Grassy Foliage Follow-Up

The day after Bloom Day is all about leaves, bark, stems, cones, seedheads, etc. here at Digging, and maybe on your blog as well. Join me for Foliage Follow-Up, a celebration of non-flowery plant beauty.

Pictured here is dwarf papyrus (Cyperus papyrus ‘Nanus’), a bog plant growing in my stock-tank pond. Soon the green will turn to rusty brown, and it will go dormant through the winter.

I know I keep showing the frosty foliage of ‘Blue Ice’ Arizona cypress (Cupressus arizonica), but I just can’t help it. It’s so gorgeous, especially in contrast with the coppery ‘Adagio’ miscanthus grass next to it. There’s more silver just past the miscanthus: ‘Powis Castle’ artemisia.

Soon the miscanthus leaves will turn shades of burgundy, orange, and gold, but for now the curling seedheads are stealing the show.

The finger-like inflorescences fan open and then curl over as they reveal the seeds.

Purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’), in contrast, has a fuzzy, bottle-brush inflorescence, and just look at its soft pink and purple coloring.

The bottle brushes are standing by to scrub out the blue bottle tree

This grass’s leaves go all yellow and purple in fall. Who says trees get to have all the fun with autumn foliage?

Spring-blooming Mexican feathergrass (Nassella tenuissima), in the foreground, doesn’t put on a big fall display. In fact, none of the plants in this xeric grouping changes much from season to season, although the ‘Bright Edge’ yucca will intensify in color in cold weather. I hope to have a picture of that in a couple of months. No hurry though.

I hope you’ll join me in posting for Foliage Follow-Up. If you do, please leave your link in a comment on this post so we can find it.

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

30 Responses

  1. Autumn Belle says:

    Pam, the grasses looks so gorgeous under your skillful hands. They are indeed a joy to look at. My foliage follow-up post is here:

    Thank you very much for hosting FF Day!

  2. Darla says:

    Very nice, love the grass in front of the bottle tree…I participated today..woo-hoo!

  3. Lots of lovely foliage but the combo with your blue bottles is a real wow! Still lots of fall color up here.

  4. Rose says:

    Beautiful photos, Pam! I don’t know which I like better–the papyrus or the purple fountain grass in front of the blue bottle tree. Enjoyed seeing your lovely blooms on yesterday’s Bloom Day post, but I can see that the grasses are stealing the show this November.

    I’ve joined in your Foliage Follow-up this month–foliage is about all that’s left of my garden right now:)

  5. Good morning Pam! Your papyrus is still looking lovely and spry and the bottle tree is such a nice colorful addition this time of year!

    Thanks for hosting Foligage Follow-up. I’ve focused on the subdued palette of fall around my neighbhorhood this month. Believe it or not, I found a few pops of color ;-) I hope you enjoy!

  6. RBell says:

    I always enjoy seeing the Purple Fountain Grass in the gardens around Austin (my shade excludes them from my garden). Here is my contribution to Foliage Follow-up:

  7. Great foliage, as usual. I love the miscanthus. Mine didn’t do too well this year. It’s been moved. So, I’m hoping for better luck, next year.

    Here’s my Foliage Follow-Up post.


  8. daricia says:

    hey pam, that dwarf papyrus and your pictures of it are really nice. i have lots of autumn color for my foliage post today – not much is blooming this month, but these leaves surely make up for it!

  9. I came to see your bloom day photos, but I like your foliage follow-up even more especially grass and bottle tree (I thought it was a salvia). Thanks, Carolyn

  10. Denise says:

    Pam, feel free to post a photo of that Arizona cypress every day. Wonderful textures and subtle color in that border with the cypress, grasses and artemisia.

  11. Pam/Digging says:

    Lisa and Diana, I found your posts & am putting your links here for others to find:

    Greenbow Gardens:

    Sharing Nature’s Garden:


  12. Floridagirl says:

    Pam, these are beautiful photographs! I do love that cypress and miscanthus together. And the dwarf papyrus. Here is my foliage for the month: Thanks for hosting this meme!

    Floridagirl, thanks for joining in. I couldn’t leave a comment on your post without a Google account, so I’ll leave it here:

    Tropical foliage is certainly show-stopping, not just in size but color also. It was interesting to read about the “split personality” of your garden. Sounds like you have the best of both worlds. —Pam

  13. There can never be too many grasses. Yours are spectacular.

  14. Layanee says:

    My yucca is glowing from great distance and when I noticed it from inside the office two hundred feet away, I thought of you. Pam’s Yucca! That is the name. Love your flowers and your foliage.

  15. I love how the artemesia echoes the cypress. That cool blue is just lovely.
    I finally managed to finish my post. There still so much great fall color out there.

  16. That bed with the Arizona cypress and Miscanthus is gorgeous! I think I need both those plants now.

  17. Yes, your silver and gold combinations are lovely. I am just learning to appreciate the grasses my husband insisted on getting when I first started planting things here. I didn’t think to include photos of them in my foliage post. I may plant a couple purple fountain grasses in the front curb area after seeing yours. The grasses sure look good in your photos.

    Here is the link to my post:

  18. Just lovely! I wish I had a spot for the Arizona cypress–can’t get enough silver!

  19. David C says:

    Very cool Pam and others.

    OK, on mine, I went overboard, esp. since I thought I would have few offerings after seeing others’ foliage pics. But in way under an hour, it was amazing what was right here at the house, plus on my sunset hike. My late post is here:

  20. Ornamental grasses are hard to beat. So much bang for the buck!!! Here’s the link to my foliage follow-up! Thanks for hosting this, Pam!

  21. Floridagirl says:

    Hi, again, Pam! Hmmm…. I have my blog set to OpenID. Did it not accept your comment?

  22. Yard Farm says:

    Love the pictures, and your blue bottle tree!

  23. Ann says:

    Man, I love that dwarf papyrus. The heads on the papyrus I have are not as interesting. Is it crazy to want a second stock tank pond so that I have more room for water plants? I love your foliage posts (generally even more than your bloom day ones).

    Are you kidding? Crazy? That shows what good taste you have, Ann. By all means, a second stock tank pond! —Pam

  24. andrea says:

    Love the ‘Blue Ice’ and ‘Adagio’ combo! I bet that area looks amazing with morning and evening light shining through.

  25. Cherry Lane says:

    I’ve been telling myself for several years that I need to incorporate more grasses into my landscape. Your post is another reminder. Beautiful! Meanwhile, my first (late) foliage post is here:

  26. Stevie says:

    Lovely idea! I usually post both at the same time as foliage is just so beautiful too!

  27. Beautiful shots of the grasses! I don’t have a foliage follow up to announce, but I do have a Grasses post similar to yours, if you want to check it out:

  28. My ‘Blue Ice’ (amsonia) is no longer blue, and I’m totally in love with yours! (Too bad it wouldn’t be as hardy here as the amsonia… *sigh* I’m having zonal envy right now! :-)

    I finally got my Foliage Followup post up, and you can check it out here:

  29. Robyn says:

    Beautiful pictures! Do you trim the dried stalks off your papyrus or leave them there over the winter?

    So long as they stand up, I leave them. Once they fall over into the water, I trim them back. —Pam

  30. Lola says:

    Well, “better late than never” I say. Love those grasses. I have a few that I need to get into the ground. I just haven’t made up my mind just where I want them. So for now they are in pots.
    I too like the Blue Ice & the Adagio together. I don’t have a blog but I love to read others & learn a lot.