Monday, February 23, 2009

Of Rocks and Ferns

Living in the Pacific Northwest, a scene such as this one is very common. In a damp and rainy clime the ferns can spring up in the most extraordinary places. You can see them growing out of the shingles of roof's, on tree bark, on moss laden rocks and just about everywhere in between. The most common fern around here is the Pacific Sword Fern, and it has a shallow root system that doesn't need much soil to grow in. I love seeing them on the branches of my Oak tree's, a mass of them growing out of the clumps of moss that love this tree. After a storm I always make a sweep of my yard because I can usually find big, heavy clumps of moss and ferns that have blown out of the tree. These I "plant" in other area's where I want some ferns, any shady spot will work as long as it gets the moisture it needs. Sometimes, a single branch will be so heavy with moss and ferns that in a high wind, the branch will snap and fall. For me this is a windfall! I will find a pretty, shady spot for the branch and plant a few violets, and presto, a lovely little garden.

If you have native ferns or moss in your state, take advantage of them. The moss looks so pretty with any number of small flowering plants and can make a shady, difficult area come alive.

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