Fine foliage

by Ciaran Burke

Foliage adds interest often otlasting the comaparable fleeting presence of flowers


As the blooms open and fade, early summer blooms give way to the later summer show. While the often fleeting beauty of blooms enthrall us, foliage can command our attention over the seasons. New growths of Pieris japonica burn bright and cool to smoldering bronze before the green calm of green returns for winter.

Pieris japonica seedling


In our collection of pots, this Pieris japonica combines with other foliage plants to provide a foliar screen of an oil tank and together their colors and shapes mingle to create a leafy composition of beauty through the spring, summer, autumn and in some cases winter too.

Cornus alternifolia ‘Variegata’


The silver variegated foliage of Cornus alternifolia ‘Variegata’ creates a soft fuzzed backdrop, it’s potis placed on a garden table to elevate it so that it distracts the eye from an ugly oil tank. A beautiful large growing shrub will take time to achieve its full height of 4-5 meters.

Salix magnifica


I love the big leaves of Salix magnifica, it is so unlike most willows. The bluish green leaves can be as big as rhododendron or magnolia foliage. It’s new growth is reddish tinged. It is a vigorous plant that can grow into a fair sized tree. Like other willows it responds well to hard pruning, so we should be able to keep its size manageable.

Pyrus communis seedling


The pear seedling is one of two, this one is the less vigorous of the pair of pears, both have attractive copper new growths and shiny leaves. We await the first flowers, but that may still take a number of years. 

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