Mixing textures

We love experimenting with new textural combinations in the garden, and here are a couple that caught our eye this fall.

Start planning new bold leaf texture and color combinations for your garden this winter as you dream of spring.

The bold foliage of Asarum splendens (wild ginger), mingles nicely with the southern maidenhair fern, Adiantum x mairesii.

Here, we’ve interplanted Gloxinia (Seemania) ‘Little Red’ in a patch of Alstroemeria psittacina ‘Variegata’ and Manfreda ‘Spot’. We love how the bold texture of the manfreda contrasts with the alstroemeria, while the color of the leaf spots pick up the purple in the gloxinia stems. 

Fern zombies awaken in the garden

Coniogramme gracillis unfurling

Like sci-fi zombies re-awakening, ferns in the garden are spring back to life.  Nothing says spring quite like the presence of new fern fronds emerging…known as croziers.  Below are several different fern images we’ve taken as they emerged this spring.  The first is the bamboo fern, coniogramme.Lepisorus tosaensis unfurling

Lepisorus or ribbon ferns, with their long narrow fronds are quite unique.

Matteuccia The King with new and old fronds

Matteucia or ostrich fern emerges alongside last years’ spore bearing fronds providing an interesting contrast.

Onoclea sensibilis Supersize with summer and winter fronds.

Onoclea, aka sensitive fern does the same, holding both the new fronds alongside the old fertile fronds from the prior season..  Ferns like this are called dimorphic, which means they have two different frond types…fertile and non-fertile.  Most ferns pack light and have both on the same frond.Osmunda cinnamomea emerging  Osmunda cinnamomea unfurling2

The two images above are our native Osmunda cinnamomea or Cinnamon fern.  The hairy croziers are just amazing.  Recent taxonomy has actually kicked this out of the genus Osmunda and created a new genus, Osmundastrum.   Hmmm.Osmunda regalis unfurling

Here is its cousin, Osmunda regalis or royal fern…another great US native that’s also native in Europe and Asia.Polystichum acrostichoides unfurling

This is the lovely native Polystichum acrostichoides or Christmas fern…also wonderfully hairy as it emerges.Polystichum makinoi unfurling (2) Polystichum makinoi unfurling

Here are two images of the Asian tassel fern, Polystichum makinoi that we took a week apart as the croziers unfurled.Polystichum tagawanum unfurling

The lovely Asian, brown-haired  Polystichum tagawanum. Pteris vittata unfurling2

Our winter hardy form of the table fern, Pteris vittataThelypteris lindheimeri crozier

A single picture perfect crozier of the Texas native, Thelypteris lindheimeriWoodsia subcordata emerging

And finally, the dwarf Woodsia subcordata.  How can you fail to find joy in this amazing spring rebirth?  We hope you’ll visit our fern offerings and choose some of these deer resistant gems for your own garden.

Athyrium ‘Ghost’ fern

Athyrium Ghost6

I just took this photo of the Ghost fern on our patio…can’t imagine a garden without this lovely deer-resistant perennial.  Light shade or even a few hours of sun if the soil is kept moist.

A quick trip to Washington DC

Katie B at Chinese Bonsai Pavillion, USNA

I’m just back from a quick trip to Washington DC with my stepdaughter Katie.  We first stopped at the US National Arboretum to spend some time with the new director Richard Olsen, who shared his excitement about many of the exciting plans and projects underway at the people’s arboretum including the renovation of the Chinese bonsai pavilion. Virtually all of the projects and expansions are privately funded.

While it was exciting to hear that the future looks bright, it was equally shocking to see the horrific state of maintenance and weeding due to continuing Congressional budget cuts to the arboretum’s funding.  The Federal government seems to have no understanding of funding for maintenance.  It’s a sad reflection on our country for visitors from around the world to see our country’s National Arboretum like this. I hope you’ll join me in calling your representatives and voice your concern!

Arisaema ringens x heterophyllum at USNA 19647

One of the really interesting finds in the garden was a spontaneous jack in the pulpit hybrid…a cross of Arisaema heterophyllum and Arisaema ringens.  This is the first spontaneous arisaema hybrid that I’ve ever heard of.  We need this!

Then, it was off to speak at the International Pteridological Convention at the Smithsonian.  Over 250 fern researchers, half from outside the US, showed up to share their latest fern discoveries and research.  It was a great chance to meet so many amazing people.  Katie videotaped my talk and we’ll post it on our You Tube channel soon.

Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’

Dryopteris erythrosora BrillianceHere’s a new photo of the evergreen Autumn fern, Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance‘ as it emerges in the woodland garden with its stunning new growth.

 

Painted ferns for the garden

Athyrium Godzilla3

Here are a couple of fern images from the garden yesterday.  First is our giant painted fern, Athyrium ‘Godzilla’, which can reach 6′ wide x 3′ tall.  To avoid chlorophyll shed in the garden, it’s best planted a far distance from Hosta ‘Mothra’ or Hosta ‘Rhodan’.

Athyrium nipponicum Burgundy Lace2Here is the lovely Athyrium nipponicum ‘Burgandy Lace‘..hard to beat this color in the spring garden.

 

New Ferns for 2015

Athyrium niponicum Thrill Seaker HH Clone C (63814).cc

For 2015, Plant Delights is pleased to introduce several new ferns from our trial program.  Athyrium niponicum ‘Thrill Seeker’ is one of two dwarf compact crested Japanese painted fern selections from a five year joint effort between us and our friend Hans Hansen of Walters Gardens.

Athyrium niponicum Joy Ride PDN 011 (63813).cc

The second of these crested selections is Athyrium ‘Joy Ride’…quite distinct from Athyrium ‘Thrill Seeker’ when seen side by side.

Pronephrium pengiana2 (63935).cc

Another unique fern that hasn’t been offered before is the 5′ tall, prehistoric looking Pronephrium penangianumThis amazing fern has been fabulous in our trials, but we doubt it will tolerate winters much colder than 0 degrees F.