Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October's Garden and a "Fern Table"

Hi Guys. Boy have I gotten bad about blogging! But this doesn't mean I'm not gardening. I'm just not writing about it. 

The weather has finally turned very fall-ish with mild temperatures and golden sunlight. It's so much easier to putter with the damp soil. I've been slowly getting plants relocated but I've got a lot more to do. It's actually rather chaotic right now. Even more than it normally is. 

Last month, when I was visiting Joy Creek Nursery with my sister I was admiring--among other things--their cool fern tables. Here are two examples of their maturing fern tables. 

Bascially, it's a miniature forest creation using moss, downed tree limbs, stones and soil to hold woodland plants. A few months ago Joy Creek offered a class demonstrating how to create your own fern table. I didn't attend the class but saw several blog posts about it, including Danger Garden and others that I can't recall now. (Sorry.) 

Anywho, I have this one rather sad looking leaky fountain basin sitting in a shady spot planted with  pink, spring-flowering Montia parviflora that I got from my friend Nancy

First, the flowers in spring. 

Montia parviflora in flower. Note the plethora of runners.
This is a fantastic, easy-to-grow woodland plant.
Without disturbing the Montia too terribly, I thought I could add a bit more pizazz with some ferns and other woodland goodies, create my own version of a fern table. 

Because its sitting right under my evergreen Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' (which has long since abandoned its "compact" stage) you can see evidence of it constantly dropping its older leaves, an annoyance that I've had to learn to live with. 

A trip to the forest netted me a wheelbarrow full of forest floor goodies. 

Forest floor goodies before the rains, in their faded, dry stage 

I gathered a few plants I thought were up to the task.

Clockwise from the top, Saxifraga veitchiana, Selaginella kraussiana 'Brownii',
Dwarf Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum ssp. pumilum) Leatherleaf Fern (Polypodium scouleri)
Selgalinella krussiana 'Aurea', and Leptinella squalida
Here is the work in progress. 

I will be tweaking it because this is what we gardeners do. But, what do you think? 

Here are photos of what's in bloom right now. 

Clematis texensis 'Gravetye Beauty' is in its second bloom

Clematis 'Huvi'
This is a bargain plant. $3 at Lowe's!

Oxalis crassipes 'Rosea'
The recent rains have rejuvenated these babies.

A recent trip to Dancing Oaks and I'm now the proud owner of
Colchicum sp.
I haven't figured out where to plant them yet.

This is a struggling Alstroemeria finally showing me what color its flowers are.
Me likey!

The very first blossom on Camellia sasanqua 'Narumigata'
It's also still in a pot, waiting for my design inspiration to kick in.

This is also a newbie from Dancing Oaks.
Erodium 'Fran's Delight'

Salvia involucrata or "Rose Bud Salvia"
I purchased this from Annie's this spring. It's grown much bigger than I anticipated
and has been all-leaves until just a few weeks ago when I finally saw the first flowers.
So with my small garden, I'm not sure I will keep it. But the flowers are pretty.

'Rip City' Dahlia is a non-stop bloomer!

Dahlia 'Ivaneti' is trying so hard to bloom in its too shady spot.
I'm going to move it to a full-sun spot next year. Poor thing.

Another Dahlia, this one a dwarf, dancing in the soft, autumn light.

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Glowing Embers' living up to its name.

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' is also blushing up nicely.

Good ole Heliotrope, fragrancing the patio.

Aconitum carmichaelii 'Arendsii'

Dianthus x isensis 'Dancing Geisha' is another newbie from Dancing Oaks.
I am so in love with these unique, wispy flowers.

Serratula seoanei

That's all for now. I hope you're enjoying your garden. Thanks for visiting.


  1. Your fern table looks great! That's one garden trend I can't even consider jumping on as ferns of all kinds struggle here. And there certainly aren't any nearby forests with moss and lichen-encrusted encrusted wood waiting to be collected!

    1. Kris, one of the tables at Joy Creek was done with rock garden Saxifraga. It was definitely something for your climate.

  2. You've made a spectacular fern table! As always, I enjoyed the trip through your garden.

  3. Oh, I really like your fern table! I might have to try that--I certainly have the woodland plants and materials to put it together here in my shady garden. Thanks for the idea! You have some amazing blooms going on right now, too!

    1. It's not difficult at all and you can always fine tune it. Check out Loree's blog to see hers.

  4. Oh my goodness. Everything is wonderful in your gardens. A fantastic fern table, and those luscious blooms in varying shades of pink, crimson, etc. WOW. I always leave your blog, inspired. Thank you.

    Happy Autumn ~ FlowerLady

    1. Thank you, Lorraine. Gardening is such good therapy, isn't it?

  5. Your fern table looks great! You chose some good plants, I hope they thrive for you. The rest of your garden looks good too. You still have plenty blooming.

    1. Thanks Alison. If nothing else a fern table is a way to use up all of one's impulse purchases. :)

  6. I am devastated to have missed your visit to Joy Creek. If you do that again, please let me know. If it's a day I'm not working, I could meet you there. Your version of a fern table is impressive. FYI that first fern table photo is of the one put together in the workshop this summer. It could easily pass for one that has been around for a while.

    1. I know, Ricki. My trip north was very spur of the moment. My sister had a doctor's appointment so I drove up to spend the day with her, which of course, had to include a few nursery visits. I hope I can get up there again soon. We definitely need to meet. So I'll have to check your blog to see if you've made one.

  7. Ah Grace, your fern "table" is just lovely! (thanks for the link) Excellent work!! I hope it thrives for you. I think they might be addictive, do you have a location for another one in mind?

    1. I think they're addictive all right but in my search for mossy wood, I found a semi-hollow log that I also drug home. My son cut it in and I'm going to plant something in both ends. I'll post photos when they're done.

  8. Your fountain fern table is outstanding and your blooms are drool worthy. Glad to hear that you're still enjoying your gorgeous pink garden!

  9. That is so cool, now I want one!

  10. Non-stop blooms are beautiful, but your fern/moss table... outstanding! Love it! Good job, Grace!!!

  11. Grace!!! That fern table is so amazing! Thanks for giving us a look at a very inspiring project :)

  12. Brilliant. i will look forward to seeing yours grow. i have a three tier concrete fountain with the holes already drilled in it. set up in the sun, all ready for succulents.

  13. Wow that is an amazing collection of October bloomers! And I love that FERN TABLE!!


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