Entries in Peacock fern (2)


My Plants are Loving this Sultry, Soggy Summer

I think we have had over two feet of rain in June, thanks in part to tropical storm Cindy. Last year's drought is long gone, though lawns and plants are still recovering. The rain has kept temps moderate, but as soon as the sun comes out, the steamy air gives no doubt that summer is here. 

The plants are loving the tropical feel.The woodland garden looks very green and lush.

Hostas are flowering. Most of my hostas grow in pots to protect their roots from voles, which have a voracious appetite for their roots. 'Francis Williams' grows in two old urns that belonged to my grandparents, and the bees are enjoying their blooms:

I took these next images near the patio. You can see 'Francis Williams' at the bottom of the steps in the first photo. The last image with the wheelbarrow gives a peek into the vegetable garden/work area:

More June flowers around the garden:Clockwise from top left: 'Endless Summer' Hydrangea; 'Snowflake' Hydrangea; 'Stella D'Oro' Daylily; Monarda; Gardenia; A colorful daylily passed along from a friend.

I was surprised when this lovely succulent sent up a bloom after one of our all-day storms:

Down in the arbor garden an assortment of plants grow around a birdbath, including Bromeliad in a pot, Heucerella, and Autumn Fern:

'Tropicana' Canna lily is enjoying the sultry summer:

A few more images around the garden:Clockwise from top left: Eucomis; This wren kept chirping happily, even though his beak was full of worm; A pretty succulent; Iron rabbit guards the vegetable garden.

Down in  the woodland garden, shadow and light play over the wet foliage:

Cool shades of green, white, and blue dominate this shady retreat:

Clockwise from top left: This big hosta is planted in the ground. I dug out a large hole in the middle of an ancient, buried pile of crushed rock, filled it with good soil and dared the voles to find it. So far they haven't; The Garden Lady now has a spot beside the woodland steps; A fragrant, late-blooming native azalea; Peacock Fern, which is really a kind of moss; 'Whitewater' weeping Redbud tree; Peacock Fern and Lady Fern.May you find refreshment and joy this week!   Deb




Peacock Fern For House and Garden

I am smitten with my new fern in the woodland garden, though it is not a real fern but a type of club moss. Selaginella uncinata is also called peacock fern and rainbow moss, and it is easy to see why.

Do you see a resemblance to these peacock feathers?Its texture is so soft I am tempted to pet it; it feels like moss, but its lacy foliage has the look of an exotic fern. The foliage has a shimmery blue-green iridescence, though its intensity depends upon light, moisture levels and temperature. In winter the foliage will take on a bronze cast.

Peacock fern is tougher than its delicate appearance would suggest. It may be grown outside in hardiness zones 7-10. It will usually go dormant for the winter in zone 7 and will be evergreen in zones 8-10. I am on the border between zones 7 and 8, so I will mulch mine well and see if it will remain evergreen for me.

Peacock fern should be planted either in full shade or where it will receive only morning light. It needs rich soil that is well-drained and high in organic matter. Two parts peat moss to one part loam and one part pine bark is a good combination. Mulch the soil around the fern with pine straw or wood chips to conserve moisture and to help prevent weed growth. Peacock fern needs consistent moisture, but do not overwater the plant or the roots may rot. In winter one should cut back on watering, but do not allow the roots to dry out.

This wonderful fern is a low-growing spreader up to two feet wide and six inches tall. It makes a good ground cover at the base of shrubs. However, it grows slowly, so for this purpose plant several about two feet apart. Peacock fern can be grown in a pot and looks great in a hanging basket. It also does well as a houseplant or in a terrarium.

If grown outdoors, fertilize in early spring with an organic fertilizer high in nitrogen. If it is grown as a houseplant, water well once a week, and during fall and spring fertilize once a week with half-strength water-soluble plant food.