Maple and mangave for Foliage Follow-Up


I’ve been celebrating a belated fall here at Digging and on Instagram this week, as our Japanese maple flamed into orange and then red. Although it’s a little odd to see brilliant fall color at Christmastime, we deprived Texas gardeners happily take it whenever we can get it.

My garden hasn’t gotten a freeze yet, which is why the river ferns under the maple still look fresh and green. They’ll turn brown and shrivel this Saturday, when we’re expecting a hard freeze. Other good foliage plants here include variegated flax lily (Dianella tasmanica ‘Variegata’), Chinese mahonia (Mahonia fortunei), holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum), ‘Soft Caress’ mahonia (Mahonia eurybracteata ‘Soft Caress’), and ‘Everillo’ sedge (Carex oshimensis ‘Everillo’).

Of course lawn is a foliage plant too, and this one semicircular patch of St. Augustine is all that remains of the large lawn we inherited with the house. It’s both decorative and functional, as we have tons of live oak sprouts that come up in this spot, and it’s easier to mow them than to weed them out of a garden bed.


Here’s one of my rarer plants, ‘Espresso’ mangave, a white-edged version of well-known ‘Macho Mocha’ mangave. Austin designer and author Scott Ogden gave me a pup a few years ago, and it’s grown very slowly and produced a few sparing pups of its own, one of which I returned to Scott after agave snout-nosed weevils got his original plant.


This is my December 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.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
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13 Responses

  1. Jeanette says:

    My favorite foliage is ginkgo leaf, especially this time of the year. I have planted it in a few hardiness zones. Included is a link to a 1,400 year old tree in China. It is so beautiful in the fall that it receives thousands of visitors. I hope you have a Merry Christmas.
    Link: https://grassrootshorticulture.blogspot.com/2016/11/ginkgo-tree.html

  2. Kris P says:

    I admire your Dianella every time I see it. I have 2 species but neither of mine look half as good as yours. Thanks for another look at your marvelous Japanese maple too. I focused on red-green foliage combinations for my post this month: https://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2016/12/foliage-follow-up-tis-season.html

  3. Oh that mangave is a looker for sure!!!

  4. Evan Bean says:

    Fall is my favorite season, so I love being able to enjoy your fall color after mine is long gone. Everything is covered in snow here, and I’m dreaming of greener days. I have a pretty mixed bag for my post this month: http://practicalplantgeek.blogspot.com/2016/12/garden-bloggers-bloom-day-and-foliage.html

  5. Jenni says:

    Hi Pam…wow o’ wow that maple is a striking shade of orange. Over the PNW…we’re stuck in snow and ice (rare for us) but it does make the garden pretty. Here’s my foliage post for December: http://www.therainydaygardener.com/2016/12/winter-blooms-and-foliage-in-my-oregon.html

  6. rickii says:

    Your belated Fall contrasts sharply with our early Winter: http://bannersbyricki.com/archives/5699

  7. ks says:

    I am having a serious swoon event over that Mangave ‘Espresso’. The search is on.

  8. Wow! That maple is gorgeous with color! We are far pass autumn color with temperatures in the 30’s and snow on the ground here on Long Island ! My foliage Follow-Up for December: https://landscapedesignbylee.blogspot.com/2016/12/garden-bloggers-bloom-day-foliage.html#.WFXpgVMrKUk

  9. Alison says:

    I hope your coming freeze doesn’t do too much long-term damage. I wouldn’t call my post “leafy loveliness” but it is interesting, I think. I posted on the 16th, but we went away and I never got around to putting a link here till now. It’s here: http://bonneylassie.blogspot.com/2016/12/foliage-followup-december-2016.html

  10. Lucinda Hutson says:

    What lovely Christmas posts..brought cheer to my heart and soul, as do all of your posts. Feliz navidad…may your days be merry and bright and your new year be filled with love and light!

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