February leaves glow even when flowers are absent


Thank goodness for handsome foliage or my February garden would be sadly bereft of interest, since springtime flowers haven’t kicked into gear yet. Here’s an old favorite for sunny, year-round color, ‘Color Guard’ yucca.


‘Sticks on Fire’ euphorbia glows more brightly in winter, its fleshy stems citrus-tinged with a cool-weather blush.


Of course, colorful pots add punch to the late-winter garden too.


Another succulent, ghostly Agave colorata, adds a steely silver-blue in the back garden. This agave has nicely defined leaf imprints.


Again with the colorful pots, this time in orange and red! The hot colors add tropical ambience to a stand of Mexican weeping bamboo (Otatea acuminata aztecorum), Mexican honeysuckle (Justicia spiciger), and Mexican feathergrass (Nassella tenuissima). Hmm, I sense a Mexican theme here.


From the other side, the orange, tubular flowers of Mexican honeysuckle steal the show.

Join me in posting about your lovely leaves of February for Foliage Follow-Up, a way to remind ourselves of the importance of foliage in the garden 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 © 2006-2013 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

15 Responses

  1. Penny says:

    Your garden looks fabulous Pam. I love succulents and pebble paving.
    I’m sharing my post on using foliage instead of cut flowers.
    Penny x

    http://paisleysummmer.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/when-theres-no-flowers.html

  2. Shirley says:

    Looks good Pam. Love how the orange perks it all up.

    I’m focusing on winter foliage as well.

    http://rockoakdeer.blogspot.com/2013/02/foliage-follow-up-february-2013-foliage.html

  3. peter schaar says:

    Pam, have your Mexican honeysuckles been up and blooming all winter, or have they come back from being taken to the ground? Mine were taken to the ground earlier this winter and have not yet started growing again.

    Peter, the Mexican honeysuckle has been unaffected by our few freezes this winter, and that’s why I’m enjoying not just its foliage but flowers this early in the season. —Pam

  4. Peter says:

    Whenever I see Yucca ‘Color Guard’ I think of you Pam! All of your foliage looks wonderful but I’m especially impressed by ‘Sticks on Fire’ as we have to bring it in durn our wet winters.

    http://www.outlawgarden.blogspot.com/2013/02/foliage-follow-up-february-2013-common.html

    I have to bring ‘Sticks on Fire’ inside during a hard freeze as well, Peter. Luckily there are only a handful of freezing days each winter. —Pam

  5. sandy lawrence says:

    Just beautiful! I added ‘Color Guard’ to my garden because of you, Pam. I have resisted ‘Fire Sticks’ thus far … What’s the lowest temp that you find your ‘Sticks on Fire’ euphorbia can endure? I might try one and use row cloth on the coldest nights.

    I bring it indoors when a freeze is predicted, Sandy. I think the lowest I’ve left it out in was about 31 or 32 degrees F. —Pam

  6. I also use pots to brighten up spots in my garden. If they weren’t so expensive, I’d have more…

    Thanks for hosting Foliage Follow-up, Pam. My contribution can be seen here: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2013/02/february-foliage-follow-up.html

  7. It’s fun that I can grow those same plants, but I do need to bring them indoors. There are times when I wish I could leave them outside and enjoy them now. Happy foliage!~~Dee

  8. Love that Agave colorata…that’s one I don’t have. Also very jealous of your gorgeous Euphorbia! I took a bit of a field trip for my foliage follow-up post: http://dangergarden.blogspot.com/2013/02/foliage-follow-up-for-february.html

  9. Your winter interest looks quite fresh. I don’t know about your “winter”, since that Mexican Honeysuckle is quite springy already. And what Danger said on your Agave colorata. “Mexican” theme – I hear plant exploration trips to Mexico is like crack to plant people, and maybe growing MX species is as well?

    My post – *starting* to look up – http://desertedge.blogspot.com/2013/02/foliage-follow-up-22013.html

    David, I couldn’t leave a comment on your post without using an account, but here’s what I wrote: Your spring is delayed, and ours looks to be early this year. I’m behind on my winter cut-back, and spring growth is already popping up. You show lots of great stuff here, including desert moss (!), but as always I’m riveted by the potted cholla against the lavender wall. —Pam

  10. Renee says:

    Very nice! I especially like the “Sticks on Fire”!

    My post was supposed to have a theme, but the camera didn’t cooperate…

    http://gardeninguptoeleven.blogspot.com/2013/02/foliage-follow-up-february.html

  11. Pam, do you have your “sticks on fire” covered outside. Mine is getting so big and I heaved it inside for the winter. It is so beautiful in my bedroom but I think it does better out in the sun? Thanks and been reading your book, love love it! Pamie G.

    Pamie, that euphorbia is up against the house, which shelters it a little. And when it freezes, I just lift it out of the big pot and carry it into the garage. I do think the color is better in full sun, during cold snaps, and when stressed by drought. Don’t baby it! Oh, and thanks so much re: the book—yay! —Pam

  12. Chris says:

    I’m new to the Austin garden blog scene and thought I’d take part in my first foliage follow-up. I like your Mexican theme and how their varying heights come together into a single canvas. Plus, that large orange pot is great and reminds me of an ancient relic hidden away in a tropical forest somewhere.

    http://austinsol.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/february-foliage/

  13. ricki says:

    I am always grateful to you for the chance to put the emphasis on foliage (where it arguably belongs). This time I have bundled it with bloom day…hope you don’t mind.
    http://bannersbyricki.com/archives/2814

  14. Angie says:

    I’ve only just found out about your meme. I will be looking to join in next month :)

    Please do join in, Angie. I look forward to reading your foliage posts. —Pam

  15. Angie says:

    Beautiful plants and that burnt orange pot is an eye catcher!