This month I've finally got my act together to come up with a post for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day which I hope to join in on a regular basis. I'm starting with just two plants this month both of which are new to me. In fact the first is one so new that it has only been resident less than a week and still has to be planted in the garden. I came across this plant late last year at a meeting of my local garden club. The topic for the evening was 'Gardening For Winter Interest'. Our speaker bought living samples from his garden to illustrate his talk. I was most taken by the evergreen pittosporum tenuifolium 'Irene Paterson'. She is evergreen and will apparently form a shimmering mound about three feet high. I didn't think that the snipping I took home with me would root and sure enough it did not oblige ~
However I've been on the look out since and found an online source at Burncoose Nurseries in Cornwall. 'Irene' was ordered late on Tuesday evening, left Cornwall on Thursday afternoon arriving here in the north west of England just after noon yesterday. She and her travelling companion were both extremely well packed. I'm slightly apprehensive as I broke one of my unwritten rules of not buying plants that have been grown in the warmer south and also because I'm not sure how hardy 'Irene' is. Time will tell. Meanwhile I'm looking forward to seeing her grow and although her foliage was the main attraction, I am also looking forward to seeing her tiny purple flowers. One garden writer describes them as honey scented whilst another detects a cocoa aroma. Either sound more than acceptable to me.
I know that flowering plants have crept into this foliage post but I thought that it would be legitimate. I agonised whether to plant the bergenia next to the frilly spotty dotty hellebore you can see below ~
The thinking was that the bergenia foliage would reflect the coloured speckling. Pondering over this now has made me think that the latter combination would have been preferable. Maybe I will be able to divide the bergenia in the future or treat spotty dotty hellebore to a new leafy bergenia companion. The leaves on the bergenia take on an almost orange glow when back lit by the sun which is most attractive. Although leathery some creature has been nibbling the leaves which surprised me. I don't remember it happening last year so hope it's just a once off.
With many thanks to Christina over at 'Creating my own garden of the Hesperides' who kindly hosts this meme each month.