Entries in woodland garden (100)


A New Addition: Shiny Bristle Fern

I have a new addition to my woodland garden: Arachniodes davalliaeformis, commonly called Shiny Bristle Fern.I obtained it from Myers Plants and Pottery in Pelham, Alabama, which has a good selection of interesting ferns and other woodland plants. 

Shiny Bristle Fern is a relatively new introduction that is growing in popularity. It is an attractive fern with dark green foliage with a brilliant sheen. The foliage has a stiff, almost artificial feel, and most pests won't bother it, unless they like to chew on plastic! Native to southern Japan, it will grow in USDA hardiness zones 6 to 10. In my area (zone 7b/8a) it is likely deciduous, but the fronds may persist through the winter in regions with frost free winters.

New growth appears later in spring than many other ferns, but it makes up for this fault by holding its foliage well into late autumn or early winter. Shiny Bristle Fern produces slow-growing clumps of 12 to 24 inch tall triangular fronds that are 12 to 18 inches wide. Like most ferns, it likes moist, well-draining soil in partial to full shade. It will also grow well in a container and can be grown as a houseplant. 

The spores or "fruit dots" that appear on the underside of the fronds are either sterile or else plants will not come true from seed, so Shiny Bristle Fern is best propagated by dividing the root ball.

If you are interested in how I started growing ferns or how to successfully grow them, please read my previous posts Planting a Fern Glade and Successfully Growing Ferns in My Garden.



Walk in the Misty Summer Garden

Recently I took a stroll through the garden in late afternoon after a storm. The air was misty, and water dripped from leaves.A view of the front garden. The shrubs with lavender blooms are dwarf crape myrtles.

I am enjoying summer. Abundant rains have benefitted the garden and generally kept high summer temps from becoming oppressive, although I avoid being outside when the humidity soars and the sun is brightest and the pavement sizzles in the heat.

The Tropicana Canna Lily looks good. I have had this photogenic plant for years, and every summer I take new photos of its amazing leaves.

A whimsical bug is at home next to the Tropicana:

If you are a regular follower of my blog, you may remember this creature playing in the snow last December:

Nothing like a snow picture in July!

Another plant that looks great in photos is this colorful succulent:

My succulents grow in pots with very well draining soil. With all the recent rain, some of them are looking a bit mushy, but this one is doing well. I bring most succulents inside in late autumn before winter's heavy rains and freezing temps arrive.

My recently transplanted hosta in the woodland garden is still doing well, no doubt thanks to plentiful moisture.

Ferns in the fern glade are also prospering. The ferns in this area have taken several years to become established, but many of them are now reaching mature size:

Variegated Algerian ivy grows in a pot hanging beneath a birdhouse in the woodland garden. Algerian ivy can become rampant if planted in the ground, but it behaves well contained here. I trim it when it grows too long:

Finally, as the sun was setting and I was about to end my stroll through my very wet garden, I was rewarded with a movement at my feet:

I was delighted to see a young box turtle. One of my most fun posts was about a box turtle. You can read it here:  Encounter With a Box Turtle

Best wishes!  Deb