Thursday, June 11, 2020

Fern Table refresh

It's been over three years since I built my fern table, and while some things were thriving, others were not. I kinda felt like it was time for a refresh. This first photo (below) was taken on April 9th.

There was a small mossy log securing the back of the plantings, it fell off sometime over the winter and I could not get to it stay in place again no matter how many times I replaced it.

Then things got even worse. The photo below was taken on May 26th. The deer fern (Blechnum spicant aka Struthiopteris spicant) up and died, as did the Athyrium otophorum. Why? I have no idea. But it meant my "I really should refresh that" became a "Yikes! Must fix that eyesore ASAP!"

Just for fun here's what it looked like right after I planted it back in May of 2017 (blog post here)...

And here's what it looks like now. I went the route of just tucking in new things, rather than taking it all the way back to the base and starting over, mainly because I didn't want to disturb the saxifraga.

That Saxifraga 'Primuloides' (dangling groundcover) has multiplied crazy like since it was planted. That makes me very happy. The Thalictrum ichangense 'Evening Star' (upper right) has also done well, which interesting since everywhere else I've planted it was not successful.

So what new plants went in? The Pyrrosia lingua 'Ogon Nishiki' I bought at Secret Garden Growers last April was tucked in. As well as a pair of small Pyrrosia lingua 'Yabane Fu' I had on hand, and some Blechnum penna-marina from my friend Beth. I'd also scored a large Arthropodium candidum 'Maculatum' which I divided up and planted a few of here...

And others in the fern stock tank to the table's left, which also needed refreshing.

I didn't take "pre" photo of the tank, so everything you'll see here is after the fact.

Also from my visit to Secret Garden Growers, Pyrrosia polydactyla 'Taipingshan' found a spot right at the corner...

Any my fancy pyrrosia from Plant Delights also went in the tank. Here Pyrrosia lingua 'Hiryu'

Pyrrosia lingua 'Kei Kan'. To answer a question I received on the post where I fist talked about these two ferns, there is absolutely nothing I can see to tell them apart. I have to look at the photos I took with the tags to know which is which. This fact isn't really disappointing, as I love them both.

Here's one of the older ferns in the tank, a Pyrrosia lingua 'Eboshi'.

Another stalwart in the tank is Blechnum chilense, the Chilean hard fern. Here a new frond is unfurling in front of a planting of assorted bromeliads.

I've purchased two different variegated lily of the valley, Convallaria majalis 'Albostriata'. They look exactly the same when the foliage first emerges in the spring. But once the blooms are done the foliage fades to very different versions, the one on the left almost completely looses its stripes, where as the one on the right stays distinctive.

Can you make out that tiny thin thing above the less-striped convallaria leaf?

Here it is almost fully open, a frond of Coniogramme emeiensis 'Golden Zebra'. I love this plant, and all of the coniogramme I've bought (four different species now), but they don't do so well here in my garden. I think something finds them delicious and eats the fresh shoots before they can get going. Pyrrosia and Blechnum seem much tougher, less tasty.

So...that's a look at my refreshed fern stock tank...

And fern table...

The whole shady corner is looking great, and not nearly this oddly algae-tinted color in real-life either...

Weather Diary, June 10: Hi 79, Low 60/ Precip trace 

All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

14 comments:

  1. A fern table is something I can only dream of as ferns in general aren't very happy here. Your refreshed creation is lovely and reminds me that I need to overhaul my succulent-studded driftwood, which has almost entirely fallen apart.

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    1. I think this kind of project updating is something fun to do, how about you? I hope you'll share a photo or two of what you com up with.

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  2. I can't believe it's been three years since you put together the original fern table... where does time go? The second version of it may even better than the first. The entire shady corner is glorious, and if my garden was just a tiny little corner such as this, I would have been happy. A contender for Flower and Garden Festival overpass display, in my opinion! My The Thalictrum 'Evening Star' didn't return this spring'; I'm determined to try again.
    The variegated lily of the valley and the 'Golden Zebra' fern make me swoon.

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    1. I know right? It's kind of scary how fast time goes. I do love this corner and how it's evolved. And thanks for the suggestion about the NWFG Fest. I was (am?) seriously considering doing one of those displays next year. But...will there be a next year? (for the show I mean).

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    2. Yes, there must be a next year (show). And when you participate, it will be the coolest thing ever, and I'll finally get to meet you in person!

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    3. "coolest thing ever"... thank you!

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  3. How do you accomodate the water needs of the saxifraga (or lack thereof) in the same arrangement with ferns?

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    1. This saxifraga is thriving in the ground, in a shady spot of the garden that gets a decent amount of water, so I suspected it would be happy here too, although it gets a lot less water here then in it's spot in the ground.

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  4. Has it really been 3 years since the fern table was planted? Geez. The textures, leaf shapes and tiches of color you have introduced to version 2 are exquisite. When plants die they create the opportunity for whatever we can reimagine. Often, I like that more.

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    1. Time flies! I remember being concerned about watering the table when I first built it, but it's sailed through all of our summers with my sporadic attention.

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  5. You have a great ability to make things newly refreshed look like they are well established. Like magic!

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    1. More plants is always the right answer!

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  6. I'm sure I will add a Kei Kan to my collection at some point; as you say, two of the same would not disappoint! Swansons had Hiryu in stock last week, and I had to walk away FAST before I played a little game of "let's just pick out the nicest pot for kicks."

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  7. I love ferns and seeing your collection put together so beautifully makes me want to get more of them. If I had a place to bring them indoors I surely would. Our area is beginning to turn into a dry area it seems. We had the driest May ever recorded. June isn't much better.

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