Consider This: Ferns

Too much time has gone by without a post– these new working hours do not leave much time for me to formulate a decent blog post!

Currently, I have been waiting for a seed catalog I requested– Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I just recently heard about it through Twitter from my fellow gardening friends. I heard it is a great catalog and I can’t wait to get my hands on it! My husband’s co-worker gave me a couple of seed packets and I would like to look for some others. I have to admit, this winter feels like it is going much faster, given the fact we have not received nearly the snow or have had to deal with the sub-zero temperatures that made last year’s winter so darn long.

So, as I sat at work yesterday, an idea came to me. I thought I would start a new mini- series that would lead up to the upcoming growing season– I call it “Consider This”. Giving a little snapshot of certain plants/flowers/shrubs/trees that you should consider planting in your garden and/or yard if you are able to! I won’t do it every week, but as I go along I will pick out a few different botanicals that should be given some serious consideration to your landscape.

My first plant I am going to highlight are ferns. I LOVE ferns. I try to get my hands on as many varieties of ferns as I can. The simple, elegant beauty that comes from these plants cannot be emphasized enough.

Here are some quick facts about Ferns:

  • They are one of the oldest living plants still alive on our planet. They literally have not changed for over a million years.
  • Ferns came be as small as 2 to 3 feet high, or other varieties are actual fern trees.
  • Their leaves are called fronds. If you want to see a beautiful sight, watch a fern start growing and unfurling it’s beautiful fronds.

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  • Ferns reproduce by spores and not leaves. I remember freaking out as I looking under the leaves of my autumn fern and saw all these brown spots. I thought it was dying, when, it was actually growing!
  • You can harvest the tender little fronds of an ostrich fern just after it sprouts from the ground and eat them. They are called fiddleheads.

 

Ferns are a woodland plant, so they thrive in shade. There are several different kinds, as I have stated above. I will give you the list of the ones I have collected over the past few years:

  • Ostrich Fern– most common fern that is readily available. You find this one most of the time in the forest.
  • Maidenhair fern — very delicate fern with contrasting black stems.
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Maidenhair Fern

  • Japanese Painted Fern — beautiful fern that has white fronds and reddish stems.
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Japanese Painted Fern

  • Ghost Fern — gorgeous silver fern that when established, grows rapidly.
  • American Lady Fern — this fern was very popular during the Victorian Era. Beautiful, curly fronds with reddish/orange stems.
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American Lady Fern

  • Cinnamon Fern — my favorite fern, by far. The fronds in the middle grow to look like “cinnamon sticks”, hence the name.
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Cinnamon Fern

  • Autumn Fern — fronds are orange/red and bring color to your shade and woodland garden. This is by far my most hardy fern, and one of the most beautiful.
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Autumn Fern

Yes, as I said above, this is just a snapshot of the many ferns that are available. I absolutely love ferns and have always wanted to do a post all about them. I hope to keep adding to my collection, as long as I have shade, I will keep buying them!

Thank you for taking the time to read this long post!

 

 

 

What’s Growing On In My Garden- Early Summer

Summer is just a week old, and you would think it was Fall the way the rain and cold has been pounding down. This weather is actually a blessing in disguise, because it forces me to get indoor work done that is usually neglected when it’s gardening season!

I have a late-blooming Allium that's getting its share of rain!

I have a late-blooming Allium that’s getting its share of rain!

So, I just thought I would give you a rundown of what’s “growing” on in my yard this year.

First, I have to say that everything is coming along just wonderfully this year. I think this endless rain has helped speed up the lush full-grown landscape that surrounds my home. I also believe that it’s the rain that has kept the deer at bay– I haven’t had to spray my hostas and other deer delicacies only twice so far. By this time last year, I was spraying my plants every week!

As always, there is never an end to gardening. I always tell myself EVERY year that what I have done is enough and I don’t need anymore. Well, of course, I keep adding and keeping making new beds. I comb through garden magazines, peruse garden centers and research online all the different perennials I could add to my garden for my hardiness zone of 6a. 

Well, these are the plants I have added this year:

Beautyberry: I have wanted one of these plants for a long time. In the fall, they will have these beautiful (hence the name) purple berries on its branches. They require part sun/shade.

I can't wait to see these berries in all their purpley-ness!

I can’t wait to see these berries in all their purpley-ness!

Indian Holly Fern: I love ferns, as everyone knows at this point. So, how could I not add yet another fern to my back yard shaded area? This fern has light stripes running down the middle of the fronds.

This fern has stunning shades of green!

This fern has stunning contrasts!

Creeping Thyme: I purchased four of these plants for this little brick wall I made for the flower bed directly behind the garage. I hope they will start growing over the bricks and make for an excellent groundcover look!

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Some other views of my gardens that are blooming beautifully:

Maidenhair fern

Maidenhair Fern

Cinnamon Fern

Cinnamon Fern

Yellow Loosestrife

Yellow Loosestrife

Torch Lily

Torch Lily

Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia

Sea Holly

Sea Holly

Two stone crop sedum

Two stone crop sedum

Stay tuned at a later date for some more pictures of other plants well on their way through the season. I hope that these pictures will give you some ideas of what you would like to add in your garden as well!

Have a wonderful summer week!