Bold leaves and light-catching grasses for Foliage Follow-Up


I’m giving Moby, my ‘Whale’s Tongue’ agave (A. ovatifolia), pride of place in today’s Foliage Follow-Up post. At nearly 7 feet across, he’s the star of the back garden in all seasons, but especially in late summer when the fall-blooming perennials haven’t really revved up yet. An assortment of smaller agaves, mangaves, and manfreda swim alongside him.


Out front in the island bed, Texas dwarf palmetto (Sabal minor) is looking especially good now that I’ve cut back the spent heartleaf skullcap that blooms earlier in the year. Several fans of new leaves are standing tall, giving this bed a more tropical look.


And I can’t resist including a picture of bamboo muhly (Muhlenbergia dumosa) and ‘Burgundy Ice’ dyckia aglow with late-afternoon light.

So what lovely leaves are making you happy in your September garden? Please join me for Foliage Follow-Up, giving foliage plants their due on the day after Bloom Day. Leave your link to your Foliage Follow-Up post in a comment. I really appreciate it if you’ll also include a link to this post in your own post (sharing link love!). If you can’t post so soon after Bloom Day, no worries. Just leave your link when you get to it.

All material © 2006-2014 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Bee-autiful activity in the curbside garden


Garlic chives (Allium tuberosum) in full bloom are like a flashing neon sign saying EATS to the local honeybees. Man, do they love it.


So do I. They brighten up the summer-tired border with their frothy white blooms.


Here’s a wider view of the curbside bed. The chives always end up lying down after a rain, but it’s a worthy trade from my perspective.


The softleaf yucca (Yucca recurvifolia) has decided to put up another bloom spike of creamy, bell-shaped flowers. This is its second bloom of the summer.


Between the yucca and the salvias, our resident garden spider continues to nosh on bees, grasshoppers, and any other bug she can catch. See her on the left? And at right, tucked amid the yucca’s leaves, notice there are now two egg sacs! I posted about one egg sac a week ago, but she’s been busy since then.


The top one was the first. Now her nursery contains two.


To the right of the garlic chives, I like the lavender echo between purple sage (Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurascens’) and Mexican oregano (Poliomintha longiflora). Both are supremely deer resistant thanks to fragrant foliage.


Datura (Datura wrightii) is going to seed in its dramatically spiky fashion. However, I hope to see more flowers this fall before it shuts down for the season.

All material © 2006-2014 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Agave spikes and potted succulents get me through summer


I feel we’re in the home stretch now, but even at its worst summer can’t wear these plants down. In sun, Queen Victoria agave (A. victoriae-reginae), with its pleated, white-edged leaves, just laughs at the Death Star.


Agave stricta, which really needs a bigger pot, and Agave lophantha ‘Quadricolor’ look sharp all summer too. Moby, my big ‘Whale’s Tongue’ agave (A. ovatifolia), hulks over them all.


In dappled shade, smaller succulents reside in pots that add bright color even when blooms are scarce. Mexican honeysuckle (Justicia spiciger), the shrub below the Circle Pot, is already revving up for fall with a sprinkling of orange, tubular flowers.


Wide steps are handy for displaying pots, and I enjoy this view through the French door in the living room. All the plants can go a week without watering in summer, even lush-looking purple oxalis (Oxalis triangularis). It gets droopy if I let it go that long, but it perks right back up when given a drink. Thank goodness for dappled shade under the live oaks, which keeps these plants — and me — happy.

All material © 2006-2014 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.