Last Fall, I tentatively stepped into the Ghost Ferns Dividing Business. I had four original plants to start when I lifted one in the Fall of 2022 and created five Ghost Ferns. I took a look at the five - the two divided segments returned this year - in Spring . With that success under my belt, I took on dividing the rest of them. From five ferns, I now have eight ferns. I left the two that resulted from 2022 divisions intact. And divided up the remaining three - to create three new ferns. Below is the 'after' showing seven Ghost Ferns in this section including one *behind* the Weeping Nootka Cypress tree. Seven, you say? Where's the last one? I put it on the side of the house lining the new Boardwalk: Below are a few in-process Ghost Fern dividing photos: More Ghost Ferns is on my 2024 agenda. Fern upgrade in process. I'm posting this in November 2023, but I did this dividing and transplanting in mid-October 2023.
Showing posts with the label ferns
#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
I spotted this annual outlook on gardening trends from Garden Design and will - I think - post about the full list at some point. I've done that the past few years - 2022 trends - and last year - 2023 trends . There are a few items on this years list that are worth a blog-post-level exploration. But...there's one item that was totally BRAND NEW to me. Borderline revelation. It was that in 2024, more gardeners are going to 'rediscover stumpery gardens'. I read that and was like... Wait a second. Stumpery. What the heck is a stumpery? I've never heard of a stumpery let alone thought about adding one or 'rediscovering' stumpery gardens. Here's what Garden Design says : While once a Victorian fad designed to show off fern collections, stumperies are again making a comeback. Only now, the focus isn’t only on plant collections but also on creating wildlife sanctuaries while showcasing shade-loving plants. Simply speaking, a stumpery is a shad
The #FallPlanting beat goes on with a new (to me) shrub that I planted in the front porch bed - sort-of tucked in between the new (this year) Disneyland Roses and the tiny Green Velvet Boxwoods . Was this in the plan that I had in mind? Nope. Then...why would it go here? The answer to that is, of course rooted in Fall nursery sales. But, a good price wouldn't be enough to get me to make the leap. Nope. What made this all come together is this specific shrub: A Matcha Ball Ash Leaf Spirea. Here, below, is the young shrub planted in its spot in my front porch bed: What's so special about this shrub? Well...you can tell a lot by just looking at it. Here's what First Editions says about it : Forming a perfect round ball fern-like leaves cover Matcha Ball® in a fresh shade of green, much like Matcha tea. When the leaves first emerge in very early spring, the leaves and petioles have hints of red and orange-peach that ultimately mature to green in the summer and yellow
Last Fall, I divided two Shaggy Shield Ferns into four clumps and transplanted them to the edge of the border with the hopes that they'd take the spot of some (fallen-out-of-favor) Ostrich Ferns that I had in this bed. I planted them in a row and then attempted to water them in all Fall. Earlier this Spring, I stuck six (6) Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' plugs in the same bed both in-front-of and behind the locations of the Shaggy Shield Ferns . At that time....(Late May), I thought that I had lost ALL of the divided ferns as none of them had thrown up new growth. They all appeared dead. A setback when it comes to dividing ferns. Fast forward to today. I was puttering around and realized that SOME of those Fall 2022 Shaggy Shield Divided ferns had made it. I had two ferns last Summer, divided to make four small ferns. Today...I'm back up to three Shaggy Shield Ferns. See below for a photo showing the Shaggy Shields that have come back: There's a lot going on
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 .
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? First...to remind myself and to help prioritize my Fall dividing program. But, also because of
Number 10 on my 2023 to-do list was to keep going on my 'fern upgrade' project. That means that I need to say 'so long' (not goodbye) to my first fern love - the ostrich fern. And begin to replace them with better performers. I've written a few times about ferns that 'look good' after a full, not Summer and documented all of the various ferns in our garden in September . At that time the Ostrich Ferns look tired and burned out. The Autumn and Japanese Painted ferns do NOT. Then, there's Winter - when the Autumn Ferns stick around and add some visuals to the mostly barren garden . So, replacing Ostrich Ferns with other ferns is something that I've been trying to do - both through divisions as well as new additions. When I planted the Inaba shadire Japanese Maple, I removed six Ostrich Fern clumps and put them in the far back. I planted the tree a step-back from the border, allowing for a little planting near the edge of the lawn. And th
Late last Fall, I went on a Home Depot end-of-season-plant-sale binge and bought a number of very small Autumn Ferns and planted them in a few spots in the backyard. I planted twelve of them in three different spots including a number of them in the far back, right in front of the Hicks Yew hedge. How many are left back there? Certainly not all of them. Based on this layout, I'm thinking that I planted ten-to-twelve in a staggered layout. Today, there are six that have survived Winter, Spring and thus far into Summer. One is decent sized, the rest are BABIES. In the photo below, you can see the six survivors in the orange circles. One of the things that I learned this Spring is that I have to be more careful with late season watering. I fear that I disrupted the roots and exposed them to the winter elements. I'm thinking that if I nurse these six to the end of the year, they'll turn into something more signficant next growing season. I do want to keep replacing m
At the Morton Arboretum Arbor Day Plant Sale this year, I came across this sign (photo below) describing a Japanese Maple variety that was new (to me): Inaba shidare. It was listed as an Acer palmatum and the photo had red laceleaf foliage. The sign describes it as "The best of the weeping red laceleaf maples for its leaf color retention in Summer, its scorch resistance, vigor and hardiness. The lace-like foliage emerges deep purple in Spring, matures to purple-red by Summer and finally turns bright red in Fall." I mean...what's not to love about that, right? I had previously purchased a Japanese Maple from the Morton Sale - an Emperor 1 in 2021 - and have been REALLY happy with it in our garden. So, when I saw this sign for the Inaba shidare, I wanted one. The only problem? They were gone. Sold out. Or...at least...sold out during *my* visit. Felt a little bit like a 'one that got away' sort-of-deal. So, imagine my delight when I was picking up some
Here's something that's new to me: making banana water to feed Staghorn Ferns . If you read up on Staghorn Ferns, you'll soon discover that they like banana peels. In big, mounted Staghorn Ferns, some folks just toss the peel up *in* the fern. I didn't do that. But, I did soak a banana peel in a glass of water for a little bit over a day and created a potassium, manganese and phosphorus-laden glass of water that I split between the two mounted ferns. Below is a photo of the water after 24 hours with the banana peel soaking in it. #19 on my 2023 to-do list is: "Staghorns take work" . Feeding them banana water is part of that solve.