Outside, there are still a few areas of interesting foliage to showcase for Foliage Follow-Up, like the pink hues of 'The Blues' little bluestem shown below. In the front yard, the oakleaf hydrangea's leaves are dry and curled but still look interesting. And 'Chubby Fingers' green sedum peeks out vibrantly from a receding blanket of snow.
'The Blues' little bluestem next to orange-berried pyracantha. In the interest of full disclosure, this pic was taken earlier in the winter, before the last few heavy snowstorms. Today's photos of the bluestem all came out too blurry to post, but the pink blades are still as shockingly pretty next to the pyracantha... just a little more horizontal!
But the real foliage show for this northern gardener is happening indoors. Here, in no particular order, are a few highlights:
A huge jade plant with an interesting backstory--coming soon, I promise--towering over a fancy hoya with some of the largest leaves I've ever seen. I think it's a variegated hoya kerrii, but am not 100% sure on that ID. To give you an idea of the scale, green jade pot is 18" in diameter.
An orchid cactus that I rescued from the clearance table at the garden center where I work part time. The rest of it still looks like it's "recovering" but this newish red shoot is encouraging.
"We're not gonna take it..." Detail from sansevieria 'Twisted Sister'
From left: Thanksgiving cactus planted in an old cast birdbath with shell mulch, a passalong blue agave (which is throwing out a new pup!) from Joe (my boss at the CBG glasshouse when I volunteer,) a funky lipstick plant in a tall tom pot, and purple cordyline with various pieces of succulents scattered around its base for rooting.
(For those who are especially observant, the green-and-gold leaves in the lower right corner of the photo above are from a variegated ginger that I am also overwintering here on my stair landing.)
Staged on a trashpicked end table at the top of the same stairs: Trailing sedum, leaves from the jewel orchid that has been flowering for more than a month now, and the smooth pot of the ficus shown below.
I love the undersides of these ficus leaves. They remind me of a magnolia or something, all soft and rich-looking.
More experiments in overwintering: A multi-colored phormium anchors a pot with marjoram, asparagus fern, sedum and 'Icicles' helichrysum.
I don't know why, but I like the impressionistic quality of this blurry helichrysum/phormium photo a lot... so I'm sharing it, too.
I do NOT like that this photo is blurry, but I couldn't get a clear picture of the sedum spathulifolium 'Carnea' in natural light--and using the flash washed it out. So this is the best I can do to show off its glowing beauty. Next year, I hope to have enough of this to divide--part will come inside to overwinter, and the rest will stay outside to see whether it comes back here a la 'Cape Blanco.' Hardiness reports online vary, so I didn't want to take a chance with my little specimen this year.
Hybrid paphiopedilum (a 'Macabre' cross) that enjoys showcasing its speckled leaves on my grandma's milk glass cake stand. To keep this vignette on grandma's marble-topped wash stand from looking too old-fashioned, I added a bright art glass vase from the thrift store--and there's an old church music sign (the kind you put hymn numbers on) hanging behind with random photographs.
Detail from one of the leaves of a variegated monstera that lives in my kitchen. See the 'Autumn' philodendron leaves below it?
And a fuller view of a single monstera leaf. This is another thing that I picked up at the garden center this year... one of those weird and cool plants that the devil on your shoulder knows you're going to buy... even as the angel on your other shoulder protests, "But really, Kim... where on earth are you going to keep a monstera?!?!"
Okay, so that was more than just "a few highlights"... but photos are like plants for me. Sometimes, I just can't stop!
Hope you all are enjoying this mid-January weekend. And yes, really, the story of the "Jade Plant from Hell" (the name comes from its previous owner, not me!) will be posted soon.