Leaf Studies

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Cathy, of Rambling in the Garden, inspired me with her July post  for ‘Garden Blogger’s Foliage Day’, hosted by Christina of My Hesperides Garden on the 22nd of each month.

Cathy constructed a tessellation of 16 square photos featuring the textures and varying shades of green, showcasing leaves from her summer garden.  Her post is stunning, and perhaps you will take a moment to pop over and have a look at her photos.

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Foliage can be so much better than flowers.  Leaves last for weeks or even months; not just days.  They are tough.  And the intricate details of their structure, often highlighted in vivid color, elevate these organs of photosynthesis to art in its purest form.

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There was finally an opportunity to focus on foliage this morning while I watered the garden.  We have record heat here in Virginia this week, making it more critical to venture out early in the day, or just before dusk, to hydrate pots and new plantings.  Our afternoon heat indexes near 120F,  yet these beautiful leaves endure mid-summer temperatures gracefully.

Water droplets on the leaves make them even more interesting to photograph.

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I have enjoyed taking and editing these photos because they showcase some of my favorite leaves in a unique way.  Following Cathy’s example, I’ve cropped each into a square.  Within that square, there is an effort to show you several different features of each plant’s particular foliage.

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To make it even more interesting, I challenge you to guess the names of as many leaves as you might recognize.  Answers will appear below.

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Collecting and growing beautiful plants remains my passion. I’m attracted by the unique shapes, colors, patterns and textures of their foliage.  Any flowers are surely a bonus, but almost distract from the beauty of these special leaves.

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Grown more for their beauty than for any other purpose, they fill the garden with excitement.  Some are scented; others not.  Most of these are tropical, though a few hardy ones can survive our winters.  Each unfolds its unique geometry, a study in beauty and endurance.

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016
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“Plants cannot stay safe.
Desire for light spools grass out of the ground;
desire for a visitor spools red ruffles out of twigs.
Desire makes plants very brave,
so they can find what they desire;
and very tender, so they can feel what they find.”
.
Amy Leach
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Caladium

Caladium

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  1. Caladium ‘White Christmas’
  2. Begonia ‘Gryphon’
  3. Coleus ‘Wizard Pineapple’
  4. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Mariesii’
  5. Begonia Rex
  6. Colocasia ‘Mojito’
  7. Fig
  8. Sarracenia flava
  9. Alocasia
  10. Caladium ‘White Queen’
  11. Oxalis ‘Iron Cross’
  12. Pelargonium ‘Vancouver Centennial’
  13. Pineapple Mint
  14. Coleus
  15. Pelargonium – Rose scented geranium
  16. Angel wing Begonia
  17. Canna ‘Australia’
  18. hardy Begonia ‘grandis’
  19. Pelargonium ‘Grey Lady Plymouth’
  20. Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’
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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

15 responses to “Leaf Studies

  1. What an eye you have, not just for the photos but also the plant choices. Love them!

  2. Thank you for the link to GBFD, you have captured the essence of the meme, foliage is the most important thing; a garden can be beautiful with just foliage but not with just flowers.

  3. Wonderful – and I will check out her post later – you sure presented it well – and your photos here are wonderful!

    • Thank you , Yvette . So much fun when they are all growing during summer 😊

    • Hey two more things – you know what i like about you as a blogger – jus so darn cool!
      Because after I wrote “leaves” I wondered if I should have said foliage – and just wondered if it was one of those times I should have hit like and left-(and let me Thai food digest!!) but your nice reply reminds me of that Gardener tenderness 😉
      Yogis and gardeners are truly the sweetest folks I know (wish I could say Christians were the sweetest – but (clears throat) so many are “off”-and so they can’t all be included) –
      🍂🍃☘🍁
      Anyhow – the second thing – remember when I said I lost by beloved liatris?
      Well I lost a few more plants that week too – but one warrior emerged this week / from the side of the fabric that was put down – it just so happens to have a nice leaf pattern – so I will try and grab a photo. It was such a fun find!
      Have a great rest of July
      Xxoo

  4. Oh, so beautiful! Marvelous textures and colors – gorgeous!

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