Sunshine and succulents for January Foliage Follow-Up

I wait all summer for winter days like these. China-blue skies. Warm sunshine on my face, the Death Star tame and friendly. A garden as yet untouched by a freeze — which is unusual, actually. We would normally have had several overnight freezes by mid-January, but so far central Austin remains unscathed.

Which means that all kinds of foliage look pretty good. Of course, Moby, my whale’s tongue agave (Agave ovatifolia), looks handsome all year long.

So does ‘Quadricolor’ agave, the green-and-gold agave in the background, in front of Moby. Surprisingly, one of the soap aloes (Aloe maculata) threw up a bloom spike late in the fall and is nursing it along, despite cool days and several near-freezing nights.

Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata) isn’t blooming, but it’s still green. Grassy variegated flax lily (Dianella tasmanica ‘Variegata’) is enjoying this warm winter.

I couldn’t resist snapping a few pics of Cosmo, sitting sphinx-like on the wall. That’s more flax lily and ‘Soft Caress’ mahonia behind him.


What a handsome boy!

I can’t believe forsythia sage (Salvia madrensis) is still blooming this late in the season. Its spade-shaped leaves have a raspy, cat’s tongue texture.

I’m enjoying this combo of potted succulents, ‘Cream de Mint’ pittosporum, and ‘Sizzling Pink’ loropetalum. Paleleaf yucca (Yucca pallida) shines in the purple pot, along with a sprig of cold-hardy ghost plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense). In the culvert pipe, a shade-tolerant squid agave (Agave bracteosa) is still small but will one day sprawl nicely over the edges. More ghost plant crowds around the edges.

I’ve always liked this sun person ornament, partly because its sunburst-shaped head reminds me of an agave’s form. A purple-leaved ‘Macho Mocha’ mangave is partly visible in the foreground. A baby winecup (Callirhoe involucrata), ‘Bloodspot’ mangave, and ‘Frazzle Dazzle’ dyckia line up behind it.

Let’s finish the foliage tour with the cinderblock succulent wall (click for the how-to) on the upper patio.

Sans freeze, the succulents are all looking really good.

I think the cool weather suits them, so long as it doesn’t get too cold.

One last view, with Moby looming in the background.

This is my January post for Foliage Follow-Up. Fellow bloggers, what leafy loveliness is going on in your garden this month? Please join me in giving foliage its due on the day after Bloom Day. Leave a link to your post in a comment below. I’d appreciate it if you’ll also link to my post in your own — sharing link love! If you can’t post so soon after Bloom Day, no worries. Just leave your link when you get to it. I look forward to seeing your foliage faves.

All material © 2006-2016 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

22 Responses

  1. Renee says:

    Wow – that last picture with the block wall (which looks great) and Moby in the background is a lovely shot! And Cosmo looks like a worthy guard dog of all that wonderful foliage.

  2. Your January garden is amazing, Pam. Yes, it’s a strange weather-year. I brought some of my succulents indoors for the winter, but don’t think I needed to. Love the pictures of Cosmo — handsome fellow with a sweet face. I joined in the meme Thanks for hosting! P x

  3. Cinderblock succulent garden is a bit of inspiration, but Cosmo is even more handsome!

  4. Kris P says:

    I’m always impressed by your Moby – I now have 2 whale’s tongue agaves but I imagine I have many years to wait before they become anywhere near as impressive as yours. It’s great to see Cosmo too – he’s such a handsome fellow.

    Thanks for hosting Foliage Follow-up! Here’s my post:

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Kris, your garden is experiencing an Austin-style winter — not really cold, but definitely cool enough to affect the plants and break out a sweater or two. It’s fun to get a little fall color, even with the succulents, isn’t it? —Pam

  5. LOVE the cool blue hues in your garden! Isn’t the weather fabulous. I love winter in our part of the world. Cosmo is darling and seemed like he loves to strike a pose : )

  6. Diana Studer says:

    My January plant is only about the leaves.
    Marble Chips defies our howling Southeaster!

  7. No freeze, what a lovely thing that would be! You’re garden is looking grand Pam, and Moby, he’s such stately fixture.

    My post was quick entry to showcase a new purchase:

  8. Evan says:

    No freeze and warm sunshine. Sounds wonderful! My post is a smattering of foliage shots taken during a brief sunny pause between showers.

  9. Amazing how good your succulents look this winter. Marvelous.

  10. rickii says:

    Your succulent wall gains in beauty each time you show it.
    My foliage is all indoors this time:

  11. Jenny says:

    You cinder block wall is really looking beautiful. The height allows those lengthy succulents to really shine. And you do have a handsome fellow there-I mean Cosmo!

    • Pam/Digging says:

      I’m pleased with the cinderblock planter this year, Jenny. The moderate heat this summer and the moderate cold this winter have made the succulents very happy. I can see why they do so well in Southern CA. —Pam

  12. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Winter is a wonderful time in your garden! Beautiful succulents and Cosmo looks especially handsome posing like that! My FFU post is very late this month. Sorry!

  13. Your combination of succulents and garden art is wonderful as always and your block wall looks fabulous! Winter has settled in here as temperatures plummet into the 20’s.

    Here is my Foliage Follow Up post for this month:

  14. Hannah says:

    Texas seems the place to garden in the winter! I like the brick block planting wall, so clever. The purple pot makes a great combination with the silver pot. Cosmos looks like a great garden watchdog, very perky. My belated Foliage Follow-Up post is at-

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