form and foliage

Year round garden interest with minimal care

Hooray for the Red, White and Blue!



Acer tataricum Hot Wings (‘GarAnn’) lights up the garden with explosions of red!

Today the Internet teems with photos of red, white and blue flowers, and there are many lovely combinations. We find Old Glory’s colors in the foliage garden, too. Reds abound in seed pods and new leaves.


New leaves on Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea Pendula’ are bright red.

The weeping purple beech above is getting in on the act with a few late new leaves, which are red as can be and belie its otherwise dignified appearance.


Gunnera prorepens has firecracker flowers and a martial-sounding name.

We admit that the red from Gunnera prorepens is from its flowers, not its leaves, but we use it for its chocolatey leaves and consider the flowers a bonus.

pampas grass

Cortadera selloana ‘Silver Comet’ has white stripes down its long leaves and is sterile, so not invasive.

White is easy to find, too! The pampas grass in the photo above lights up the garden with its largely white foliage.

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Sorbaria sorbifolia buds and blossoms

False spirea (Sorbaria sorbifolia), an Asian member of the Rose family, graces the foliage garden with lovely new foliage, decent fall color, and a riotous display of crackling white flowers in mid-summer.


White can be subtle, too, as in this Zelkova serrata ‘Green Mansions’

Blues abound, especially in succulents and conifers.


Agave ‘Blue Glow’ up close – it even has red edges!

Picea pungens 'Lucretia'

Colorado blue spruce is blue blue blue!

Picea pungens (Colorado blue spruce) has so many cultivars that it is hard to keep track. ‘Lucretia’, pictured above, is one of the smaller, slower-growing introductions that is easy to keep to a manageable size.


Blue weeping Atlantic cedar (Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’

Lots of blue cedars, too.


Pinus maximartinezii, the bluest of the pines.

There’s even a blue pine. It’s from Mexico, but happy to take part in the July 4th festivities.

We even found some firecrackers in the garden!

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Aloe flowers look like firecrackers about to explode

You can almost hear this one sizzle:


Most aloes have orange flowers borne well above their leaves

And then, after the fireworks are over, the smoke drifts through the air…


Artemisia versicolor ‘Sea Foam’ has a smoky look to it


Happy 4th of July to all!



7 thoughts on “Hooray for the Red, White and Blue!

  1. All soo beautiful Sara!

    I still would love to find that Acer Hot Wings!!

    Off to Iowa Wednesday ….home on the 19th. Lexi is going riding with her great uncle and is all excited!! Jayden will shooting the BB gun… equally excited!

    We must get together when I get back😘 Judy

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Exquisite post, as always. Your Gunnera prorepens is new to me and it’s gorgeous. You also showed two of my all time favorites… Artemesia versicolor ‘Sea Foam’ for it’s magnificent texture that looks amazing placed next to moss rock boulders and the Agave ‘Blue Glow’ that is simply beautiful! Happy 4th!

  3. Thanks Sheila! Happy 4th to you, too! We saw the Gunnera in Mendocino – it does like its water. Isn’t it funny that a genus that has those enormous plants (Gunnera manicata) also has this little charmer?

    • I kind of triple checked your comment that it was a Gunnera because it didn’t play well with my vision of a Gunnera. How cool are those leaves and flowers? I’m definitely charmed and I will enjoy it from your eyes and property … Denver would not be a match made in heaven!

  4. what fun!! Nat Boonin 7442 Spring Village Drive, Apt 106 Springfield VA 22150

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