopodium podagraria ‘Variegata’). We inherited this plant, which I know can be a nasty invasive.
However, in my garden it has been kept under control. I always pull all the flowers before they bloom, and the plant is limited to a small area. It is surrounded by natives that can more than hold their own – Great Merrybells (Uvularia grandiflora) and Zigzag Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis).
Having said that, I must risk outraging some by saying that in my view this plant is an attractive groundcover in shade, though I wouldn’t plant more or recommend that anyone else do so.
There are lots of ferns in the shady parts of our garden. A patch of Cinnamon Fern (Osmandustrum cinnamomeum) around our little fountain takes over after the Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) die back.
Lady Ferns (Athyrium filix-femina) are perhaps named for their rather demure behavior, at least compared to many other ferns. They grow along the west side of the house.
Majestic, beautiful and rambunctious rather than demure are the Ostrich Ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) in the front foundation bed. In fact I just dug out a small mountain of Ostrich Ferns to prevent a total takeover.
An alarmingly large hole is the result, as I trampled the Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) that grew among the ferns. There was no way to remove these ferns delicately. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
The Peonies are done blooming, but their foliage is still looking good, particularly that of Paeonia anomala.
I really love the berries of Starry Solomon’s Plume (Smilacina stellata) when they are at their striped stage (eventually they turn red).
June is a time for other fruits as well: Serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora), Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginica), and Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa). The Red Elderberry is supposed to be very popular with birds, but they seem to leave the fruit on my shrubs alone.
The big Bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana) in the Sidewalk Border did not bloom much this year, and the new foliage looks almost chartreuse. Nice, but a sign of decline?
For more intriguing foliage, visit My Hesperides Garden.