June 16, 2012

Foliage from the heart of my garden

Have you ever noticed how many plants have heart-shaped foliage? It really hit me the other day, and it seemed like a good theme for Pam's Foliage Follow-Up meme.

I was walking around the garden and noticed a heart, and then another one, and another.... This really should be a Valentine's Day post, I guess. But there isn't much foliage around here on Valentine's Day. So let's take a look.


Caladium is probably the most dramatic example. Stunning, huge heart-shaped leaves greet me from the planter on the front porch.


Pretty Wood Violet lines the shaded walkway.



Hostas of all sizes and colors dot the landscape in the front, back, and side gardens.


Ligularia offers a spiky-edged heart (sounds like a good title for a novel or a ballad).


Cucumber: Who would have thought its foliage was heart-shaped? (Or is that a Hollyhock? See Rose's comment below.)


Hyacinth Bean...well, it's sort of heart-shaped.


Coleus is more like a teardrop, but it holds a red heart.


Dwarf Lilac appears heart-shaped from this angle.


And one of my favorites of all—Redbud provides a canopy of sun-filtering hearts on hot summer days.

Who'd have thought there were so many hearts in the garden. And this is just a small sample!

My next post will be a wrap-up of the "Lessons Learned" meme—at the solstice on Wed., June 20. Join in if you can! It's always fun to share garden lessons from around the globe. Leave a comment about lessons you learned in the past season, or click here or on the "Lessons Learned" tab at the top of the page. Happy Summer!

30 comments:

  1. Your heart-shaped leaves are beautiful. I never realized there were so many!

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    1. Thanks, Alison. I know, it really hit me when I started focusing on the foliage. I know there are more, too, but this was just one quick walk through the garden.

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  2. Great observation! Epimedium is one of my perennial favorites and ten there are the variously colored sweet potato vines also.

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    1. Yes, I've always wanted to plant Epimedium rubrum. Now I have another reason to do so. And I love Sweet Potato vine, but it doesn't do so well in my shady garden.

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  3. What a great theme for Foliage Follow-Up! I love all those heart-shaped leaves.

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    1. Thanks, Pam. And thanks for hosting Foliage Follow-Up--it's great motivation to look more closely at the amazing foliage all around us!

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  4. I have been thinking about the heart-shapes in flowers and leaves among plants in my garden too. This is like Mother Nature's message of love to us. Your garden today looks very tropical!

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    1. So true, Autumn Belle. I imagine you have many more heart-shaped foliage plants in your garden year-round! It does seem tropical here in the summer. I love it!

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  5. Beth what a lovely post an wonderful way to highlight the foliage in the garden....amazing what we see as we concentrate on foliage...I need to do that a bit more.

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    1. Thanks, Donna! Yes, I really had to make it a priority to focus on the foliage. I don't appreciate it enough. I can see how black and white photography would provide yet another perspective on it. :)

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  6. I am going to have to take a walk around my garden this morning and look for hearts in the garden! Never thought about some of your examples before. Love the Caladium!

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    1. The hearts really pop out at you when you look for them. I noticed a lot of other hearts, too (flowers, flower clusters, other objects). But this is a post on foliage, so I stuck to the theme. :)

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  7. Beth, You have such a keen eye! I immediately thought of redbud leaves, but I didn't think of all the other examples until you showed them. The cucumber is really a surprise. Hollyhocks also have somewhat of a heart-shaped leaf.

    Enjoyed your last post, too, about your Grandpa's roses. What a wonderful legacy he left. The Old World farm looks like such an interesting place to spend the day.

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    1. LOL! I had to go back and check for a proper ID. Honestly the Hollyhocks and Cucumbers look so much alike right now that I wasn't sure. But I think you're right--it's a Hollyhock leaf. I wish the Roses would have lasted longer. It wasn't the best year for 'Sweet Mary' blooms. But the plants still look healthy, so hopefully next year the blooms will be more plentiful and longer-lasting.

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  8. Great post! Our gardens are saying they love us as much as we love them! ;-)

    Amy

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    1. Thanks, Amy! That's what it feels like anyway. :) Studying foliage is such a rewarding, fascinating endeavor!

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  9. What a wonderful observation! My heart is in the garden and so it is only fair that hearts would be found there as well. Beautiful post!

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    1. So well said, Michelle. My heart is there as well. :) Thank you for your kind comments.

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  10. Great post, Beth, I love Coleus, have had many types of them, unfortunately they are not hardy here so I have to keep buying new ones. I know of another heart shaped foilage; Arisarum proboscideum, the mouse plant :-) Got lots of them in my garden, you can see them on a post I wrote back in April. Lovely photo of the Caladium!

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    1. Thank you, Helene! Coleus plants aren't hardy here, either. So I buy flats of them as annuals every summer. They're so colorful and come in so many forms and varieties. And they like shade! I'll check out the mouse plant--thanks!

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  11. All those hearts in your garden of course conveying how much they love you for your care and attention! Sweet post. I'll have to go take a look and see how many hearts I can find ;)

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    1. Aww, thanks Cat. I fear I fall short sometimes, but caring for garden plants is definitely a labor of love. You'll have to let me know about your discoveries!

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  12. That's a fun post! Caladiums are so beautiful, I used to be able to grow them in Dallas, but they don't like it here in California :(. I am amazed at how many hearts you found in your garden, your plants must really love you.

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    1. Thanks, Masha. I've grown Caladiums before, but I knew I had to have another one this year after visiting New Orleans in March. They're all over the place there. Of course, it won't make it through the winter here, but it's nice to have on the porch for the summer. :)

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  13. What a fun post! It is amazing how many heart shaped leaves there are when you start looking for them. I cannot wait to have a little bit of damp for some Ligularia. Happy June, Beth!
    Julie

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    1. Thanks, Julie. My Ligularias are looking a bit bedraggled with the lack of rain. But they've made it through before, so I hope I don't lose them this year. It is wild what you notice in the garden when you really take time to look.

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  14. Hi, I have been thinking of posting the same heart-shaped leaves too, but hasn't compiled all my photos yet. Autumn Belle is right, maybe that is nature's way of telling us to love and care for the plants around us, that magically provides us with the air/oxygen we breath. That is the purpose why i titled my relatively new blog as Oxygen Generators, hahaha!

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    1. I'll look forward to seeing your post, too! Sometimes it's fun to have a theme that we can all share and compare. I'll bet you have even more than I do.

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  15. What a sharp observation! Now I'll be looking at my foliage a bit differently. A fresh perspective is always welcome. :o)

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    1. I'm enjoying the focus on foliage. This time of year the foliage is as or more interesting than the flowers. I'll bet you found a lot of hearts, too?!

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