I really love to use ferns in the landscape! They're versatile, abundant, inexpensive, and quite beautiful with their spikes of bright green, grayish-purple and orange. They can grow BIG or small, as with all plants, depending on how much they like their environment! These are a few of my favs! And here's a few pruning tips!
1. Healthy patch of our native Sword Fern. It's clearly 'picture perfect' and all the dead fronds have been clipped away.
2. Here's how mine look in the spring!
3. First, I look deep inside to the middle of the plant to see if the new fiddleheads are emerging, and I'm careful not to cut them off when I prune.
4. Then, I pull back all the OLD fronds even if they are still a little green AND I cut them off all the way to the center. Yes, all of them!
5. This allows light for all the emerging fiddleheads to unfurl!
6. It is such a lovely sight to see the tiny little pruned fern transform into a bright green lush plant in the early spring!
DO Experiment with different ferns in your landscape! Some are more sun-tolerant than others, but a good filler plant nonetheless!!
**As always, if you want guidance, Please contact me**
How do I know? The sound of frogs!
For several years I have worked with the Skagit Land Trust in Skagit County Washington, doing surveys for frog eggs in the early spring. We monitor the same wetlands every year to see the changes in the native and invasive species, both plant and animal. This has greatly increased my awareness of our Northwest environment, and has helped me in my work and passion of helping to create the places where we ALL love to live! If you want to be part of the solution, Contact Me to see how you can create your own beautiful habitat where you LOVE TO LIVE!
Frog eggs and how to ID them ~ quick overview
This post is all about Raspberries. So, if you got some from me, you want to grow them, or if you’re growing them and they seem unproductive or “out of hand,” this information could be for you. Otherwise, probably not.
These are Caroline Everbearing Red Raspberries. They produce in mid-summer, then again in the early fall and continue at least until it freezes, sometimes, as late as November. These plants produce berries that have a wildly robust and slightly tangy flavor. They adapt to varied soil conditions and are resistant to pests and rust.
The first year the canes are small, and may produce a few berries in the late part of the season. The 2nd year canes produce in mid-summer and then again abundantly in the fall. Do NOT prune the 1st year canes, or they will only produce once the following year. The 3rd year canes are dying or dead and will not usually produce. However, I never snip off the dead canes until the following spring when the plants start leafing out, just to be sure. I neither prune nor trellis, but these are options depending on how much time you have!
New shoots come up from the expansive roots of the original plant. This is where PLANNING IS NECESSARY. If you grow raspberries along a fence line, be prepared for them to creep into your neighbor’s yard, which they may not want. I plant mine along a garage or some other building, where they can get sun AND shade, as they will grow better with both. Water if the weather is dry, or if they are too sheltered from the rain. Thin every couple of years to keep the foliage low and the fruiting high!! I don’t use any kind of fertilizer, but a nice compost or mulch would be acceptable. Chemical fertilizer is not necessary or acceptable – in my opinion.
Locally we also grow yellow raspberries. The cane variety seems to grow much, much slower than the reds, but the fruit is divine! I will be selling these next year!! There is also an evergreen ground cover raspberry bramble that is wonderfully producing, but DO be careful where you plant it if you want to eat those berries!
Watch my planting process in this YouTube video:
As always, call or message me if you have questions, I’m happy to help!
Happy Spring & I’ll talk to you soon!!
I thought I'd let you in on this hidden space I found to grow a garden!! It's basically the required setback between two buildings in a commercial district. I spotted it one day while on my way to visit a friend at work, and thought it would be a great area to demonstrate a "microclimate." So, with permission, here's a picture-story of what we're doing.....
NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER OF A VISION!
This microclimate works because the buildings are tall and create shelter from extreme heat, cold and wind. One of the buildings is metal, which is a heat-sink that radiates heat during the day and on into the night. An Eagle Scout project provided the raised beds and the installation, in perfect alignment with the aesthetic. We know we're on the right track here when even the smallest inhabitants are finding a cozy and inviting home!
A microclimate is an area of localized environmental conditions with regards to sun, temperature, wind, water, and soil. The area can be naturally occurring or one that you create. They can be simple or complex, a large farmland or a small area of a planting bed. Whatever you have, it can be developed into a microclimate that suits you. A key factor in creating a microclimate is observation, and combining elements from your unique location. These may include trees for shade, water runoff from a sidewalk or driveway, reflected heat from a black water cistern or a metal building, or even a nearby pond. Look at the following examples to give you ideas on how or where you can create one of your own!
These tadpoles were rescued from a swampy area on my property. The weather was warming and they would have been stranded as their pond dried up. I put them in a metal tub with some plant debris and a couple of big rocks. I shielded them from the sun, screened the tub and fed them garden greens as they grew. It took about 2 months for them to grow legs & hop up on the rocks. They eventually hopped out of the tub and into the surrounding environment - their home!!