Showing posts with the label fern upgrade

A Few Autumn Ferns - Backyard Shade Garden - May 2024

First came the Ostrich Fern.  Then, I realized there were BETTER ferns that I could grow in my garden.  The one that I seem to be drawn to most?  The Autumn Brilliance Fern .  I planted three to start and then each Fall, I've added more small ones.  Unfortunately...most of them don't over winter that first year, so I end up having far fewer than I start the Fall with in the backyard. But, where do we stand today - late Spring - in terms of Autumn Ferns? First...the three originals - they're all here today.  And looking mighty fine in their Springtime splendor: In the Fall of 2022, I planted 12 (yes...twelve) small Autumn Ferns.  I thought ALL of them died, but turns out that four remain - all in front of the Hicks Yew Hedge in the back.  Two photos below show two apiece.  These are, well....small.  But they get very little supplemental water back there. That makes seven so far.   Last Fall, I planted five more quart-sized Autumn Ferns .  I dug up four this year and it seems

Five Autumn Ferns Planted - November 2023

#10 on my 2023 to-do list was to do a 'fern upgrade' .  That means replacing the Ostrich Ferns (my first love) with ferns that do better and last longer.  I've written about this a few times before and even tried to implement this last Fall with planting a number of Autumn Ferns late.  But...not all of them made it.  Despite that, I decided to roll the dice (again) and plant Autumn Ferns late in the growing season.  This time, they're slightly bigger, though.  ( Last year, I planted 12 and only six small ones came back. ) Also..of note...I planted two Crested Wood Ferns earlier this year - as part of my #FernUpgrade project . One of the things that I'm evolving on in my garden are hostas.  I was a hosta guy.  But, the thing that I'm starting to notice - over time - is that Hostas totally disappear come dormancy.  That leaves BIG swaths of NOTHING in the garden all winter.  Are hostas going to stay in my garden?  Yes.  But, I'm done dividing any of them that

Autumn Ferns - Pre-Fall Colors - September 2023

The three Autumn Ferns that have changed everything I think about ferns in the garden are at their peak pre-color-change right now - mid-September.   They are full, lush and alive with fronds the reach up and out and curl ever-so-slightly in this shade bed.   Photo of the 'original three' below: Last Fall, I planted a number of small Autumn Ferns, but it appears that just six of them came back and made it this year .   There are a couple of plants that I'm going to seek out at the big box store end-of-season sales:  These Autumn Ferns and Ajuga Chocolate Chip for groundcover .

Japanese Painted Ghost Ferns - Candidates for Fall Dividing - August 2023

That photo (above) shows the five Ghost Ferns (Athyrium 'Ghost') that I planted (as a set of four) in the Spring of 2021. They were from the Morton Arboretum Spring sale and they've thrived since they were added to our backyard shade garden.  Why are there five Ghost Ferns when I planted four?  No...they're not spreading ferns like the Ostrich Fern that sends out underground runners.   The reason that there are (now) five of these ferns is because last Fall, I divided one of them into two .   At that time, I only divided one because I was a little afraid.  I didn't want to kill all of them off. I did the same dividing with some Shaggy Shield ferns and my fears were well-placed as not all of the divisions made it this year.   But, the Ghost Fern division not only survived, but it appears to have had a good year and is a vigorous, healthy fern.   Why do I bring this up? remind myself and to help prioritize my Fall dividing program.  But, also because of