Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Smaller Stars of Spring
Spring is about big displays of color in the show-offs, the fruit trees and the ornamental fruit hybrids, and I love those, of course. But I also love the little show-offs, and I plant them everywhere I have a niche. They are often more tender, preferring shade and moist places, so I lose many of them, but there are hardy souls among them as well, like these bleeding hearts and Solomon's seal. The nodding buds of Solomon's seal will soon open into tiny, white hanging bells. To my eye, they are the perfect accompaniment to the more sentimental hearts.This is my first year for forget me nots. They are one of those rarest of flowers, a true blue.Of course, ferns. I don't have many because it gets deadly hot here, but a few have managed to survive. Actually, there are two ferns in this picture, the tall one which is architecturally fantastic, and the low-growing one with its silvery foliage. As the summer goes on, the lower one will become tinged with red. I don't know the name of the tall fern, but I bought it from a bin which was marked 'six foot ferns'. The first year they (I bought two) scarcely made it to 6 inches. My sister scoffed when she saw them, which made me feel very bad for the ferns. The year after they were about a foot and a half. This year they both came up early and strong, and the one in the picture is already as tall as its greatest height last season. I'm hoping for bigger and better things this year! In the meantime, the characteristic way ferns punch through the ground in mighty, little coils and 'unfurl' charms me no end. I could almost sit out there and just watch them grow.