There has been a lot to do everywhere this week, and I do not just mean in the garden. Papers to plough through, cupboards to sort, plans to plan. The phone has been annoying for its ability to distract and interrupt me as plants wait for no Dorris. When I have managed to get out in the garden, a great unfurling is going on.
This is the Harts tongue fern Asplenium scolopendrium which likes a shady damp corner grows to about 0.75m and will tolerate dry shade as long as you keep it damp during its first year.
The pushing out of the ground is one thing, the unfurling of each fern leaf is exquisite, these prehistoric plants have so much to offer the gardener in terms of shape, texture, colour and form.
Above is Matteuccia sturthiopteris the shuttlecock or Ostrich fern which I have in a large terracotta pot, pending a new space. This is a crown forming fern which grows quite upright to 1.7m requiring light shade and moist but well drained soil.
This is the male fern Dryopteris filix-mas which I rescued from a friend who had just moved house and her new overgrown garden was full of them. At the time, I had no idea what sort of fern it was but just loved its delicate foliage and offered it a home other than the skip. It occupies an area of about 0.5m and when open is about 0.6m tall.
The other plants which seem to unfurl are hostas, this is Hosta ‘Sum & Substance’ a yellow-green large leaf hosta.
It is growing with a variety of Euphorbia which I cannot remember but together make a rather pleasing arrangement.
The Solomon’s Seal Polygonatum x hybridum is looking fresh, its flowers still in tight bud and its leaves, yes you guessed it, unfurling.
Unfortunately my Solomon’s seal gets munched, big time by sawfly and so I shall probably cut it for a vase soon before it gets wrecked. It is such a shame because it is one of my favourite plants for shade.
Last and by no means least is the Lily of the Valley Convallaria majalis just beginning to appear, buds still tightly shut, no scent yet, just busy…unfurling.
This is another lovely plant for a shady position, and again this is a piece which was given to me by my garden friend who has the walled garden in Winslow. It is a special thing, a garden which is dotted with gifts from other gardens. I guess that is one of the things that us gardeners love about our own gardens, the associations that certain plants have, oh, and the unfurling. Have a good week and check for that unfurling in your garden.