Saturday, July 6, 2013

Ferns, Yucca, Beautyberry, Snow Squarestem, and a Recipe

Ferns create a soft edge between the woods and the lawn.


I've always loved ferns in the landscape. It's just so relaxing not to have to worry about whether there will be nice flowers and that their color coordinates with others. With ferns, there are never any flowers, so I can just enjoy their fernyness in the landscape.

Read my post "Ferns in the landscape" over on the Beautiful Native Plants blog to see some of my ferns and to learn about their two-stage life cycle.

Tuberous swordfern (Nephrolepis cordifolia) is tremendously invasive in Florida.  I've removed bushels of them from our property, but many more bushels to go.

Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) is blooming now: unbelievably purple berries to follow. This native shrub is in the mint family and is a favorite of birds in the winter. People make jellies and jams from the berries, but I'd rather feed the birds.

Yucca (Yucca aloifolia) bloom in the morning sunlight. This plant is part of our mailbox garden and the spike with the bloom is ten feet tall! There are a lot of these yuccas in the neighborhood, but they bloomed a month ago including one that is a clone of this plant. Weird.

Mediterranean pasta salad. The recipe is flexible and is a great way to use up whatever you have on hand. This rendition included these items from the garden: the last of my cabbage, tomatoes, green onions, sweet onions, cucumber, garlic chives, chives, Greek oregano and curly parsley. The pesto dressing included sweet onions, garlic chives, garlic, Greek oregano, curly parsley, and dollarweed. The recipe is on page 171 of "Organic Methods for Vegetable Gardening in Florida."

The first snow squarestem (Melanthera nivea) flowers of the season appeared last week. The beautiful pollinator parade has begun! Here's my post on this very-easy-to-grow pollinator plant: Snow squarestem: a bee & butterfly magnet.

Dawn's early light on July 5th from my front yard. Many of the neighbors went crazy with their personal fireworks the previous evening, even though it was pouring rain.

Enjoy the summer in your yard, but garden early in the day to avoid heat stroke!

Green Gardening Matters,
Ginny Stibolt