Green texture for September Foliage Follow-Up


I know I keep coming back to this part of my garden for Foliage Follow-Up, but I just can’t help it. Planted earlier this year, its growth has been explosive, especially of the silvery groundcover pictured here, our native woolly stemodia (Stemodia lanata).


Here’s another look. Silver-green leaves spread on rooting stems, and tiny, lavender flowers appear throughout the summer. The color complements the silvery green hue of the ‘Green Goblet’ agave.


A wider view reveals the velvety texture of giant mullein (Verbascum thapsus) leaves, tiered up the base of bloom stalks that have soared to 5 feet over the course of the summer. I can’t walk by without petting them.


One more step back and you see even more green texture, including the yellow-green of a new variegated miscanthus and the kelly green of the Berkeley sedge (Carex divulsa) lawn at right. So many greens, so much great texture. The bees are enjoying the flowers atop the mullein and those sprinkled amid the stemodia leaves, but I’m not missing any big floral show.

Please join me in posting about your lovely leaves of September 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.

21 Responses

  1. Hannah says:

    Your Stemodia and Agave companions look stunning together. Thanks for hosting. http://weedingonthewildside.blogspot.com/2013/09/foliage-follow-up-september-16-2013.html

    Ah, you led your post with a photo of zebra grass — one of my faves! Thanks for joining in, Hannah. —Pam

  2. Pam I am absolutely in love with this part of your garden and especially that ground cover…how I wish I had something like that…it is the blue green color that makes me swoon. Wonderful mix of foliage.

    Things are just getting going here in the NE as we prepare for our first, very early frost. Sigh. Here’s my link and thanks for hosting:

    http://gardenseyeview.com/2013/09/16/garden-lessons-on-a-bloom-day/

    First frost already?! I cannot even imagine. I wish I could trade you about 30 degrees of heat for 30 degrees of coolness, Donna. —Pam

  3. Randy Hyden says:

    Thanks for the heads up on Stemodia. Seems it`s a sand lover and that is something that I`m always on the lookout for where I live. Love the mullein, too, mine is in the prairie patches and really hurt by the drought.

    Bummer about the mullein, Randy. It seems so tough that I’d have thought it would sail through drought. But then again, the Texas drought is taking a toll on even the toughest plants that aren’t getting supplemental water. Man, do we need rain. —Pam

  4. I love all the various shades of greens (my favourite colour) and all the textures and patterns on the leaves. Your gardens are looking very healthy and lush.

    I’ve been hand watering this area because it’s so recently planted. It occurs to me: maybe that’s why I keep showing this area for Foliage Follow-Up — it IS relatively lush right now. :-) —Pam

  5. Pam — that combo is fabulous! I love your carex, especially contrasted with the silver. I posted my favorite new shrub. http://eachlittleworld.typepad.com/each_little_world/2013/09/2013-best-shrub-purchase.html

    Silvery greens are never in short supply in a central Texas garden. Luckily, I love them. —Pam

  6. Alison says:

    Such a fabulous variety. I always have trouble incorporating silvery colors.

    My FF post is here: http://bonneylassie.blogspot.com/2013/09/foliage-followup-september-2013.html

    Bonnie, it looks like your big-leaf tropicals still unfurling new leaves haven’t gotten the memo yet that fall is coming to the PacNW — ha! Along with your early fall color, you’ve got the best of both summer and fall going on. —Pam

  7. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Beautiful part of your garden & it’s also nice that next to the less than touchable agave, there are verbascum to pat!
    My FF post is here: http://www.outlawgarden.blogspot.com/2013/09/foliage-follow-up-september-2013.html

    Strangely, perhaps, I actually find agaves to be irresistibly pettable. I always want to touch the spines and feel the texture of their leaves, though of course one must be VERY careful about it. :-) —Pam

  8. Ally says:

    I’ve always thought mullein was a cool plant, but your wonderful photos have convinced me to add it to my garden. I bought one earlier in the season, but I wish I had bought more. Luckily, the native plant sale is right around the corner. Hopefully, I will find some there.

    I can save some seeds for you, Ally. It produces prodigious numbers of them. I’m a little worried that I’ll never be able to stop pulling out babies next year. —Pam

  9. Silver-green color is one of my favorites in the garden. Love your silver-green carpet!
    Pam, I join you for Foliage Follow-Up:
    http://tanyasgarden.blogspot.com/2013/09/foliage-september-2013.html

    It’s one of my favorite colors too, Tatyana — which is good because hot, dry regions like mine have so very many plants in that range. —Pam

  10. Kris P says:

    Your pictures make the garden look like a cool oasis, even though I suspect your weather is still hot, hot, hot! Thanks for hosting Foliage follow-up, Pam! Here’s my contribution: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2013/09/september-2013-foliage-follow-up.html

    Yes, indeed, Kris — it’s been hot, hot, hot (upper 90s F). We’re hoping for a little rain this week though, and the cloud cover is cooling us off a bit. —Pam

  11. Denise says:

    So many great Texas natives, so little garden! That stemodia is perfect with agaves and other succulents. I need to steal that idea. Dymondia is serving the same role in my garden, but I’m always ready to try something new.

    http://agrowingobsession.com/?p=47120

    And how I’d love to try your Dymondia, Denise. The grass — or groundcover — is always greener, I guess! —Pam

  12. Great foliage and great spherical ornament. Here is my posting, which is a close look at moss, one of my favourite green textures in the garden http://astudentgardener.blogspot.ca/2013/09/macro-monday-moss.html:

    Yes, moss is so touchable. I love it too. —Pam

  13. Helen says:

    Heres my autumnal Foliage post http://patientgardener.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/foliage-follow-up-september-2013/

    Thanks for joining the meme, Helen. —Pam

  14. Why resist when it’s such a perfect vignette? Surprising that my eyes were drawn to the verbascum over the agave! I decided to post about some new foliage in my garden: http://dangergarden.blogspot.com/2013/09/foliage-follow-up-september-2013new.html

    The verbascum really does dominate the space right now. But one day soon it’ll be that agave. They have a tendency to grow big and fast around here. —Pam

  15. LOOKING GOOD, Pam! Here is my sad post :( But lessons learned!
    http://xericstyle.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/frogfruit-lawn-for-foliage-follow-up-september-2013/

    Heather, your honest assessment is so valuable. Thank you for your post! But what? You’re thinking of selling your home?? —Pam

  16. ricki says:

    The process of stepping back by degrees to show an ever wider shot of an area is effective. Your design skills are showing with every shot.
    Here’s mine: http://bannersbyricki.com/archives/3336

    Thanks, Ricki. :-) —Pam

  17. Holleygarden says:

    Love all the greens! I especially love green only gardens in the heat of the summer. It makes me feel cool even when I know it’s hot!
    I’m linking in with my post:
    http://dreamingofroses.blogspot.com/2013/09/lemon-fizz.html

    It IS pretty cooling, especially with silvery tones added in. Re: your post about your rose foliage — just when you’re ready to rip something out, it gets its act together and looks stunning. Plants must be smarter than we think. ;-) —Pam

  18. Sue says:

    My first official Foliage Follow Up post and I didn’t include any Agave pictures. What was I thinking? Well, they haven’t fared as well as some things in my garden so I’ll just enjoy yours.

    Here’s my contribution:

    http://idyllhaven.blogspot.com/2013/09/foliage-follow-up.html

    Thanks for joining in, Sue! I couldn’t leave a comment on your post without an account (unless you enable the Name/URL option), so I’ll leave it here. I’m blown away by all the tropical foliage color and texture you have in your New England garden. What a great example of how much you can do with foliage alone! —Pam

  19. Shirley says:

    Your new “lawn” is turning out so well.

    A unique way to look at fall foliage in my garden for September.

    http://rockoakdeer.blogspot.com/2013/09/fall-foliage-for-foliage-follow-up.html

    I’m eagerly anticipating fall rains for pumping up the sedge lawn. Fingers crossed! —Pam

  20. Anna K says:

    Thank you for introducing me to Stemodia – what a gem! It is a fabulous foil for your other plants, and absolutely delicious with the agave. Beautiful! Wonder how it would grow up here in Oregon?

    Good question, Anna. It does require good drainage and lots of sun. BTW, I changed the URL that you gave for your blog. It led to a dead page. Did I locate the right site? —Pam

  21. louis says:

    Oh, Pam. This is epic! The Agave is like a prized piece of art! It’s seriously amazing!!!!!

    here’s some succulent foliage fun I’ve been having: http://parallel49palms.blogspot.ca/2013/09/foliage-follow-up-succulent.html

    I’m glad you like the ‘Green Goblet’ agave, Louis. It’s still just a baby. One day it will look like this one in Curt Arnette’s garden (he inspired me to plant it). —Pam

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