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December Bloom Day – Follow-Up Foliage

The day after Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day is sometimes used as an opportunity to highlight foliage throughout the season. Hence, Follow-Up Foliage day. I’m glad I have some good blogging friends, Matti and Megan at Far Out Flora, to have given me guidance and inspiration in getting into the whole world of garden blogging! 🙂 The help with learning the basics and the hows with WordPress and blogging in general has been invaluable!

Lotus maculatus

Anyhoo, enough gushy stuff. On this grey December day, the raindrops sparkle beautifully on this Lotus maculatus, or Parrot’s Beak, currently in a flora-free state in our shady garden.

Pachyphytum opalina

I love love love this succulent plant, Pachyphytum opalina. It takes on different hues throughout the year, and touch-damage causes pretty pinkish circles on it (as in a hail storm). These two rosettes are each about 9 inches across, with individual leaves being up to 4 inches.

Echeveria imbricata

One of my favorite Hens and Chicks is Echeveria imbricata. The color is amazing, and the proliferation of pups as it matures makes it a great groundcover that needs no watering. With rosettes up to 8 inches across, and pups forming along every stem, you have plenty to go around once established. A mature colony forms gorgeous waves and moguls of jade, fringed in yellow and sometimes pink if it gets cold enough and dry enough. This is the plant in my blog’s banner up there, speaking of…

Protea cynaroides ‘Pink Ice’

This critter was blooming when we first brought it home, but hasn’t since then. We have moved it twice, though (once to a larger pot, then into the ground.) I’m patiently hoping for a bloom, but in the meantime I can appreciate the soft fuzziness of the leaves and the delicate rosy magenta flush on the branches.

Cordyline australis ‘Torbay Dazzler’

This Cabbage Tree hybrid is doing great in the ground! We got it as a 1 gallon plant, and it’s now got over a foot of actual trunk. These New Zealand trees are native to swamps and are a pioneer species (meaning that they are often the first plants to sprout up when land has been turned or burned.) They hold a lot of water in their trunks, and are excellent succulent plants that are able to tolerate extreme drought despite their swamp habitat. The leaves are a superior fiber, and the trunks are a traditional source of carbs for the Maori, being steamed and dried to use like a sugar.

Unfurling fiddlehead on Cyathea cooperii

Our Australian Tree Fern is such a beaut! This was a one-gallon as well, starting with two or three leaves. In less than two years it has a thick trunk almost two feet tall, and the canopy is 8 feet in diameter and able to walk under. Sweet choice for our Northern exposure garden. Our neighbor has one about ten feet away that’s a few years older, so they will make a nice complement to each other as they grow.

Ficus elastica

Yes, the good old Rubber Tree Plant, that I always wanted as a kid because Laverne & Shirley always sang about one and it was some exotic thing I must have. As a houseplant, this was always just kinda “there”. Nothing exciting. Green. Leaves. Plant. Corner.

Then I moved here where we don’t have enough light or space for it indoors. I put it outside and love what it does throughout the year! It’s potted, and needs no watering in our wet season (December-May). In Winter, with cold temps and no direct sunlight, the leaves turn almost black with red margins. So so pretty.

Pteris? Adiantum?

I’m a little ambivalent on the name of this one. It’s in my mind as being the Rosy Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum hispidum, but it has a structure much like a Pteris fern. Regardless, the rosy bronzey coppery foliage interspersed with tiers of bright green-yellow and bluer dark green is a fantastic bonus to this fern.

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One response to “December Bloom Day – Follow-Up Foliage

  1. Thanks for the shout out! I love being able to see what’s happening in your garden 🙂 Your Echeveria imbricata is looking awesome. The Protea ‘Pink Ice’ at Strybing is blooming right now (http://www.flickr.com/photos/faroutflora/6414983695/). Maybe you can guilt trip yours in to blooming by showing it pictures 🙂 One of these days we’ll get our act together for foliage follow up. Great pics!

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