Whether it’s filigree, serrated, glossy, red, black, silver or green foliage plants come in all shapes, forms and colours. One new addition last year was Corylus avellana Red Majestic which I wrote about here: Corylus contorta Red Majestic. It has twisting stems and crinkled leaves just like it’s green relative commonly known as Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick. What makes this corylus shrub so different is its stunning purple/ red leaves and its purplish pink catkins in February. Mine didn’t produce catkins in 2011. Consequently I’m hoping that now that it’s a little more established in the garden that it will in 2012.
The shrub is supposed to be more compact that the green Corylus avellana Contorta. Though it has a tendency to send out the very odd green shoot which can be pulled away very easily. The best leaf colour is maintained when it’s grown in full sun. However mine is growing in a semi shaded position. It will probably grow to about 2 metres but it can be kept to a more compact size through pruning in Spring. Likewise its bare twisted stems are popular to use in floral art.
It grows here between a Phyllostachys aurea and an Acer palmatum Orange Dream. While the chartreuse coloured flowers of the Alchemilla mollis grow at its base. Dark almost black coloured Aquilegias compliment the foliage in spring. In addition to the purple flowers from the Clematis viticella Flore Pleno on the fence behind it during late summer.
Corylus avellana Red Majestic
1: Small photo top left – Alchemilla mollis
2. Large photo bottom left – Corylus avellana Red Majestic during the golden hour
3. Large photo top right – Corylus avellana Red Majestic against the yellow bamboo
4. Bottom photo left and right – columbine flowers and Acer palmatum Orange Beauty
For me the best time of the day to see its foliage in all of its beauty is about an hour before the sun sets as the light diffuses through the leaves. Lots of the foliage in the garden faces west and that golden light hour rejuvenates the leaf colours and brings them into another dimension.
What are your favourite foliage plants at this time of year in the garden?