Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Follow Up: underplanting

First, let me give you a very quick, belated GB Bloom Day.  I was too wiped out to post yesterday.  I spend most of the day transplanting some shrubs and a bunch of Gerbera daisies and asters.  They needed dividing, and it was fiddily work pulling apart all the little roots.  And there seemed to be a battalion of ants everywhere I wanted to put them.

In the last month, as we’ve been renovating the garden, we’ve pulled out about 50 of these beach spiderlilies (Hymenocallis littoralis) from under old bushes and moved them to the front of the newly widened planting beds along the front lawn. They started blooming right away, although they’re a bit sad, since we cut off their leaves as we set them out.

Beach spiderlilies are native to southern Mexico, the west coast of Florida, and Central America, but somehow they made it to Rwanda, where they’re a common garden flower.

Now on to foliage:  the little creeping plant below is a real lifesaver here where you can’t buy that nice bagged mulch to cover all the bare dirt in a newly planted area. I don’t know its name, but we had it in Niger as well. It may be a sedum.

It’s very shallow-rooted, so it’s easy to scoop up a handful, tease it apart a little, and then press it into loose soil under taller plants that need some time to fill out.

It’s grow-your-own mulch. It spreads quickly and can actually get out of hand, but I’ll always be tearing off the overflow for another spot. Or just tossing it — grow-your-own compost too.

In Washington, D.C., I had a spreading stonecrop sedum that served much the same purpose.

This month, I’ve also been pulling various begonias out of pots and re-planting them in semi-shade as ground cover.  They won’t spread as fast as the sedum, but they should make a nice tapestry eventually.

I’m not going to try to name these varieties.

I think there as many different types of begonias as daylilies.

Below is great spreading plant for which I don’t yet have a name.  I found it behind the back parking area, hidden by the curb.  I’ve been dividing and planting it everywhere.

It has true blue flowers.

I’m not really a pots person.  In the last couple of months, I’ve mostly been removing the plants from a lot of the old pots that I’ve found all around the house and putting them in the ground. However, I did recently create this rather pitiful arrangement.

The tree — one of those big-leafed Ficus that you see in chic rooms in House Beautiful — was in another pot at the side of the house, baking in full sun. We pulled it out and pruned its roots and top.  Then, we put it in this prettier pot in the bright shade of the terrace, underplanted with the little round-leafed begonia shown above.

I’ve got my fingers crossed that it will eventually put out new leaves. [UPDATE: It recovered beautifully.]

To see what’s blooming in other garden bloggers’ gardens, check out May Dreams Gardens, and thanks to Pam at Digging for hosting Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Follow Up the 16th of every month.

8 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Follow Up: underplanting

      1. So I’ll have to take it out of my begonia group. I googled it, and it’s a Pilea sp., aka aluminum plant, artillery plant, angelwings, or friendship plant. Thanks!

  1. I was in New Orleans a few weeks ago and my Mom had spider lilies growing in her front flower bed. I had never seen them before and now they seem to be popping up everywhere. I hope your potted ficus makes it.

    1. I hope so too. I’ve been admiring them in various decorating magazines. I wish I had a bright place in the living room for one. I’ll give it a couple of months, and then just go and buy one, but I hate to waste a plant.

  2. It looks like you have quite a few plants that do very well here too. I’ve planted out my driveway with spider lilies, though mine desperately need to be thinned out at the moment. I think the pretty blue flowering ground cover is Evolvulus ‘Blue Sapphire’. They were really popular here about 10 years ago, although you don’t see them quite so often nowadays.

    1. You’re right, it is Evolvulus. Thanks! It would have taken me a long time to identify it on my own. It’s a tropical, hardy to U.S. zones 8-11. I think it is sold in colder areas as an annual plant for pots.

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