Saturday, 10 August 2013

Weekly Fav... Dicksonia Antarctica

This weeks weekly fav is an epic ... dicksonia antarctica. I have long been a fan of Tasmanian tree ferns. There's something so lush and exotic about them. I received this fern a while ago at a Palm Society plant sale. I was initially drawn to the dramatic size of each frond. It seemed robust amongst others of a similar size trunk. That coupled with the beautiful green makes for a true favourite.

 The trunk is bigger than it appears in pictures but still a baby as far as tree ferns go. I have been told the secret to growth is regular feedings with fish fertilizer. I've been less than consistent with fertilizing (as usual) but have noticed that whenever I give it a stinky fish drink it sends out new growth.

The details:
USDA Hardiness Zone: (8) 9-11
Exposure: Part sun/ Part shade
Height: 12'-20'

Cistus Nursery has this to say about it: "This highly sought after fern matures with huge 6 ft+ fronds. Can achieve a considerable trunk with age. Best out of winds & under the high shade of evergreen trees. Sails through most years, but requires wrapping or lifting at 20F or so. Well worth it."

Friday, 9 August 2013

Fun changes to the back garden

A couple of weeks ago I got this beautiful sabal minor palm from the Pacific Northwest Palm and Exotic Plant Society. I had the classic debate ... where to plant it!? But today in a moment of clarity it hit. Remove the ugly purple heuchera. When I say ugly, you don't even understand the half of it. I should have taken pictures of it for evidence. It was about 95% burnt and really spindly. Almost as if heuchera met an ornamental kale and went through an incinerator. Okay, so maybe not that bad, but close. 

You can see how the trachycarpus are starting to get nice and large. I love this. But it has left things looking much different this year. For the first time everything underneath and in behind is becoming much more prominent. This has called for some change. I need to bring interest down near the base of the palms. So planting a bushy non-trunk forming palm like sabal minor seemed like the perfect solution for a palm lover like myself.

Here's a clearer look at the area. I like the way the palm echos the size of the two yucca gloriosa variegata. And having the raised bed, southern exposure, rocks in behind collecting heat, this palm is in the best situated spot for a southern native. Needless to say its much nicer than the heuchera which hated the hot sunny spot it was in. While I will miss the purple coloring, I am certainly pleased. I'm thinking a few nice dyckia 'burgundy ice' will do the purple job quite nicely. Either way the back garden is undergoing a constant metamorphosis.