Looking Good in the Garden 23rd Jan

It’s mid winter here in the UK and this month I’m making the most of some lovely variegated foliage plants. Seasonal changes are some of the main factors I love about our garden but there are some plants here that don’t change much at all throughout the year. From spring to autumn most of these plants play a supporting role.  Usually the stars in the garden are pastel spring blossom and bulbs, bright summer blooms and mellow autumn leaves. It is easy to take foliage plants for granted… they are in the background most of the time really.


We grow three evergreen variegated ivies close to the house. Hedera helix is the plain green common ivy which grows wild in the hedgerows around here. We have a silver variegated form and a gold edged one growing in planters.  (Top Left and Middle.) The Canary Island Ivy Hedera ‘Gloire de Marengo’ grows on a tall and sheltered garden wall. (Bottom Left)  With cream splashed leaves bigger than your hand and red tinged stems it makes quite an impact.

In the semi-shaded Spring Garden there are a few low maintenance plants. Euonymus fortunei ‘Silver Queen (Top Right) and Vinca major (Bottom Middle) both have creamy white leaf edges. They are both evergreen and quite hardy. Arum italicum ‘Marmoratum’ (Bottom Right) is a perennial and produces the most amazing leaves of all…. arrow shaped with distinct white veins.

In winter their glossy foliage shines out on dull days. A touch of frost or a few raindrops enhances their beauty. Now is the time I really appreciate these variegated plants.


This is Euphorbia characias ‘Silver Swan’ growing in the Summer border. All year round it has glaucous blue-green leaves with cream edges. In winter when the flowers have faded it turns into a star plant. The brilliant thing about all of these plants is not only do they provide colour and interest in winter but they also make excellent cutting material to combine with flowers for the house.

Today is Garden Bloggers Foliage Day so I’m also joining in with Christina for her monthly foliage feature.

So that’s a quick glimpse into my garden to see what’s Looking Good this week.
What’s Looking Good in yours?

If you would like to join in with Looking Good in the Garden this week I would be delighted to see what’s happening in your part of the world.

  1. First please leave a link to this post in your post.
  2. Leave a comment here with a link to your Looking Good post on your own blog.

Thanks very much for joining in. I am looking forward to seeing what’s happening where you live. Hope you can spend some time in your garden this weekend.

Happy Gardening    Gillian 🙂






19 thoughts on “Looking Good in the Garden 23rd Jan

  1. I just wanted clarifying something after checking your post today. Is there a theme to something specific each week, as this week looks like foliage?? Or are we just posting what looks good from week to week:) sorry for the silly question.
    Have a great day.

    1. My Bog event Looking Good is every Friday in 2016 and can include anything you want… shrubs, flowers, garden visits, wildlife, garden produce, your local park or even recipes. As long as it’s garden related in some way that’s fine by me. This Friday just happened to coincide with Garden Bloggers Foliage Day.

  2. Thanks for your contribution to GBFD this month Gillian, you are correct that we often overlook the beauty and important in our gardens. I would suggest that even when your flowers are blooming and they are what grabs your attention it is actually the foliage that hold the design together and without good structure (that I know your garden has) the flowers would not look as good.

    1. I have quite a few variegated plants Tina. I realise that some people aren’t keen but I enjoy them, particularly in winter.

  3. Such a lovely selection of variegated foliage, your plants seem to glow with health. I think you’re right, some people spurn multi coloured leaves. I wonder why?

    1. Thanks Kate. I’m working hard to add lots of compost/leaf mould to improve the soil. I’m not sure why some plants seem less tasteful or fashionable to some gardeners. In my garden variegated plants fit nicely with everything else so I’m very happy to keep them.

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