Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Ferns

Friday, December 24, 2010

An even 15° here on the mountain this morning. 9 blue jays at the feeder are the only noise as the road is quiet of traffic and the only disruption here is an occasional crack from the wood stove. Gail is off to make some deliveries and visit the Humane Society and Alex and Karl the Wonder Dog will join me in a few minutes for a walk to the pond. Life is good.

I have never decorated with Christmas Fern before but this New England native was well used from colonial times on. It is a thick leaved fern so it holds its color through cold frosts and into winter. There were times in America when it was so heavily harvested for shipment to cities that some thought it would be wiped out. It is common in Vermont and noticeably successful growing in poor soils close to neutral ph. That said I have found some good colonies among maple trees and in regularly wet areas.

The picture up top is from fall a few years back. The site is our lower shade garden built within an old barn foundation. The accompanying European ginger makes a good contrast and floral designers can have fun with both. For today, my Christmas Ferns stay in the gardens, silent and waiting for Christmas.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
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