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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Birth of Ferngully

 No, not the movie, but a new garden that never occurred to me until this afternoon. Like many stories with happy endings, this one begins with a Tale of Woe.

Some of our sixty-plus-year-old house's gutters are sagging, leaking, not draining properly, and generally contributing to excess humidity in parts of the building. Obviously, we need a gutter expert to solve our problem, and one will be here eventually. Right now, though, the tiny strip of earth between the music room and the driveway is pretty soggy. Said strip contained a fern and daylily bed when we bought the house, though the ferns have proven to be wildly aggressive and are attempting to Take Over the Known Universe, helped by the aforementioned water source. Waist-high ferns were attempting to enter the screened porch, and the meter reader hasn't seen our gas meter in months. Obviously, something had to be done, and a brainstorm occurred. (I was frustrated with learning a new online course system at work, and garden time is always a good tonic.) The sweet woodruff generously donated by a neighbor got planted on the other side of the driveway, but since it stays short, and these ferns do not, why not switch their places? The woodruff will stay below the gas meter and within the bounds of the concrete, while on the other side of the driveway, the ferns will have room to spread their fronds around.

Plans, of course, are generally more complicated in the execution than in the planning, especially when the planning is of the spur-of-the-moment variety. Discovery of the day: we have WAY too many ferns, which seem to have eaten most of the daylilies, which were of the ditch variety, anyway. So--what to do with the extras? (Composting native plants that want to live is not one of the choices unless the plant is pokeweed or one of the approximately five hundred black cherry seedlings that we get every spring.) Then--a solution. The slope running down to the back street has been a problem area--heavy shade, lots of tree seedlings, and a large decaying stump, Given that water runs downhill, what better place for a fern gully than a shady, damp area with humusy soil? Stay tuned for pictures if the plants decide to live.

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