Fresh Eyes on Foliage

Post last updated: August 13th, 2018

I spent a lot of time reading garden blogs before I started writing one. Garden blogs are a wealth of ideas, information, and great photographs. Bloggers also tell you about great garden books. One of the blogs recently mentioned Foliage: Astonishing Color and Texture Beyond Flowers by Nancy J. Ondra (2007).

The inside book jacket said I would be inspired “to look with fresh eyes at the simple garden leaf.” I was sufficiently inspired to put in my landscape a few succulents that many gardeners tend to put in containers. I had some echeverias – at least that’s what I think they are – recently given to me by Joy. Initially gray in color, they turned pink in the full sun and I wanted to leave them in the sun but not in the ugly temporary pot I had put them in. So I planted the echeverias in front of my smallest Ohio rock (hand-delivered by a friend) which is surrounded by four pink jolyene nichole daylilies.

Jolyene Nichol
Jolyene Nichol Daylily – 6-inch bloom

My almost non-existent memory reminded me that Momma had an abandoned pot of smaller echeverias behind the greenhouse. I checked to see if they were still alive and added them to my new succulent rock garden. In the photo, above, the large echeverias came from Joy and the small ones are the ones Momma abandoned. It’s a wonder they were still alive and hopefully, in a few days, they will get some color.

I was somewhat worried about over-watering the echeverias because of their proximity to the daylilies so I consulted Debra Lee Baldwin’s book on Succulent Container Gardens. Debra said to keep the soil of succulents “about as moist as a wrung-out sponge” and “if a chopstick inserted into the soil comes out dry (or nearly so), it is time to water.” That means the echeverias can stand a little bit of water and since I tend to handwater that area rather than putting a sprinkler on it, the echeverias should be okay. I’m hoping they will spread in front of the rock.

I’m also going to give garden space to two pots of semi-succulent sansevierias rescued from Cecelia’s trash if I can get them out of the pots.

8 thoughts on “Fresh Eyes on Foliage”

  1. I saw a beautiful collection of echeverias in Gainesville at the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens on Sunday. They all were in pots and I was thinking about trying it out.
    Once I find some I will try one in a pot and one in the soil like you have. At least for comparison.

    Have you had any rain lately? We are finally getting some.

    1. Meta – I didn’t know we had a botanical garden in Gainesville. That’s only 70 miles away. Is it a really good botanical garden? Punch into your search engine succulents + your town to see where you can find some locally. Lowes and Home Depot are starting to carry more. Matter of fact, the Home Depot nearest me just got in a shipment of them and put them out front where you couldn’t miss them.
      Yes, thank the Lord, we’ve had some rain. Quite a bit over a week’s time.

      1. Linda – I think it is a very good Botanical Garden. You would love their Herb and Medicinal Garden. Very well laid out.
        We walked around there for 4 hours this past Sunday.
        Google Kanapaha Gardens in Gainesvile and it will give you lots of information.
        I hope you will have a chance to go see it.

          1. We did not see the giant lily pads on Sunday. Don’t know what happened to them. I hope they will bring them back as they are quite showy.

  2. I’ve wanted to add these to my garden for a while, but I wasn’t sure I had the right spot. I love how yours look – and I think they will be stunning when the daylilies are blooming beside them!

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