Mellow fall garden for November Foliage Follow-Up

Today is Foliage Follow-Up, a day to celebrate great foliage after the flower celebration of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Let’s take a spin around the back garden for my foliage faves this month, starting with the stock-tank pond garden. No flowers here since the water lilies slowed down. You’re looking good, ‘Winter Gem’ boxwood underplanted with Texas sedge (Carex texensis), squid agaves (A. bracteosa) in culvert-pipe planters, and pond crinum (Crinum procerum ‘Splendens’)!

On the deck, potted prickly pear (Opuntia macrocentra) is taking on a purple edge thanks to cooler temps. Sewing needle-like spines are a bonus!

One of my favorite little agaves is ‘Cream Spike’, a passalong from Bob Beyer of Central Texas Gardening. I adore those red teeth.

Agave x leopoldii, with cool curly white filaments. Both agaves pictured here must be brought inside during freezing weather.

My Austin sign faded this year, but I like its new placement against the blue stucco wall. A prickly pear passalong from Shirley of Rock-Oak-Deer, ‘Santa Rita’ (Opuntia santa-rita ‘Tubac’), is getting established in the blue pot, with balancing help from a few bamboo stakes. Yucca rostrata peeks over the wall.

In a galvanized tub on the upper patio, I’m growing native Texas tuberose (Manfreda maculosa), artichoke agave (A. parryi var. truncata), and a new trial plant from Proven Winners: ‘Quicksilver’ artemisia (Artemisia stelleriana ‘Quicksilver’).*

It’s growing well in bright shade and needed very little water throughout the summer months, even with a late spring planting. It’s described as “vigorous” on Proven Winners’ website, and I’d treat it as such — i.e., I’d be very careful about setting it loose in the garden. Certain creeping artemisias, like ‘Oriental Limelight’, can be very aggressive, and ‘Quicksilver’ may prove the same.

But for a container you don’t want to water every day in the summer, it’s a great choice as a spiller under a xeric “thriller” like an agave or manfreda.

I’ll close my foliage-focused post with a last look at the pond garden with ‘Winter Gem’ boxwood balls, my favorite sitting area, and plenty of still-green foliage.

This is my November post for Foliage Follow-Up. Fellow bloggers, what leafy loveliness is happening 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.

*Proven Winners sent me this plant to trial in my garden. I’m writing about it at my own discretion and without any compensation. This post, as with everything at Digging, is my own personal opinion.

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27 Responses

  1. Diana Studer says:

    The softness of Quicksilver is a gentle foil to the spiky agaves. Leaves much like our nutmeg pelargonium.

    In my garden the whorls of three ranks of Rotheca leaves appeal when the flowers are resting.

  2. I really like the way the yucca is playing peek a boo over the wall. Your garden is still full of various greens. It is beginning to look a lot like winter here what with all the frosts.

  3. Jeanette says:

    The Quicksilver looks great with the Manfreda. I have had great luck with the Quicksilver and it does not seem to be aggressive. Love the Austin sign against the blue wall. It would create a fun graphic with the background removed.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Jeanette, I’m delighted to hear that ‘Quicksilver’ artemisia is not particularly aggressive. I love using ‘Powis Castle’, which is so well behaved, and may take a chance on letting ‘Quicksilver’ loose in my garden. —Pam

  4. Your fall garden is so tidy! It’s the opposite here, with falling leaves accumulating daily (the subject of my WV and FF post today).

    I love the Austin sign’s blue wall placement — and the fact your Yucca rostrata looks like the sun rising over the wall. Nicely done!

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Ha, well, I’ve been blowing acorns like crazy. This has been the biggest acorn drop I’ve ever seen since moving here 8 years ago, just a nonstop barrage and the ground covered like pecan pie. As for fallen leaves, I live in a live oak forest, which means our big leaf drop, followed by a messy pollen catkin drop, is in spring. —Pam

  5. I love your cacti and agave with their interesting foliage. Your pond and sitting area are also lovely and look so tidy! The leaves are falling here in the northeast and it is looking a lot like fall, so the focus now is on evergreens. Here is my Foliage Follow Up for November:

  6. Great foliage as always. And the garden is looking well-cared for. It’s interesting that Winter Gem boxwood does well for you as I am guessing from its name that it is one of the Chicagoland Grows introductions for northern gardens.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      I don’t know the origin of ‘Winter Gem’, Linda. But it does grow beautifully here in Austin, as do many boxwoods, especially if given afternoon shade. —Pam

  7. rickii says:

    Your design skills shine, especially now, when the showy stuff takes a vacation.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Thank you, Ricki! Although I must say my garden is not very showy in general. It’s a dry shade garden, which means few flowers but lots of green texture. Plant variegation provides most of the subtle garden color, and brighter pops of color come from my garden decor. —Pam

  8. Alison says:

    I love the spots on your Manfreda. I’ve avoided pretty much all Artemisia, because of a fear of their relentless aggressiveness. I really am tempted by the variety ‘Seafoam’ though, so it may make an appearance in my garden next spring. My FF post focuses on raindrops, of course. It’s here:

    • Pam/Digging says:

      I like ‘Seafoam’ too, although I’ve yet to see it growing in an Austin garden. There are so many pretty artemisias, but I’m a little scared by some of them, like ‘Oriental Limelight’. —Pam

  9. Kris P says:

    I was immediately taken with the ‘Quicksilver’ Artemisia and, provided I can find it, will have to see if it can manage in my zone 10b. Succulents are once again the focus of my foliage follow-up post:

  10. Evan Bean says:

    I love the spotty Manfreda combined with the silver Agave and Artemisia. I had to look up the artemisia, though, because I saw it was from Proven Winners. Trademarked names on plants are a huge pet peeve of mine. Proven Winners is usually very good about providing the actual cultivar name at the bottom of the page. I see there isn’t a cultivar name on the page you linked to. I have to wonder if this plant differs at all from regular Artemisia stelleriana, or if it’s just a marketing ploy. After looking at images from a Google search for “Artemisia stelleriana”, I’m inclined to believe the latter. This is exactly why I don’t like it when plants are sold under trademarks. They can trick you into thinking it’s something new and worth the extra money. At least you got yours for free.

    Sorry for the rant. Here’s my FF post:

  11. Anna K says:

    Oh – I love your stock tank water garden and the radiating patio around it. Beautiful, and – I imagine – hits the spot in the worst heat of summer. The purple edges on the Opuntia are so cool! Not enough hours in my days – here is my belated combination post:

    • Pam/Digging says:

      The stock-tank pond really does create visual cooling on a hot summer’s day, Anna. And I enjoy watching the fish in the pond and the birds and dragonflies it attracts all year. —Pam

  12. Peter/Outlaw says:

    The Austin sign looks perfect against your blue wall! Like Loree, I’m impressed with how tidy your autumn garden is as mine is strewn with falling leaves. Speaking of leaves, those of Artemisia stelleriana ‘Quicksilver’ are pretty sweet and you’ve used it well with the other thriller plants. Happy belated FFU! My contribution is here:

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Peter, I live in a live oak forest, and live oaks drop their leaves all at once in spring (mid-March). And they follow that with a messy pollen-catkin drop. This fall we’ve been buried in acorns. So the trees are always dropping something, and I’m always out there cleaning off the patios. :) —Pam

  13. Jenn B says:

    I just bought two little opuntia Santa Rita in 2in pots from Natural Gardener. I hope they look as beautiful one day! And I love the Rostrata peeking over!