Tuesday, May 11, 2010

perennial ferns

For many years, I've had a love/hate relationship with perennial ferns. I liked them in the spring when they're freshly green but often they end up looking sunburned, bug-eaten and, well, ugly...AND...they spread like a house on fire! I've seen 'em in pictures in combination with lilies that looked gorgeous ('pictures' being the operative word!), tried 'em with an Annabelle hydrangea with visions of a beautiful combination (ugh!) and, well, the love/hate relationship just got more intense. Finally, out of desperation, I planted them on my 'back forty' and consider it one of my 'lucky accidents!' My 'back forty' is the north side of the house beside my compost bin, hiding the remains of a moocho-hated-evergreen tree stump where it performs beautifully!

They like shade or filtered light and don't do well in full sun at all as this is where they get their tired, ugly look. Their enemy is Japanese beetles which will decimate a fern in several hours, leaving skeletal remains. They like moisture but are easily controlled by planting them in a drier place.

Their growth is interesting to watch.
They start out with a tiny bit of curled-up green showing...
and soon look like this.
I don't love-love them
but they do look quite lovely where they are now.
If anyone is interested in starts, stop by! :)

...happy gardening!


1 comment:

Evalina said...

we have a bit of a love/hate relationship with ferns at my house. i love them and mike doesn't. i guess their woodsiness (is that a word) give me warm fuzzy feelings from my growing up days.

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