I got this idea from a fellow-blogger annamadeit of Flutter and Hum. She was my first “blogger friend” that I found when I started this blog three years ago this May. I remember writing to her in excitement that I had finally found some “Plant People.” If you are reading this you either know what a “plant nut” I am from knowing me personally OR you are a plant nut. Either way, thanks for the views and comments.
We have a giant old pine stump in the middle of my shade garden under the “Miss Robbie” fig tree. I have posted on this spot before in “Barren to Bountiful” , https://floweralley.org/2016/11/18/barren-to-bountiful/ which had a double meaning due to the current world crises at the time. Pay attention folks, FLOWER doesn’t just write about flowers.
I have been placing one of my creations named, Fern Basin, on top of the stump to hide it. Now that it has finally decomposed nicely, I wanted to feature it instead. Decompostion has created nice little niches into which I plan to tuck tiny bulbs next season. Until then, I have filled them with garden soil and mushroom compost to let it season and settle.
I dragged a heavy cedar stump from the woods. My grown son had to get it in place. Then I wandered through the surrounding woods looking for ferns, rocks and interesting objects. I also found some driftwood along the shore of the river/lake. The hunt was as much fun as the creation. Win, Win!
I did purchase a Tassel fern/Polystichum polyblephum, some Irish moss/ Sagina subulata and a tiny hosta/ ‘Wrinkle in Time.’
This project is near my Fairy Garden which I blogged about last week. I enjoy creating tiny areas with a theme. It makes it fun to have several projects in mind and constantly add to each. It keeps me on the look-out.
I will continue to work on this. The newly established plants enjoyed yesterday’s rain.
My favorite type of fern is the Autumn Fern, also known as the Japanese Shield Fern.
It is my favorite because it is lovely in fall and winter, when most of my other plants are dead or depressingly dormant. It loves shade and moisture. It needs protection from wind to get this big without damage.
The fronds are bipinnate/twice-cut, which means there are two divisions of leaflets on the frond stem divisions. They are also triangular.
The sori are arranged in neat little rows along underside of the leaflets.
Its species name is Dryopteris erythrosora. In Latin that means tree/fern/red/sorus.
A sorus is a packet of spores that looks like a rust spot this time of year.
Here are three sori under a microscope. Each is a complicated system of catapults. The curled arms unfurl and sling the spores away from the parent plant.
Fresh sori are light colored or transparent. These still contain spores.
Spores are not seeds. They only have half the genetic material of the fern. These germinate into tiny “boy and girl” gametophytes, which then get together and make the big “baby” sporophytes that we call ferns.
This ancient and strange life cycle is called “alternation of generations.”
I look at my ferns and feel a connection with prehistoric life.