Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall in the North Coast Garden

As fall continues on the north coast I'm still finding growth happening with new and established plants. The sword fern I planted next to the front porch is sending up a new curled white fern shoot from the base of the fern I planted in spring. I originally dug up from the main fern plant from under the holly trees, one of two sword ferns I brought with me from Petaluma. When first planted this fern it had a rhiazome with two frond stems and some roots; now a third frond is curling up from the soil. Having had good success in dividing and planting this particular fern this tells me that the new fern is now established in its porch corner and will eventually grow up to be a hardy specimen.

The sweet peas I grew in the pot on my deck were planted out and are starting to grow up the obelisk structure. It may be late in the season for the new sweet pea plant but you'd never know it since it is sports new blooms ready to open. I'm hoping the sweet peas do well over the next month so I can gather some seeds for next year's garden.

The passionflower vines on the fence have done great this year. After the hard cut back of the vines in early spring and the weekly watering regime for the vines the extra work has paid off this season. A few weeks ago I counted 34 purple and green flowers on the vines; this past weekend the count was up to 50 flowers! The foliage is so lush it can be difficult to see the pale green and purple flowers as they fade into the green leaves. Still it is exciting to see so much flowering on the once bare vines.

The passionflower vines in the trellis boxes need a top dressing of time released fertilizer and new dirt to help the two new vines I planted get a good start for next season. I replanted my small blue hydrangea plant in the front yard where the crocosmias were crowding out the area until we dug them up. After digging up the overbearing crocosmias we found two beautiful specialty grass plants hidden in in the corner. So far it looks a little bare with the specialty grass on one side and the small hydrangea in the center but soon enough the hydrangea will grow bigger and fill the space. I'm hoping to find some nepeta in the garden center to sit next to the hydrangea next spring, the local kitties should enjoy the nepeta as much as I do.

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