Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fern Gully?

For some of the next posts I am including this before picture---it was taken in mid-July before I started planting anything.  Good thing I took this picture as the planting started with a flurry. (well, after I got my garden tools unpacked)

 Last week, while I was at a friend's house and a garden visit,  the UPS guy delivered some more plants.  I am very impressed with the quality of the plants.  I needed a lot and offered a great variety of groundcovers, in 3.5" pots.  My order included Ajuga reptens 'Burgundy Glow' and Autumn Fern, Dryopteris erythrosora 'Autumn Brilliance'.  I got a flat of each. 

So I got my little red wagon out, filled it with plant material and headed to the backyard.

Looking at the photo at the top of the page you see a wide open palette.  Along the left side of the garden area, down towards the water is a very shady area.  This is the place that I planned to put a sea of ferns, Autumn Ferns.  I put a Witchhazel in a week or so before, in an area that gets some dappled light.  This Hamamelis x intermedia Feuerzaube gets large, so I gave it lots of room.  In my planting/planning I have considered mature sizes and spaced accordingly. 
I spread the ferns out, looked from many angles, adjusted as needed and set about planting.   I think the plants kind of disappear once they are planted.  Next spring when they put forth their golden new foliage it will stand out .
 The next area was to plant the ajuga on the bank above the flagstone patio and along the stacked stone wall of the garden bed edge.  The bank of the waterline/ patio area is in the shade in the fall but has a lot of sun in the summer.  Most of the plants I have in there can handle both.  As you can see I have some Knock-out Roses -- they are in the sunniest parts.  I have Gaura linderheimeri 'Gaudwwhi' 'Geyser White', Loropetalum 'Daruma', and Rhus aromatica 'Gro-low'.  The Rhus is  a spreading groundcover that likes clay soil...spreading about 8 feet.  I am enjoying the bright red fall foliage of this one!  I planted the ajuga along the center of the stone wall -- giving it lots of room to spread out as well.   
 Once again, after the plants are in the ground they seem to blend in with the mulch and leaves.  My husband said he thought I was going to plant them along the patio but didn't see them after I was done....yes, they are there.......again, in the spring they will shine!  There is more in the patio bed that will be talked about in another posting. 
I really like the Burgundy Glow ajuga, had some in Virginia.  The tri-colored foliage is terrific and the little blue flowers it puts forth in the spring is just icing on the cake. 

words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. The little purple ground cover gets blue flowers??! Really? Hmm... wonder if they work in Zone 5! They sound GREAT.
    Everything is really looking great!!

  2. Everything will look wonderful when it matures and fills in. I am planting a brand new garden too, and still have lots of bare spots. Things do just disappear when you have lots of space to fill.

    I had ajuga at my previous garden in Zone 6, and they spread very healthily and rapidly. Yours will look great!

    I've been reading in your last few posts about your new garden, and I wanted to thank you for telling us all about it. You've been working hard.

  3. janet, so far we have used all the same plants! my ajuga is black chip, though. that flagstone patio looks great - how nice facing the water like that.

  4. Janet, Janet Janet,
    Don't you know ferns are deer food. I have a friend that planted over $100 worth in her yard in Chapel Hill two days later nothing was left....

  5. Hubby just doesn't understand how great this area will look come spring! I envy all that new garden space you have, so much potential! :)

  6. You've been busy! It's interesting what Randy said. I wish our deers ate ferns! Then, they would leave my roses, phloxes, etc., etc. alone! Keep us posted.

  7. Hello Janet, I've been mia from your blog for awhile and happy to play catchup and see all the new and exciting things going on in your life. I hear your enthusiasm in your words and work. Beautiful location and home. Many blessings in this new adventure.

  8. Hamamelis x intermedia Feuerzaube -- very nice!! It must be so much fun to be starting a new garden like this.

  9. It already looks great, Janet and it's only going to get better. Great plant choices.

  10. Don't you just love it when plants you ordered come looking this good? These little plants may seem to get lost in the landscape now, but given time they're going to create a beautiful area for you, Janet. A sea of ferns sounds perfect!

  11. AoF-- you need NEED the ajuga. Super plant.

    Aliso, thanks for stopping by. We have been busy planting a lot of plants. I agree -- the ajuga is a super plant.

    Daricia, we think alike! I like the Black Chip as well, but love the Burgundy Glow. ;-)

    Randy, the FERNS are on the least likely to be eaten list...check out my next post.

    Racquel, oh he knows, and is looking forward to it!

    Tatyana, check out my next post...deer have found my yard...roses and Loropetalum.

    Diana, glad to have you back. Thanks so much, we are enjoying our great new house and garden.

    Sweetbay, I can't wait for that Hamamelis blooms!!

    Grace, thanks! Sometimes as I look back at the color choices I think your garden has influenced me a bit.

    Rose, I do love it when the company sends great plant material. Next spring the garden will explode!

  12. I'm surprised at all you're getting done Janet. With the lake right there, I doubt I'd be anywhere near as far along as you! Too tempting. :-)

    What you're planting sounds wonderful. I can't wait to watch your garden progress. We're in on the "ground floor" so to speak so we can watch it develop. Keep up all the hard work.

  13. Janet- I don't think that's deer that are taking whole shrubs out, especially if you haven't seen the root ball or any other remains around. They'd just be after the foliage. Oh, and welcome to my world, bastards..shakes my fist...looking great in your yard!

  14. Hi Kathleen, you are most kind. We can't be on the boat ALL the time. ;-)
    I am happy to have you in on the ground floor.

    Hi Susie Q, thanks sweetie! I think the deer are just pulling on the stems to eat and the newly planted shrubs are just lifting out. As I said...Rotten Bastards!


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