Foliage Follow-Up

Today is Foliage Follow-Up, a day for garden bloggers to celebrate foliage after admiring flowers for Bloom Day. In my freeze-recovering garden, spring has been slow to make an appearance, which is why my favorite greenery right now is brand-new. Here is fresh new growth on one of my daylilies.

And here are cute new-sprouting leaves on the ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum.

Aspidistra, or cast-iron plant, came with the garden and is commonly grown all over Austin. This shade plant may be common as dirt, but I love it for its broad evergreen leaves that help keep my garden green all winter. This clump is about 6 feet in diameter.

Evergreen sun lovers include golden barrel cactus and ‘Angelina’ sedum.

Ghost plant does well in partial shade here. It’s more ever-pink than evergreen.

The last of my succulents that I’ll show today is a ‘Macho Mocha’ mangave, with its cool purple freckles.

Moving on to grass-like plants that help keep my winter garden green, here’s a massive Texas nolina (Nolina texana) that’s been growing in this pot for about 5 years. It takes sun or shade and is deer resistant.

The tawny green tufts of Texas sedge (Carex texensis) remain all winter.

As does the more elegant Mexican feathergrass (Nassella tenuissima).

Green-and-ivory-striped Sparkler sedge (Carex phyllocephala ‘Sparkler’) brightens up shady spots under the live oaks. I’m going to try this out front in deer country soon and hope they hate it as much as I love it. I haven’t found this sedge at economical prices yet, so I’m planning to divide my existing collection to get a few for the deer trial.

That’s it for this Foliage Follow-Up. I look forward to seeing what stands out in your February garden, so join me and post a few pics of your favorite foliage for all of us to enjoy. After you’ve posted, come back here and leave your link on this post in a comment so we can find yours.

All material © 2006-2010 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

45 Responses

  1. Your garden greens bring cheer to all of us. Thanks for hosting Foliage Follow-Up, it’s a chance to keep up with gardeners around the country. Here at Hill Country Mysteries, we’re seeing signs of spring in spite of chill and are happy to share:

  2. Very interesting, enjoy foliage soon after the blooms. Yours is perfect for this one. I love the way succulents ans grasses are looking.

  3. Hi Pam you sure have some good sized grasses in the garden. I am amazed that you have succulents in your garden looking so good at this time of year Pam. Pam you should sell some of your apsidistra over here in the UK – it is such an expensive plant to buy here and you only get a few stems in the pot. I have my foliage followup here – showing the new life coming back into the garden again.

    Rosie, I just popped over to see your post and wanted to leave a comment but can’t without a Google account. If you’ll enable the Name/URL option in the comment field, your comments will be accessible to us non-Google/Blogger folks.

    What I wanted to tell you is that you have an AWESOME foliage post. I like that you showed your corky bark, and I’m always mad for heuchera foliage. I enjoyed your creative photo displays too. Thanks for joining in! —Pam

  4. Cyndy says:

    It’s snowing again here in Connecticut this morning, so nice to see your lovely greenery!

  5. Darla says:

    I just love the lushness of everything in your gardens…I’m wondering about the Ghost plant, does it flower?

    Hi, Darla. I haven’t had the ghost plant long enough to see it flower, but I’ll bet it does. I will be sure to post pics if I ever get a bloom. —Pam

  6. Frances says:

    Hi Pam, I have been wondering about the effects of this winter on your garden denizens, they look to have survived, which is great news. The succulents and grasses are superb for winter. You are an inspiration to help us find places for them in other parts of the country with colder temps and more precipitation for the highly desirable winter interest they offer. We combined bloom day with the foliage follow up this month:

  7. You have a lot of pretty, green foliage. I love the leaves of the cast iron plant. I hope mine grows fast! :) Looks like it is going to be a nice and sunny day in Austin. :)

  8. Nicole says:

    Very nice foliage-especially the nolina, feather grass and sedge

  9. It all looks so wonderfully green, I especially like the tiny Sedum rosettes. You’ve taught me to admire Agaves and other succulents. Congratulations on your blogaversary, I’m sorry I missed the post, but I heard about it. (I’ve been pressed by family demands lately.) I did manage a foliage followup post, though.

  10. Since it’s snow here again today I posted foliage from my houseplants (and I’m insanely jealous of all you Texas bloggers who are starting to have spring, up here in New England it’s still a Hope). I have a lot more interesting foliage inside than I realized. Thanks for starting foliage follow up so that I actually remember to pay attention to something other than flowers.

  11. Daricia says:

    You make me want to live in TX! Love your succulents and enjoy all your nice photos of them.

  12. Nell Jean says:

    Spring is on the coming attractions agenda here in south Georgia, so I have an abundance of daffodil foliage, daylily fans and green winter ryegrass, but my pic is from random shots on Bloom Day.

  13. Yes, this winter we really appreciate the new growth coming out. I plan to try sparkler sedge again; mine didn’t like its spot. Finding an economical one is tough, though! You can see my little bit of foliage follow-up at Happy GBFF day! Linda

  14. Melody says:

    Pam, you have made look at foliage in a whole new way. I had fun doing this – looking for interesting and unsual thngs that weren’t flowers. Here’s my first entry in Foliage Follow-up:

  15. Karen says:

    I just discovered your blog and now wish I gardened in Texas too! *sigh* It’s snowing here in CT but your photos have got me excited about the growing season. I have fallen hard for succulents and plan to try them in my zone 6b garden this summer. Once I start this project, I am thinking of sharing my experiences on my blog. I hope you’d be able to offer advice!

  16. Jenny says:

    You have some fine foliage in your garden to chase away any winter blues. It was nice to get out in the sunshine once again to photograph what is going on in my garden. The promise of things to come. Thanks for hosting.

  17. Debbie says:


    Happy Foliage Follow-Up Day! I love the subtle pink colors of the ghost plant. What are those shiny blue balls next to it? Their color really compliments the ghost plant.

    It’s snowing here in CT so all my foliage photos feature snow this month.

    Thanks for hosting FFU, here’s a link to me post:

    Hi, Debbie. Those are glass pebbles next to the ghost plant. I find them for sale at Target (sold as hurricane-glass fillers) and Hobby Lobby. —Pam

  18. noel says:

    aloha pam,

    its a great day for foliage follow up, stick dark this morning for my morning yoga so i wanted to post this early.

    thanks for hosting again

  19. Lovely! (And of course, I’m drooling over that mangave…)

    Here’s my foliage follow-up–limited to houseplants, of course:

  20. After a VERY chilly morning, it’s warming up fast out there. Good gardening day.

    Here’s my Foliage Follow-Up…

    Thanks for hosting.

  21. joene says:

    Hi, Pam. Love your pics. I have to rely on previous photos from warmer times – we’re covered in fresh snow. My Foliage Follow-Up focuses on coleus, a foliage fashionista.

    I enjoy this meme – too often foliage takes a back seat to flowers.

  22. Denise says:

    Won’t be long now by the looks of your sedum. My agaves and succulents are under attack from snails, always a sign of early spring here, and it’s climbing into upper 70’s today. Love that potted nolina. Thanks for hosting the FF, Pam.

  23. Pam, I love seeing your Aspidistra planted in the ground – they’re not that common here even as houseplants. Apparently they were all the rage in Victoriana dark parlors. I want to try to plant one out in a protected spot – though I bet it’s our wet winters that would kill it, not the cold.
    I’m cheating a little bit this month – I’m a day late for bloom day and I included major foliage (a gunnera) with my bloom pics. That makes this a 2fer the price of one, – or a onefer the price of 2… Thanks for a great follow-up meme!

    Hi, Kris. We have pretty wet winters too, and the aspidistra doesn’t mind at all. But of course our precipitation comes in the form of rain, not snow. I think the cold would be the biggest concern for growing it in Rhode Island. —Pam

  24. Loree says:

    I’m happy to see the Macho Mocha’ mangave looking so good! Great pictures Pam (as always) and thank you for this fun opportunity to see every ones fabulous foliage shots! My post is here:

  25. Wow – I’m jealous of the fresh foliage in your garden!

    Carex is one of my faves and the deer don’t eat it. Really, I think you’ll be fine with all carex varieties. I don’t have sparkler, but I have several other carex varieties.


    I’m playing around with carex a lot more these days. Every one I’ve tried has been beautiful and hardy. Deer-resistance is the icing on the cake, isn’t it? —Pam

  26. gardener says:

    Great to see spring is arriving in your neck of the woods.
    Still frosty on the prairies.

  27. Meredith says:

    You’ve made me want to plant Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ just for the cutie baby shoots. :) You’ve got so much going on in your garden already so early in the season. Very enjoyable to look at it all!

  28. Michelle D. says:

    Nice foliage.
    I think you will find Carex phyllo. Sparkler deer tolerant. I’ve had it planted in deer prone areas for several seasons with good luck.
    Even wrote a review on its deer resistant and other attributes for Fine Gardening several years ago.
    It is easy to divide too.

    Hi, Michelle. It IS easy to divide. I brought over a big clump from my old garden when I moved, and divided it into thirds. Those are slowly filling out, and I hope to get enough little divisions going to help fill out my deer-infested bed out front. —Pam

  29. I just love the shade of green that colors new leaves. I love your large Nolina and also the little lady of the garden.

  30. andrea says:

    Hi Pam, i am new here, the grasses are growing profusely in your garden especially the first photo. It looks like healthy vegetables for humans. Now i am tempted to post mine here because i also detoured from posting bright colors this time but green. You might like to see my uncommon green flowers! Thank you.

  31. Lola says:

    Your garden looks great. Will have to wait & see how mine will be.
    Love the last pic with the little girl in it. So adorable.

  32. Jayne says:

    You’ve got some wonderful foliage there Pam. I love your grasses. My purple fountain grass was reduced to so much straw so I gave it a hair cut last weekend. Hopefully it will come back. I did a combined Bloom Day and Foliage Follow Up post at

  33. Diana says:

    Nice foliage, Pam. Still coveting that Sparkler sedge and haven’t found it anywhere around here. You’re smart to divide for a test so you don’t cry if the deer tear it out on you! It should be ok, but you know the deal with deer, so… My link is up at: Thanks for hosting!

    If I have extras after dividing for the front garden, I’ll share with you, Diana. —Pam

  34. Caroline says:

    Gorgeous foliage all around, Pam. Foliage Follow-Up has convinced me that I need more foliage in my garden! Baby steps! Here’s my post: Thank you for hosting!

  35. Kelly says:

    Love the Nolina! Do you find that the Carex ‘Sparkler’ needs a lot of water there in Texas? It always seems to need some extra babying here in California. Maybe it prefers more humid summers?

    Surprisingly, no. It does require a lot of shade or risk burning, but mine are growing amid live oak roots and don’t require any special babying beyond the weekly watering the rest of my garden gets in the summer. —Pam

  36. The perky, fresh green of the daylilies reaching for the sunlight is so refreshing and optimistic. Hopefully the deer leave you some of these great leaves for next month’s post. In my way-too-urban spot of the world, at least they’re not one of our gardening worries…

    It looks like I oops’ed and forgot to post my inaugural foliage post. Here it is, better later than never…

  37. Jake says:

    I am loving my snow, but seeing that you already have Daylilies is making me a little jealous. It feels like I will never make it to that point. I also love the Mexican Feather Grasses, one of my faves.


  38. Darla says:

    Thanks for the visit. The flat round reddish sedum is Coral Reef….you want some?

    That would be fun to try. Thanks for the kind offer, Darla. —Pam

  39. melanie says:

    Hi Pam, I can’t believe you have Aspidistra growing outside I have a big one as a houseplant! My garden is still under the siege of winter however I managed to find a couple of frozen things to take photos of. read all about it here,

  40. Martha says:

    Thank you so much for creating the Foliage Follow-up. It really turned my day around. And I think I can speak for all garden bloggers when I say that I’m so glad to know your garden weathered the unusual freezes so well.

    Here’s my post:

  41. Thanks, Pam, for coming up with this extension of Bloom Day. The foliage is the main show in many of my favorite gardens, so I look forward to visiting some of those posted here. The circle widens.

  42. The carex is very cool, Pam, and I forgot how glorious that Nolina looks in the big jar. Somehow missed that they could take some shade…that gives me a backup idea if the frozen dwarf Barbados Cherry in the front container doesn’t wake up!

    As you know, instead of posting foliage from my garden, my foliage post has some from Zilker Bot Gardens. (“Bot” is how I’ll avoid the botanical/botanic controversy)

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  43. Pam says:

    I am so behind – I’ve forgotten Bloom Day for a few months, and now there is Foliage Follow-up…Love it! What a great idea. If I get my act together in the near foliage, I’m definitely in. Fun.

  44. Greenearth says:

    So great to see your great foliage. I am starting a garden from scratch and have some images from my garden at

  45. Floridagirl says:

    Your foliage is wonderful! I love that barrel cactus! My contribution to FFU-April: