Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fern Gully: Part II

This past weekend Aaron's mom, Robin, came to town and gardening ensued.  In fact, Gardenstravaganza (that's what I'm calling it) is still going on.  Right now, I'll just focus on the ferns though.  If you're reading this, it is fairly likely that you have already read Fern Gully: Part I in which I told you about pulling out some ferns growing in the small front bed under our living room window.  Well, this post is about pulling out the biggest fern(s?) I have ever laid eyes on.  Now, like most people I tell my plans to, you maybe cringing at the idea of me removing large amounts of ferns.  You may be saying, "But ferns are so pretty," or "Oh, why are you pulling those out?  They're so expensive!"  Well, this behemoth had taken over most of a 5 x 15 foot bed and had overgrown a rose bush, two camellias and some plants I have yet to identify.

So this weekend Aaron and I got to work.  We got all of the ferns removed and hauled them to the dump (green waste, not landfill).  The largest piece we pulled out measured about 5 x 2 x 3 feet and some of the fern fronds were nearly 5 feet tall.  I'm sure they'll come back; sword ferns are tuberous and there were thousands of tubers/bulbs/whatever you want to call them underneath the mass of plants.  We removed all we could, but went down too deeply for us to reach them all.  I will be diligent in pulling new growth when I discover it.  And that's definitely 'when' and not 'if'. 

As you can see, having the ferns out makes a huge difference.  The rose bush is now without support, but it had fallen over in some strong wind we had a few days prior to the fern removal.  We just need to get it staked back up and it will be fine.  We still have a lot of work to go though.  Eventually we will be moving some of the white rose bushes (Iceberg) from the backyard into the bare place on the left.  We're hoping the camellias will fill out a bit as well now that they get more sunlight and have a little extra growing room.  The unidentified plants have beautiful flowers, but they multiply rapidly so they may eventually be replaced by another white rose bush so we don't end up with a bed full of those.

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