Fierce & fine Foliage Follow Up

It’s Foliage Follow-Up, a day of celebrating leafy beauty in the garden. After I took my photos, I noticed that they fell into one of two categories: the fierce, pointy leaves of yuccas, agaves, dyckias, and mangaves, and the fine texture of various grasses or grass-like plants.

First, the fierce. Pictured above, ‘Bloodspot’ mangave along with softer succulents like blue chalk fingers, variegated sedum, and echeveria.

In another planter, spiky-fingernailed Agave parryi var. truncata keeps company with sedums, echeveria, blue chalk fingers, golden barrel cactus, and dyckia.

There are fierce plants in the cinderblock-wall succulent planter, like mangave, dyckia, and small agaves, along with softer sedums and echeveria.

‘Bright Edge’ yucca (Y. filamentosa ‘Bright Edge’) adds stripey color to its strappy, pointed leaves.

Softleaf yucca (Y. recurvifolia) is serene blue-green.

And now for the fine, starting with blonde-headed Mexican feathergrass (Nassella tenuissima), seen here with lavender-flowered Mexican oregano (Poliomintha longiflora).

Stunning purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum), an annual most years in central Texas, backlit with graceful live oaks in the background.

Variegated Japanese sedge flows over the edge of a bronze pot.

A eggplant-colored crinum’s strappy leaves arch over the surface of the stock-tank pond.

And ‘Sparkler’ sedge (Carex phyllocephala ‘Sparkler’) is an explosion of cool, striped leaves.

So what foliage is inspiring you today? Join me in posting about your lovely leaves of July—it’s called Foliage Follow-Up, and it’s a way to remind ourselves of the importance of foliage in the garden. Just leave a comment on this post with a link to your foliage post so everyone can find you, and please link to me in your post.

All material © 2006-2011 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

25 Responses

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your foliage plants are always an inspiration to me Pam. I have bought some succulents to plant up this summer. I think I even saw a mangave for sale here. It was a tiny plant though. Your plants all look so grown up which gives them so much personality. For the most part my garden is full of typical Mid-West foliage. It is looking quite lush now before the summer drought hits us as it always does this time of year. Happy Foliage Follow Up.

  2. That first image is a stunning combo. Looking at these photos I would never guess the kind of temps you’ve been having. Clearly they can take the heat! I have to agree with Lisa — my foliage is fairly typical for the Mid-west, but mine is also showing the effects of the heat and a distracted gardener who should’ve done a little watering!

  3. Nell Jean says:

    Not only are your plants inspirational, their use in your garden is a boost for tired gardeners. If I still lived in suburbia I would surely have a cinderblock wall. My own foliage today is a mixed bag from a Fierce Sago to Fine Muhly Grass and all inbetween.

    Foliage Followup with Fancy Names at Seedscatterer II.

  4. That photo of the purple fountain grass is stunning. Foliage plays such an important role. I am in the process of adding red-leaved cannas to our Front Walk – a first for me! I am excited to see it in August.

    thanks for hosting!

  5. RBell says:

    Your succulents & other tough guys are looking really good. Here’s my contribution to Foliage Follow-up:

  6. […] Follow-Up is the brainchild of Pam Penick over at Digging. As Pam states, “it’s a way to remind ourselves of the importance of foliage in the […]

    Blue Heron Landscapes:

  7. Love your foliage shots Pam, especially the stunning fierce photos! I went simple this foliage-follow-up just highlighting a current fav:

  8. Fiercely beautiful. That’s all I can say. My agaves are doing great. I plan to bring them inside for the winter again as that worked well here. It feels like AZ in my garden. Now wonder they are happy. :)) ~~Dee

  9. Hi Pam,
    Thanks for hosting Foliage Follow-up again this month. Love the look of the Bright Edge Yucca and the Sparkler Sedge!! I grow Mexican Oregano, too, but it tends to have browning stems on about half the plant. Since you have this growing near Mexican Feathergrass, can I assume that the oregano is extremely drought tolerant? Maybe I’m watering mine too much?? I’m never sure if I’m watering to much or too little.

    Here’s my foliage post:

    I find Mexican oregano to be very drought-tolerant once established, Toni. Have you ever cut it back? I cut mine back hard in late spring to keep it more rounded and compact. Maybe yours would benefit from a cut-back as well. I will also note that once it has flowered, the browned flowers cling to the stems for some time. Could it be that spent flowers are giving yours the appearance of browning branches? —Pam

  10. Denise says:

    What tough and beautiful plants, to look this good with what Austin’s weather has been been throwing at them. I have one mangave, but love it so much I’m tempted to go for a mass planting of them.

  11. Nicole says:

    Love your agaves and grasses, as well as bright edge yucca. Here’s my post:

  12. ricki says:

    I hope my ‘Sparkler’ will one day look like yours. I am drooling over everything I see here. Here’s mine:

  13. Racquel says:

    Your foliage combinations are stunning Pam. They add so much color, texture and interest to your garden. :)

  14. David C. says:

    Wow…great photos once again! Most every plant in Abq looks too dried and fried to photograph, plus I am too fried from being too busy. I am just glad we are not too hot; your plants look so vibrant to me. That Japanese Sedge is awesome in the dark container, so is the in-ground MX Oregano and how it contrasts the Threadgrass. I guess the MX Oregano at the house is not too bad, considering my 2-3 times watering it this year…

  15. Andrew says:

    I didn’t take many foliage pictures so I’ve just tacked on a Hosts and Euphorbia on the end of my bloom day post.

  16. Candy Suter says:

    Everything looks so wonderful Pam! I love how your succulent wall is filling out and thriving! It is truly a thing of beauty!

  17. Alison says:

    My foliage pictures are all from a garden tour I took today in Woodinville, WA. — a little taste of the kind of lushness Flingers might see next week!

    Alison, I wasn’t able to comment on your post without an account (I rely on the Name/URL option), but I LOVED all the luscious golden foliage from the tour. So much fresh green — I can’t wait to see it for myself very soon! Thanks for joining in. —Pam

  18. David says:

    Hi Pam,
    Wow! I think you’ve got every texture, color, and shape covered in this post. What a beautiful planter to start off the sequence. All of your yuccas & agaves are gorgeous! The grasses are a terrific counterpoint (pardon the pun) for those agaves.
    By any chance, do you know the name of the blue solo agave in the very front cinder of your cinder wall? I have it, but it came without a name.
    I’m up with my foliage follow-up for July. It’s about my ALOE collection…unsung heroes.

    David :-)

    That little “agave” in the front of the cinderblock wall is actually a ‘Bloodspot’ mangave, David, the same plant as in the top photo. Boy, it can be hard to identify young agaves. Until they mature, they can look very similar to one another. —Pam

  19. I love your succulent planter – works so well with the plants. It was a relief to come to the soft grasses after all that spikyness. I have recently bought a Japanese sedge on a whim and wondered what to do with it but I think I will follow your example and pop it in a pot

  20. jean says:

    You have a beautiful garden with lovely plants! David at tropicaltexana mentioned you blog and I had to see. I used to live in Sugar Land, Texas and loved the Austin area. Love your header photo! And, your block planter!! I just may steal your idea for some small plants I’m growing.

    Thanks for popping by, Jean. I’d love for you to join us for next month’s Foliage Follow-Up. —Pam

  21. Hi Pam,
    I got my post up last night, but forgot to come over and let you know. I can’t believe I forgot to take photos of my succulents. I dedicated a tub to some this year, and not just the tuffa container I have. I put the tender ones in little pots and tried to bury the edges, but their bright blue is not quite covered.

    I always enjoy those tough plants of yours. You have made me aware over the years that there are many kinds of succulents and they really are good looking plants. I love that wall your made, too!

    Here’s the link to my post:

  22. I forgot to say I like your fine foliage, too. I never used to be a fan of grasses, either, but after deciding I don’t mind the ones we put around the garbage can because Larry wanted them, I have planted a number of switchgrasses and little bluestems in my new planting area in the front. Now, I’m excited for them to get large.

  23. One of your previous posts inspired me to try Carex ‘Sparkler’ again. I sure am glad because it has been a real foliage knockout all year! Looking forward to meeting you in Seattle!

  24. Wonderful images – happy to have stumbled across your blog.
    I have a modest contribution…

    Hi, Rose. I wasn’t able to comment on your post without an account (I rely on the Name/URL option), but I really like that variegated sage, and your succulents are pretty too. Thanks for joining in! —Pam

  25. RobinL says:

    I gotta tell ya, I’m just loving that cinder block planter! It wouldn’t work in my cottage garden style here in the Midwest, so I’ll just enjoy it there in Austin.