Zoom out, zoom in for Foliage Follow-Up

Hey, all you leaf lovers! Today is Foliage Follow-Up, and I had fun with my zoom lens in two foliage-driven sections of my garden. Oh, who am I kidding? All of my garden is foliage-driven. Sometimes I regret not having a big, seasonal flower display, but I’m generally content with pops of flowers amid a tapestry of green and blue-green foliage. Especially when the foliage is big and bold!

Regular readers will recognize Moby, my ‘Whale’s Tongue’ agave (A. ovatifolia), the big boy in the center, now approaching 6 feet in diameter. Swimming alongside Moby are a school of smaller agaves — from right to left, ‘Quadricolor’ agave, Agave stricta, and Queen Victoria agave (Agave victoriae-reginae) — as well as ‘Chocolate Chips’ manfreda and ‘Bloodspot’ mangave.

(As a sidenote, did you know that I keep a list of all the plants in my garden in I’m Growing… under the Resources tab, with links to my plant-profile posts? Please visit if you’re curious to know more about any of my plants. Over time I hope to profile all of them.)

And zooming out all the way, the bottle tree comes into view. My bottle tree is not only a nod to a Southern folk art tradition but also a stylized agave bloom spike — my own version of SXSW!

Turning the camera on another section of the garden, here we see a mellow-yellow, leafy combo starring ‘Alphonse Karr’ bamboo, with supporting actors ‘Color Guard’ yucca and Mexican feathergrass (Nassella tenuissima) in the blue pots. Texas sotol (Dasylirion texana) and ‘Bright Edge’ yucca add strappy foliage in the background.

Zooming in, the supporting players assume a more prominent role.

And up close, the variegated ‘Color Guard’ yucca is the star.

Please join me in posting about your lovely leaves of March 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 © 2006-2014 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

40 Responses

  1. Wow — how can that agave be so blue? That is amazing. I can almost hear the bamboo leaves rustling in the breeze, beautiful. Here’s my Foliage Follow-up post.


    Thank you for hosting! -Julie

  2. Hi Pam — today I’ve combined Foliage Follow Up with vintage photos: http://enclosuretakerefuge.com/2014/03/16/the-sunday-porch-oxford-ohio/

    Beautiful agave! I was admiring some here in Rwanda the other day with flower stalks that were easily 15′.

  3. Diana says:

    I hope you don’t mind that I posted all houseplants. Up here in New England it’s still winter and there is still snow on the ground. Maybe next month (I hope!).


  4. Tina says:

    Lots of pretty blues in your garden. I also love the ‘Color Guard’ in pots–that’s the only way I’ve been able to grow that plant. Great photos and variety in color/texture. Here’ my post for the celebration of foliage in the garden. http://mygardenersays.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/foliage-follow-up-march-2014/

  5. Hi Pam. Your Agave is amazing! It just keeps getting bigger and bigger! I am also enjoying your other foliage. Thanks for hosting Foliage Follow-Up. Here is a link to my March foliage in the garden.

  6. Alison says:

    I am ever so jealous of Moby! He’s such a beautiful Agave. Mine succumbed to our very cold, very wet winter, nothing but a great big pile o’ mush. But I guess there’s plenty of foliage stuff that we can grow that you can’t, so we’re even. Here’s my FF post: http://bonneylassie.blogspot.com/2014/03/foliage-followup-march-2014.html

    • Pam/Digging says:

      I got sidetracked by the photo of your stream, Alison, which is gorgeous! I’d love to have a running stream in my garden one day. I’m loving your heart-stopping Dicentra ‘Gold Heart’ too. Thanks for joining in. —Pam

  7. TexasDeb says:

    I’m another fan of the pops of blue throughout your spaces. Blue works so very well year ’round here, and the impact of repetition is well displayed. I’m watching to see if my own “Color Guard” has survived out in the ground. If it is (yet another) victim of cold this year I’ll know to keep future attempts in pots – hopefully gorgeous blue ones like yours.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      I hope it’s survived, TexasDeb. I had one ‘Color Guard’ demolished by deer, but the survivors took the cold and ice in stride. —Pam

  8. Nancy Kaufmann says:

    I would love to know which of theses plants survived the winter as is, which ones you covered, and which ones live in pots specifically so you can bring in during the coldest nights.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Nancy, I brought inside the Agave stricta (in the terracotta pot) when a freeze was predicted. The others remained outside and uncovered. Queen Victoria and ‘Whale’s Tongue’ agaves are completely cold hardy (in well-draining soil) in central Texas winters, as are yuccas. —Pam

  9. Kris P says:

    Your foliage is much more beautiful than most blooms. I can only hope that my Whale’s Tongue Agave will become that handsome someday. Thanks for hosting foliage follow-up, Pam! Here’s my contribution: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2014/03/foliage-follow-up-new-spring-growth.html

  10. Jenny says:

    I think that maybe this is the first time I have posted here. I think I am slowly moving towards a more foliage garden in the front courtyard. So much less work and what structure!

  11. Caroline says:

    It’s always a joy to visit your foliage-rich garden on the 16th. Love those swirly blue pots! My post is at http://shovelreadygarden.blogspot.com/2014/03/foliage-follow-up-tale-of-two-gardens.html

  12. I was so inspired by all these gorgeous images, I had to go out and collect some of my own. Thank you all!

    Oh. I guess I’m supposed to leave the link the comment box? http://janestrong.blogspot.com/2014/03/suncreen-for-plants_16.html

  13. commonweeder says:

    Your garden is so beautiful – and the agaves are gorgeous. So exotic to an New Englander.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Thank you, Commonweeder. Agaves looked pretty exotic to me too once upon a time. But now they’re like any other shrub to me — though particularly handsome ones, for all that. —Pam

  14. Love those Agaves and Yucca’s … and your bright blue accessories! Happy spring. Thanks, again, for hosting Pam!

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Your intimate, close-up views reveal all those slow but sure seasonal changes. I love the power of green shoots pushing up out of the soil. —Pam

  15. Diana Studer says:

    St Patrick’s Day and I’m wearing green and remembering my mother’s Irish roots.


  16. Laura says:

    Love that first picture. Reminds me of an O’Keeffe painting.

  17. Very nice tour, with all the juxtapositions of agaves. But your Moby has got to be one of the largest A. ovatifolia anywhere! We need a register of the largest agaves, yuccas, etc, as exist for trees.

    Slowly chipping away at more blog reads…

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Me too, David. I tend to do a big blog-reading catch-up twice a month. It’s fun to devote a whole, decadent evening to it — preferably with chocolate. —Pam

  18. Your ‘Moby’ has grown SO much! Beautiful! I love all your spiky stuff.

    Not much going on here BUT foliage.

    Here’s my contribution.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      What a cute pooch you have, Linda. Your front bed has rather a Zen look, with the openness, focal-point plants, and limestone accents, which is quite nice. —Pam

  19. These are some fantastic foliage combinations! Needless to say I’m in awe of Moby. You say he’s 6 ft. across. How tall is he? He looks MASSIVE in the first three photos.

  20. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Gosh, Moby is more handsome every time you photograph him! I especially like the agave and agavetts shots. Thanks for hosting foliage follow up. Here’s my offering


  21. Love the grouping around Moby the ‘Whale’s Tongue’ agave.
    Thank you for helping me understand the importance of foliage and structure in the garden. This winter I really got a chance to see how I needed more evergreens.

    Here is my contribution

  22. Be still my heart on those agaves!~~Dee

  23. ricki says:

    Your garden is splendiferous with nary a blossom showing: a true inspiration.
    I’ll join the party with this: http://bannersbyricki.com/archives/3657

  24. Renee says:

    I love your agaves, but especially your bottle tree! It’s so unique with its shape!

    Here my contribution… late as per normal http://gardeninguptoeleven.blogspot.com/2014/03/foliage-follow-up-march-2014.html

  25. Anna K says:

    Wow – that agave is elephantine! Absolutely fantastic! All my agaves except for two tiny ones turned to mush this winter. Will try again this summer. In the meantime, I’m excited to learn about your plant list. Will likely frequent them soon! Happy belated FF day, and Happy Spring! http://thecreativeflux.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/belated-bloom-day-and-foliage-follow-up-march-2014/