Archive for Polystichum polyblepharum

Pleasurable Pairings for Spring Part 2

Posted in bulbs for shade, How to, landscape design, my garden, native plants, Shade Gardening, Shade Perennials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2015 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Mertensia virginica, Stylophorum diphyllumNative Virginia bluebells, Mertensia virginica, and native Celandine poppies, Stylophorum diphyllum, are two of my favorite plants for spring and are wonderful combined with almost anything.  Very easy to grow in part to full shade and woodland conditions.

In April 2011, I wrote a post about beautiful spring pairings.  To read it, click here.  I always meant to continue the topic and have finally taken the time to photograph the garden.  Some of the combinations are the same but that’s because I love them!

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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Mertensia virginica, Polystichum polyblepharumVirginia bluebells with emerging tassel ferns, Polystichum polyblepharum.

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Mertensia virginica, Brunnera macrophylaOr how about blue on blue with Virginia bluebells and Siberian bugloss, Brunnera macrophylla?

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Leucojum aestivum, Stylophorum diphyllumNative Celandine poppies are just as versatile, here with summer snowflake, Leucojum aestivum.

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Epimedium versicolor 'Sulphureum', Stylophorum diphyllum, Osmunda cinnamomeaNative Celandine poppies with ‘Sulphureum’ epimedium, daffodils, native cinnamon fern, and the leaves of winter aconite, Eranthis hyemalis.

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Hosta 'Paradise Island', Vinca minor 'Bowles Purple'Gold hostas look so beautiful when they are emerging.  Here ‘Paradise Island’ hosta with ‘Bowles Purple’ vinca.  Although I don’t recommend planting vinca because it is so invasive, I couldn’t resist adding this purple variety to a contained space.

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Spiraea japonica 'Magic Carpet', Dicentra spectabilis 'Goldheart'One of my all time favorite combinations, the peach-colored spring leaves of ‘Magic Carpet’ spiraea with the similarly colored stems of ‘Goldheart’ old-fashioned bleeding-heart.

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Phlox subulata 'Purple Beauty', SedumNative ‘Purple Beauty’ moss phlox, P. subulata, with a sedum showing its winter colors.

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Fritillaria meleagrisCheckered-lily in its white, Fritillaria meleagris ‘Alba’, and purple forms seed through out my dry, full shade woodland.

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Epimedium x warleyense, Hosta montana 'Aureo-marginata' Orange epimedium, E. x warleyense, with the emerging leaves of Hosta montana ‘Aureo-marginata’.

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That’s all for now but look for Part 3 soon.

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: Our third open house, featuring ferns, hostas, and hardy geraniums is Saturday, May 16, from 10 am to 3 pm.  However, don’t’ wait until then—you can stop by anytime by appointment to purchase these wonderful plants.  Just send me an email at carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net with some suggested dates and times that you would like to visit.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

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September 2013 GBBD

Posted in Fall, Fall Color, Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, groundcover, hosta, my garden, native plants, Shade Perennials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

Begonia grandis & Hosta 'Paul's Glory'Hardy begonias and ‘Paradise Joyce’ hosta

I have been very busy getting the nursery ready for the fall season but took a few hours off to get this Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day post done.  First though, I want to tell you what is in the fall line up.   Our fourth annual Double Hellebore Offer is underway.  To look at the brochure, click here.  These hellebores are the biggest doubles we have ever sold, and they are almost guaranteed to bloom this spring because they bloomed last spring.  If you want to see them in person, they are here right now and ready to go, so make an appointment or come during our open hours tomorrow, Sunday, September 15, from 1 to 3 pm.

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Begonia grandisHardy begonias are the ideal fall plant—they come up late and look pristine when they bloom from September through the first frost.

Our fall season started today, September 14, when we opened for a few hours so customers eager to start planting could shop.  Thanks to everyone who came by.  We will be open again tomorrow from 1 pm to 3 pm.   The first full-fledged open house sale is scheduled for Septmebr 28, and cyclamen breeder John Lonsdale will be making a guest appearance with his gorgeous hardy cyclamen.  He will have selected forms of Cyclamen hederifolium plus many other rare species.  Customers will get an email with all the details.  If you want to come before September 28, just send me an email with your preferred day and time.

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Begonia grandis 'Alba'white hardy begonia

I am currently putting together a Shrub, Tree, and Vine Offer with woody plants suitable for all your shady areas.  Look for an email this week if you are on my customer email list.  Finally, my husband Michael will be holding three sessions of his well-attended Low Maintenance Gardening Seminars.  They are tentatively scheduled for September 27, 29, and 30, but all the details will arrive by email shortly.  That’s all the business for now so on to the post….

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Begonia grandis 'Alba' & Hosta 'Striptease'My back hill is filled with large patches of hostas, and I use hardy begonias to fill in between them and even to cover up plants that are worn out by fall.

It is the middle of the month and time to participate in Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day (GBBD) hosted by May Dreams Gardens (link available on the 15th of the month) where gardeners from all over the world publish photos each month of what’s blooming in their gardens.  I participate because it is fun and educational for me to identify what plants make my gardens shine at different times of the year.  I encourage all gardeners, but especially my customers, to expand their floral display beyond spring so that their gardens delight them with flowers whenever they go outside.

My garden is located in Bryn Mawr (outside Philadelphia), Pennsylvania, U.S., in zone 6B.

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Begonia grandis 'Alba'hardy begonias

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Anemone x hybridaAnother fall star is Japanese anemone, which blooms from August into October depending on the variety.  The taller cultivars look beautiful draped over shorter plants, here hybrid hellebores.  However, shorter and more upright types have been introduced lately, look for the Pretty Lady series and ‘Pink Saucers’, both available at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.

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Anemone x 'September Charm'‘September Charm’ Japanese anemone

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Anemone x 'Pamina'My favorite, ‘Pamina’ Japanese anemone

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Hosta 'Honeybells'I generally do not grow hostas for their flowers, but I make an exception for the highly fragrant varieties like ‘Guacamole’.  This photo shows ‘Honeybells’ towering over my miniature hosta rock garden.

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Hosta 'Stained Glass'Another hosta with deliciously fragrant flowers is ‘Stained Glass’, the 2006 Hosta of the Year.

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Hosta 'Stained Glass'‘Stained Glass’ is one of my favorite hostas—how many of your hostas look like this by fall?

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Hosta 'Mighty Mouse'Another hosta that comes through summer in pristine condition is the adorable miniature ‘Mighty Mouse’.

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Phlox paniculata & Spiraea 'Magic Carpet'It wouldn’t be fall without garden phlox.  I let this highly fragrant native plant self sow throughout my gardens and it is usually covered with butterflies.

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Phlox paniculata 'Starfire'The more modern garden phlox cultivars are mildew resistant and come in vibrant colors like ‘Starfire’ in this photo.

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Phlox paniculata 'Nicky' & Heuchera villosa 'Citronelle'‘Nicky’ garden phlox with ‘Citronelle’ coralbells

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Heuchera villosa 'Berry Smoothie'Customers have been raving about ‘Berry Smoothie’ coralbells for the last couple of years so I finally planted it in my garden—gorgeous.

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Ceratostigma plubaginoides & Hypericum 'Briggadoon'Two of my favorite colors, yellow and blue, come together through the side-by-side pairing of ‘Brigadoon’ St. John’s wort and plumbago (also called autumn leadwort), both excellent groundcovers.

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Polystichum polyblepharumTassel fern makes such an elegant specimen with its circular habit and shiny evergreen leaves.

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Cyclamen hederifoliumIt wouldn’t be September without fall-blooming hardy cyclamen.  The flowers start blooming in August (and last into October) and are followed by the beautifully patterned leaves which last until the next June.

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Cyclamen hederifolium 'Alba'white fall-blooming hardy cyclamen

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Ajuga 'Black Scallop'‘Black Scallop’ ajuga is the only one I sell because it is so superior.  It produces a solid weed-choking mat of very shiny, semi-evergreen leaves topped by lovely blue flowers.

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Rudbeckia speciesThis late-blooming black-eyed Susan species, Rudbeckia triloba (thanks Heide) self sows like mad, but I wouldn’t give up the beautiful display.

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Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'‘Aureola’ Japanese hakone grass is beautiful all year.

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Pennisetum 'Moudry'Black fountain grass comes into its glory in the fall.  Yes, I know it can spread, but I have had it for 15 years and it hasn’t gone anywhere that I didn’t want to leave it.  Gardeners with smaller areas or less tolerance for the natural look should beware.

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Chelone lyoniiAnother favorite native, pink turtlehead, peaks in my garden in September.

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Tricyrtis 'Sinonome'A glimpse of what’s to come in October, the first flower opens on my ‘Sinonome’ toad-lily.

Almost all of these plants are available for sale at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens so, if you are in the area, I hope you will stop by.  If not, you now have a lot of ideas for your fall shade garden.

Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Nursery Happenings: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens will be open Sunday, September 15, from 1 to 3 pm, and for a full-fledged open house sale on Saturday, September 28, from 10 am to 3 pm.  We are currently offering double hellebores, both by pre-order and at the nursery.  For details, click here.   Now that it’s cool, we are also shipping miniature hostas again.  For details, click here.  Low maintenance seminars and a chance to order shrubs and vines are in the works.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Evergreen Ferns for Shade & Stylish Blogger Award

Posted in evergreen, Shade Gardening, Shade Perennials with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2011 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

US. native hart’s-tongue fern, Phyllitis scolopendrium, is especially beautiful in my garden in the spring as it unfurls, April 2010

Spring is in the wind here today with unseasonably warm temperatures of almost 70 degrees F (21 C).  The ten day forecast shows more seasonable temperatures with highs in the mid-forties.  Although spring is definitely on the way (it snowed and went down to 10 degrees since I wrote this!), the beauty of snow has been replaced with the grays and browns of late winter, not a look I treasure.  That makes any plants that liven up the gardens very important at this time of year, and evergreen ferns do just that.  Five of my favorites are profiled below.

Hart’s-tongue fern is also very beautiful in the fall, mid-November 2010 with Christmas rose and pulmonaria

Hart’s-tongue fern, Phyllitis scolopendrium (zones 5 to 9), may be my favorite all time fern (today anyway).  It has a very unique look that is absolutely magical when it unfurls in the spring (photo at top), and it maintains its good looks until it disappears under the snow (photo above).  Even now it is quite presentable after our snowy and icy winter with only slight browning.

Although I call it a US native, hart’s tongue fern is actually indigenous to Europe, Asia, and North America, including the mid-Atlantic.  However, according to John Mickel in Ferns for American Gardens, the US variety does poorly in cultivation, and all cultivated material is from the European variety.  It is a clump-forming fern, growing 8 to 16″ tall with shiny, leathery fronds.  It is easy to grow but suffers if over-watered and must be well-drained.  I grow mine in part shade on a slope with plenty of organic matter.  In the wild it is limestone-loving, but I haven’t found this to be necessary in my garden.


Japanese holly fern, Cyrtomium falcatum, makes quite a statement in my mid-November garden

Japanese holly fern, Cyrtomium falcatum (zones 6 to 10), is another favorite of mine.  Individual plants grown as a specimen can be up to 2 feet tall and 3 feet across making quite a bold statement in the garden.  It grows well in the deep shade of my woodland garden where there is more construction rubble than soil as well as on my partly shaded but very open back slope.  Right now it is serving as a backdrop for the giant snowdrops, Galanthus elwesii, that are emerging between its fronds, which have been flattened by snow.

Japanese holly fern is native to Hawaii (do we call it a US native?), southern Africa, and across southern Asia.  Although it is uncommon in the mid-Atlantic, it is quite commonly grown in the southern parts of the US and has naturalized in some areas.  It is clump-forming with an elegant, vase-like habit and 4 to 7″ wide, glossy dark green fronds with toothed pinnae that resemble holly leaves.  It prefers good drainage and organic soil in part to full shade.


U.S. native deer fern, Blechnum spicant, also shines in my mid-November garden

Deer fern, Blechnum spicant (zones 5 to 8), was new to my garden in spring of 2010 so, despite its moist native habitat, it survived  this summer’s record-breaking heat and drought.  The unusual texture provided by its linear segments is a great addition to the border in front of my fall-blooming camellias.  It is in an eastern-facing location with high shade.  Right now, though flattened by the snow and ice, the fronds look almost the same as in the photo above despite our hard winter.

Deer fern is native to moist coniferous forests in the US Pacific Northwest and Europe.  Its two types of fronds are very distinct.  The sterile fronds (pictured above) are 8 to 20″ long, evergreen, and prostrate, while the fountain-like fertile fronds, which emerge in the spring, are 16 to 24″ long,  deciduous, and erect.  It puts on quite a show in the spring.  Deer fern grows in part to full shade in acid soil enriched with organic matter and spreads slowly by short creeping rhizomes.


Tassel fern, Polystichum polyblepharum, growing in dry shade at the base of my Kentucky coffee tree in mid-November

Tassel fern, Polystichum polyblepharum (zones 5 to 8), is a very trouble-free, evergreen fern that I have grown for years.  I found that it does not do well in full shade, but thrives in high shade with dappled light.  It is absolutely gorgeous in the spring, when the reddish, hairy new fronds unfurl  (photo below) and still looks spectacular at the end of a hot dry summer (photo above).  Right now it is flat to the ground exposing its fleecy stems even more.

The bristly new fronds of tassel fern unfurl, photo courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder

Tassel fern is native to Japan and southern Korea.  According to Mickel, its species name means “many eyelashes” referring to its bristly, pubescent stems, which are really quite eye-catching even when fully emerged.  Its lustrous dark green fronds form an elegant, vase-like crown 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide.  It makes an excellent specimen.  Grow it in part shade in a well-drained, humus-rich site.


U.S. native Christmas fern, Polystichum acrostichoides, is ornamental 365 days a year in my garden, photo courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder

Christmas fern, Polystichum acrostichoides (zones 3 to 9), is without a doubt the best evergreen fern for mid-Atlantic US gardens.  It grows well everywhere in my garden from my deeply shaded woodland to more sunny, rocky slopes.  Right now, although not as upright as the photo above, it is the most presentable evergreen fern after our long, hard winter.

Christmas fern growing an a rocky outcropping in Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee

Christmas fern is native to the whole eastern half of North America, including all of Pennsylvania.  According to Mickel, its common name arose because it was used by early settlers as Christmas decorations.  The lance-shaped, dark green, leathery fronds provide excellent winter interest.  The two foot tall, fountain-like clumps increase in size over time, forming multiple crowns and making it easy to divide.  Christmas fern is very easy to grow in part shade to full shade and in moist to dry soil and can be used on slopes to prevent erosion.

I hope I have convinced you to go outside and investigate where you can add some evergreen ferns for year round interest.

Please let me know in a comment/reply what evergreen ferns you grow in your garden.

Carolyn


Notes: John Mickel is Curator of Ferns for the New York Botanical Gardens.  His book, Ferns for American Gardens, is an excellent resource discussing over 400 ferns with hundreds of photos.  I have added it to my sidebar under Books so you can always find it.

Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.), just click here.

Nursery Happenings: I am currently accepting orders for snowdrops, including  mail orders.  For the catalogue and order information, click here.  I am taking reservations for my Hellebore Seminars for the Totally Obsessed.  For the brochure and registration information, click here.  I have three spaces left for the March 6 session of Charles Cresson’s Snowdrops and Other Winter Interest Plants Seminar.  For the brochure and registration information, click here.

I have recently been honored with the Stylish Blogger Award by six different blogs, and I want to thank them for the accolade.  My friends would really laugh to hear the word stylish applied to me as a person, but I am glad I am making up for that with my blog.  I am not following the award rules, but instead letting you know who gave me the award in hopes that you will visit their blogs.  Here are the links and some information to entice you to visit them:

Deb’s Garden: Deb shares her gardening experiences on 3.5 partially wooded acres in Helena, Alabama.

Island Threads: Frances battles the elements on the northern tip of an island off the northwest coast of Scotland.

Orchid de Dangau: Makirimi collects and grows orchids in Malaysia.

Southern Meadows: Karin writes about nature and gardening in northeastern Georgia.

Sweet Bean Gardening: Hanni is developing a cottage garden in Indiana with her two young daughters.

The Suburban Gardener: Lily specializes in lilies and hostas in her shady suburban Chicago, Illinois, garden.


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