I have been feeling a little bit guilty about something. In my July Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day post, I am afraid that I made it sound that I was completely dismayed by my backyard jungle garden. In reality, I am equally dismayed and delighted by this bed. Some things are a bit overgrown and weedy, but other things are shaping up almost as I had envisioned.
And the mix of textures and leaf colors are really pleasing my eye. Especially here, where the spikey little bluestem grass leads your eye up to the brown carex and upright zebra grass... and then the round lilypad-like leaves of ligularia ground the whole composition. They reel you in and send your eye swirling back around the garden again:
When you look closer at this combination, the leaf color really takes on more prominence. The bluestem, brown carex and 'Plum Pudding' heuchera brighten up the plain green of the portulaca, whose red-orange flowers complement their surroundings and tie in the orange of the chimney tile at the same time:
The portulaca was a particularly good choice for this chimney tile, it turns out, because it's more than fine with the relative dryness there, and it cascades down the sides of the tile even better than I had hoped. This primitive wildness makes a nice contrast with the upright formality of the grasses:
The portulaca flower colors also echo the native honeysuckle, lonicera sempervirens, that is planted nearby against the fence. After admiring this vine in Annie's beautiful garden, I planted one last year in my own. I love the bright flowers and the glaucous leaves against the brown-stained fence:
As I was photographing the honeysuckle, a little burst of purple caught my eye. I had planted some succulents in this birdbath bowl after it cracked last year. It winters over in a sunny area at the top of my stairs, as some of the succulents that reside here are not winter hardy even in the ground. I like the mixture of leaf colors here, too, and I never really expected to see one of the nonhardy succulents offer up this lovely flower as well:
So, to be fair to my little jungle garden, I wanted to show you a few of the details in it that I particularly enjoy. And maybe once the eggplants start to really fill out, and the gardener gets around to weeding it... maybe there will be a few more highlights to show!