June 18, 2009

One of the neat things this time of year...

...Is the return from dormancy of our Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis).

It's a splendid creature right now. But for more than half the year it's just a sort of leafless stump. Spring comes, the garden explodes with growth...and still no Royal Fern. Every year Charlene and I wonder if it has died.

And then in May the fiddleheads start to emerge. Now it's about 3' in diameter. Those yellow stalks sticking up above are the "fertile fronds," that carry the spores.

Royal Fern

Posted by John Weidner at 11:03 PM

April 23, 2008

Tree guys...

We had our trees trimmed today.

I was very interested in how the tree guys maneuvered by ropes, since I'd recently read about that in a great book, The Wild Trees, by Richard Preston, which is about a bunch of scientists who clamber about in the canopies of the tallest Redwoods, 350 feet or so above the ground. And they learned their rope techniques from arborists, after having poor results from rock-climbing gear.

There's another guy on the other end of those ropes you see, on the ground, tightening or loosening. And the trimmer has most of his weight supported, and can move out on thin branches, chain-sawing away with the appearance at least of great ease. tree-trimmer

The book is a lot of fun. A good read.

Posted by John Weidner at 8:44 PM

May 20, 2005

They call it the "Royal Fern"

To make room for some changes in the garden, I dug up my Osmunda regalis today, and put it in a pot. The common name for this beauty is "Royal Fern," and never was there a plant name so apt...

Osmunda regalis, Royal Fern
I hadn't realized how big it had grown until I had to lift it out of the ground. It's about 7' wide. It dies back every winter, and ts return is one of the treats of Spring.

Posted by John Weidner at 7:41 PM

January 25, 2004

January oddities...

A couple of things from our garden...

The pink things are ferns, Blechnum occidentale. About once every three years they give us this crazy riot of color in January. (And right next to them a pink Azalea!) Not what one could call tasteful, but fun...They look ratty the rest of the time, but I can never bring myself to tear them out.

ferns inour garden, January 2004

And I've been doing a lot of things outside, and there's this one fern frond, I don't even know what species it is, but it sticks out, as you can see, and catches the sun and just shines like a lantern...

Posted by John Weidner at 8:29 PM