Friday, October 30, 2015

Some favorites for the end of October 2015

All year long this poor Phlebodium Pseudoaureum (Blue Rabbit's Foot Fern) has been largely ignored. Sure I watered it, but I failed to realize just how fabulous it was looking until moving things around after building the shade pavilion greenhouse. Somewhere along the line it's started sending out huge leaves.

None of these photos accurately capture the powdery blue/green color of the leaves. It's subdued yet spectacular.

The creamy colored spores add to the beauty.

I remember when I first saw the fuzzy rhizomes I thought some small furry critter had died in the container.

Although many sources list this fern as hardy to USDA Zone 8 I am here to tell you that's not necessarily the case. I've lost a couple in the ground. Only last year did I have one manage to live over and barely. Now in October it's finally managed to push out enough leaves to be noticeable.

If you're in a USDA Zone 9 climate with a shady moist place to plant a nice glaucous leaved plant like this then do it! Otherwise keep it in a container where it can be protected as needed.

One last look at the fern as I call your attention to that orange container further down the wall...

Aralia cordata 'Sun King' is my second fav this month. He's quite large since I bought him back in June.

The light yellow-green color brought a nice brightening effect to a darkish corner, although he has "greened up" a lot in the last few weeks.

The golden tone had made him a perfect peek-a-boo backdrop to the Schefflera leaves (photo taken in August).

If I'm lucky those little blooms will develop into dark berries.

Hardy to USDA Zone 4 and eventually reaching 3ft x 3ft this shrub makes a great addition to a shady garden...

Now let's look at a couple of favorite plants in the ground...

When I planted out this Senecio articulatus in May it was only a couple of long, leafless, segments, now look at it! (ignore the photo-bombing Yucca rostrata leaves)

In a few places it's suffered from some creature's hunger.

But that doesn't seem to have slowed it down much, and in fact it's fixing to bloom (for a lengthy description of the flower read the description from the Ruth Bancroft Garden here).

The folks at Cistus Nursery say: "Fun-on-a-stick, this intriguing, succulent, South African daisy produces articulated stems of succulent blue with small, three-lobed leaves. They go deciduous after producing sweet-scented, pale pink shaving brush flowers. For winter rainfall areas with thin soil. These are easy to grow in bright light though would prefer to be damp in the winter and dry out a bit in summer...but seemingly impossible to kill no matter what you do. Very sculptural in a pot or as a strange ground cover where temperatures seldom fall below 20 °F. Frost hardy in USDA zone 8B/9a."

Damp in the winter? Huh, No wonder mine always looks a little sad come spring, I've been overwintering it with the same tough love regimen I give my other succulents.

And finally, Ficus afghanistanica.

This came to me labeled as Ficus afghanistanica 'Silver Lyre' but I wonder if that indeed is the case, as its leaves tend to be greener than the 'Silver Lyres' I know. Whatever it is I love the deeply cut leaves and how they play so nicely with the blue/green centers of the Symphytum x uplandicum 'Axminster Gold' growing beneath it.

Again the fine folks at Cistus Nursery say: "Eventually might reach 15-20' in height; can easily be kept smaller with pruning. Sun to part shade. Very drought tolerant once established. Frost hardy to the upper edge of USDA Zone 7 so far." You know I'm counting on that part about being kept smaller with pruning...

So do you have any garden favorites for October? Please share them with us!

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

28 comments:

  1. I have a couple of those ferns that I've been overwintering in the greenhouse. Love the fronds and the furry feet.

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    1. "Furry feet"...I hadn't thought of it that way but from now on I will.

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  2. From the start of your post, I was left sighing over the fact that so few ferns can tolerate dry soil. Your blue rabbit's foot fern would look great in the shady area of my front garden if only I had the water to give it. I love that Aralia too but, alas, it appears it's a bit too hot for it here. But I do have some favorites of my own to share this month: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2015/10/my-favorite-plants-this-month.html

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    1. Below David mentions that fern isn't thirsty in Berkeley, I was thinking that might be good news for you - then again I guess your garden is quite a bit hotter.

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  3. your Senecio grows in the wild under bushes, so dappled shade rather than winter rain

    http://kumbulanursery.co.za/plants/senecio-articulatus

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    1. Thank you Diana, and thanks for the link!

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  4. I have to go see if that Aralia 'Sun King' is on special yet at my local nursery... I've been keeping my eye on it this summer. And that ficus... ooh. Gives me hope that my clearance ficus could be impressive next year. :)

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    1. Hope your Aralia is still there and at a bargain price!

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  5. Gorgeous all around. The fern, I have that too as an indoor plant. LOVE it, wish it were totally hardy here in the ground.

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    1. Me too! Can you imagine swaths of it? I see that planted with (the also not hardy) Asparagus/Foxtail fern...

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  6. Love that blue rabbit's foot fern. If only I had a moist spot...

    I recently passed up a large specimen of Senecio articulatus. I almost bought it, and now I realize I should have. The story of my life!

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  7. I have that Fern and it generally lives in my greenhouse, I discovered last year that it is happier outside in a shady location in the summer. I think the greenhouse gets too warm for it.

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  8. That fern has gotten big! I love it. I have two that popped up as sporelings in an orchid that have grown 3-4 inch fronds. They're already starting to produce sporangia at that size.

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    1. I had to read your comment three times before I read orchid as opposed to orchard. I was surprised to hear of an orchard, since I hadn't before, and even more surprised that they were doing well outside. Duh. Somebody needs to drink more coffee before she starts replying to blog comments.

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  9. Every year, when I move plants indoors they seem to have magically multiplied. Otherwise, I would be rushing out to find that fern.

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    1. It will get you someday Ricki....

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  10. I love ferns, the bigger the better. I really like the look of that Phlebodium. You're growing so many plants that I want to grow, or have tried and failed with. Aralia cordata wanted more water than I could give it, and Schefflera delavayi just wasn't quite hardy enough.

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    1. I am surprised to learn it's really that thirsty, I wasn't particularly generous with the water over our long, hot, dry summer. I guess I got lucky.

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  11. I bought a rabbits foot fern for the fuzzy rhizomes. It looked just like a Tarantula climbing out of the pot - irresistibly Halloween! Your blue fern reminds me a little of my Virginia blue fern. It lived indoors last winter, but I thought I might try it outside this year. Fingers crossed - I think it's borderline too. Here is my fave for the month: https://flutterandhum.wordpress.com/2015/10/30/octobers-favorite/

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    1. Yes! I can see that, fun. I saw one at Bauman Farms that had the most amazing rhizomes, mine are fairly tame. Aren't Virginia blue fern and this fern one and the same?

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  12. Wouldn't be without that fern, and it absolutely loves it hear in Berkeley. My patch is about 8 feet across now after about 10 years in the same spot, and is overdue for dividing. It really isn't that water thirsty here, I water mine maybe 3x a month in summer, but we rarely get much over 75°F in summer. There are different look-alike forms, and some are much less winter hardy. I would avoid any sold as indoor plants, these typically can't even handle zone 10a winters. The forms sold by California wholesale growers San Marcos Growers and Suncrest are hardy to 25°F at least and are typically much taller growing, as is Yucca Do's form. They do best here with either bright shade or morning sun, and make excellent container plants. Kind of a toss-up between Blechnum gibbum and this fern as most favorite!
    David in Berkeley

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    1. I still remember seeing a Phlebodium Pseudoaureum in Shirley Watts garden, I'd never seen one that large and was instantly smitten. I think hers was in a container, maybe to keep it from taking over her small garden?

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  13. The blue rabbit's foot fern is striking! I'll have to keep some of these in mind for keeping my tree fern company. There's a 'Shady Lady' waratah flowering nearby at the moment :)

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    1. Naturally I had no idea what a 'Shady Lady' waratah was and had to look it up...WOW! Lucky you, that's gorgeous.

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  14. Nice Aralia cordata! I have Aralia racemosa, which is similar but without the wonderful chartreuse color. A. racemosa has great berries.

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    1. That Aralia racemosa looks to be a winner too, in all the images I found online it looks perfectly layered.

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