A camp for ferns

I am really glad I came back to work this week: air conditioned, fresh water, no mosquitos, a proper toilet and after all: the keyboard doesn’t bruise my hands! Despite the latter days have been the hottest ever, we worked on the garden and we even find some spare time to cook our heads under the PVC tunnels of a couple of nurseries. The couple I love best by the way (one for perennials and the other for grasses) so it was worth it.

the tents for ferns, hostas and ligularias

the tents for ferns, hostas and ligularias

I’ve been dreaming and projecting a new bed for ferns and ligularias lately. It is so difficult to find a not yet burned by the sun corner here in Cà Rossa but sometimes I can see things that humans cannot, so I’ve seen shadow under the young thin crooked fig tree and I planted there a couple hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snow Queen’, a couple emerald green hostas (don’t know the name) that I had in some pots under the cherry trees, a couple ligularia ‘Otello’ and ‘The Rocket’, a miscanthus ‘Cabaret’ and finally a fern.

I’m not exactly a fern expert, even if I love them. I especially have problems remembering their names, most of which sound old fashioned spanish female names. Matteuccia, Osmunda, Onoclea… They could be names given to some Penelope Cruz character in a Pedro Almodovar movie. Anyway the one you can see under the tent is Onoclea sensibilis. She must be very sensible so I hope she’ll understand I had only good intentions planting her there.

Ale made those tents telling me I had been very silly planting those plants there, the fig tree only provides a few hours of shadow, after that they’ll burn like vampires in the sunlight.

The bed won’t be a real bed but a link between the gravel garden (you can see a work-in-progress on the first picture) and the big pond (the one we are still digging for). On the sitting area I’d like to transplant some short, thin leaved native carex (probably carex digitata and c. paniculata  update! I’m nearly sure it is carex divulsa Stokes) which I dispose in big quantity. I’d like to plant some cornus stolonifera near the pond too.

Just to be precise (as LinnieW asked me) that fig tree produces a lot of figs. They aren’t good though. In fact the plant was found there, and this is the first year I see figs. The first bloom has been aborted and so is happening to the second, I guess it’s a bad seedling. Well, nobody’s perfect…

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6 thoughts on “A camp for ferns

  1. Shame about the fig, we had a couple of wild ones but they weren’t edible, the one that is good is in a position such that every summer I have to give it water! As your post is mainly about foliage why not link it to my last post, I’m proposing a meme about foliage for the 22nd of each month, though this month any time would be fine to add your post. You are very inventive with your little tents! i may have to resort to that for salad during summer! Christina

    • Well actually I cannot taking merits for the tents: Ale made them.
      I like your idea about foliage posts every month, I’ll try to be prepared, even if I’m not really a deadline guy… (I am italian, remember!)

  2. Alberto, I was thinking about the ligularia. They really like quite a lot of water at their roots….I think you may find this is more important than the hot summer sun. Can you find somewhere by your pond, or is there enough ground water where you have them?

    • Well I work on very heavy clay, which means rather good water retain under the surface but you might be right. Everyone telling me I’m mad is right lately… I would tell myself I’m mad too. Anyway I want to give a try. I may lose a couple of plants in the worst case, or I might be moving them closer to the pond as soon as the pond will contain some water (it still contains a lot of ground we have to dismantle asap…). I’ve always been kind of premature, they said it was good when I was younger but it’s always brought me a lot of troubles.

  3. I love the bent trunk of the volunteer fig tree Alberto! It is busy being picturesque so you can’t expect perfect fruit. The shade tents will be kind to the plants and fern. Our shade comes from many trees we have planted over the years. Maybe a couple more fig trees added and you could have shade most of the day.

    • I know. Planting trees has been one of the first thing we did, after tiding up the place. Can you see that high-and-dry (like a portishead tune) stick between the fig tree and the cherry trees in the first picture? That is disappointment! More than half a oak has died after transplanting… So I decided I’m going to plant young trees only but Patience is not my second name, so I am disappointed. Again.

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