Welcome to the backyard. Our tree is dying and our grass is patchy. But, every year I am determined to get this little flower bed looking pretty to beautify this place up a little bit. The area under the tree is tricky, it probably only gets a couple hours of sun a day and trying to find a hole to plant something in between tree roots, it almost next to impossible.
The ferns, hostas and lillies are prernnials but the coleus I planted this year to fill in some gaps and add a bit of colour. The hostas in the front row were new last summer, the lillies started randomly popping up last year and two summers ago, Mr. Loonie and I planted the ferns in the back row which were collected down by the river. The ferns have struggled to establish themselves since but they are looking good this year so far (as long as Stryker and Bella stay out of there). I want them to be full and lush one day. Either I could wait which could take years or head back down to the river for some good ol' fern diggin.
The Clearwater River, a 5 minute drive from the house has more ferns than you could ask for. It was a beautiful day in May, probably the best kind of summer day because the mosquitoes and horseflies are not out in full force yet.
Just off to the right, there is a path leading down to the most perfect little beach (when the river level drops later in the summer). The path is lined with ferns so you don't even have to bushwhack to start your digging.
FERNS, FERNS and more FERNS!!
We tried to collect smaller, shorter ferns with new growth (fiddleheads) rather than ones which have already opened up. We dug straight down all around and under the root mass; lifted the mass straight out and placed in a bucket to bring home and plant immediately. Ferns cannot dry out or be exposed to heat for long periods of time, they like a shady and moist environment.