Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Grace Suggested Sword Ferns

Has anyone ever suggested a solution to a problem that made you practically smack yourself in the head because it was just so perfect and so right that you can't believe it never occurred to you?

A few days ago on my post about my stream, Grace from Gardening With Grace suggested that I plant native sword ferns around the top of my stream, and I seized on that solution like it would save my life. I was so enthusiastic about it I implemented it today. Good thing I had all those sword ferns from the recent swap I went to. And I have a bunch of Fringecups/Tellima to interplant with them, and I have some native ginger (Asarum caudatum) that looks really lush right now, so I'm going to either divide one and plant it there, or buy another couple (they're pretty easy to find at local nurseries).

It doesn't look like much right now, because they are all kind of smallish ferns, but in a couple of years it will be lush and full, especially with the other natives interplanted with them. I dug out the hakone grass and the black mondo grass and moved them into my dry shade bed near the house.

It was such a perfect gardening day today, with temps near 70 for the first time in ages. I actually sweated while I was out there digging, instead of shivering in my sweatshirt, and flexing my fingers every few minutes because they ache from the cold.

I planted the climbing hydrangea by the little gap in the fence.

A couple of stems broke off, so I'm going to try rooting them in water.

While I was moving some of the mondo grass I noticed this combination. I just thought the blue with the rich red foliage behind it from the Magic Carpet Spirea looks great. I need to add some blue to the orange/red in the bed beside the stream.

The other chore which I accomplished today with a little help from my husband was getting the plastic up on this hoophouse, which I am going to use for my tomatoes. Our summers here are so cool that tomatoes need all the help they can get.

It's not really pulled quite tight enough, but when it's tight, the two hoops on each end bow inward. I'm a little concerned about what will happen when it rains. We'll see. It's an experiment. I've never had a hoophouse before. I've never used red plastic mulch before either (it's supposed to help the maters ripen faster. Or something good like that.) I made the hoops out of ten-foot long pieces of electrical conduit, stuck over rebar which was pushed halfway into the ground. In a week or so I'll plant my tomatoes in it.

Well, that was my day. We are back to rainy and cool tomorrow. Waah.