Don’t you think Fruit’n’Foliage would make a good name for a breakfast cereal? It could be made with kale flakes and blueberries. Or not blueberries – too common. Kale flakes and açai berries! You heard it here first.
But enough of that. Today I want to look at interesting things in the garden that aren’t flowers.
For instance, there’s this Bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana). After it finishes blooming in June, I cut it back and this chartreuse foliage grows back. It catches the light really nicely.
Then there’s the River Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium). It’s almost 4′ tall and the seed heads are about full size.
Here’s a closer look at the seed heads. This year I intend to cut them back after they ripen so as to cut down on the self-seeding.
‘Northwind’ Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is standing tall and leafy.
I’ve also got a clump of three kinds of Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium). So far this clump doesn’t have a big visual impact, but I hope that will change as the individual plants get bigger. Here’s a close up – hey, I said don’t look at the flowers!
The Wild Blue Indigo (Baptisia australis) is bloomed in early summer, but now has these interesting seed pods. The foliage still looks pretty good, too.
Now let’s walk to the shady back garden. Along the path we see lots of Lady Ferns (Athyrium filix-femina), Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense), and other foliage.
Here’s some more ferns. Not really sure what kind they are.
When I say fruit, I’m really talking about fruit for birds, not people. For instance, there’s this Cranberrybush Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum). The berries eventually turn bright red. Actually, some people make preserves with the fruit, and I think the Native Americans used them as food.
Another plant with berries is Solomon’s Plume (Maianthemum racemosum – used to be Smilacina, the taxonomists strike again). They start out green and turn bright red by the time they are ripe. Here they are sort of a bronzy color.
In our garden, Solomon’s Plume tends to flop from the weight of the berries. And that is why I have Casimir the Concrete Chicken, along with a number of containers, strategically placed to provide support. Casimir is surprisingly helpful around the garden.
Oh, and I should mention that I’ve become quite the Lenten Rose (Helleborus orientalis) convert. Aside from the flowers, what a great ground covering foliage plant this is.
If you go back into the alley, you’ll see the Black Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) we have growing over the fence in the far corner. Big white flower clusters have turned into big clusters of green berries, which will ripen in August. After that, they’ll be eaten by birds.
Look, Dutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla)! After two unsuccessful attempts, I finally got it to grow. It’s a host plant for the Pipevine Swallowtail. I’m hoping that it will grow all the way up a small snag I’ve attached to the back fence.
I’m linking to Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day, hosted by Christina at My Hesperides Garden. Follow the link to see more great foliage plants!