Hydrangea with a side of plumosa
Earlier this week I filled a vase with flowers in lovely shades of pink. I added sprigs of Asparagus Fern ‘plumosa’ for a light, feathery touch
In my apartment-dwelling days, I did most of my decorating with live plants, including these ferns. My Asparagus Plumosa started out as two, seventy-nine cent house plants. They lived on a lace-covered trunk next to my bed in Campbell, until they started to outgrow their pots. The plants came with me from Campbell to San Jose and eventually Fremont, then back to San Jose.
When we bought this house in 1996 my tiny ferns were in a pot too big to lift alone. By then the thorns were mighty fierce. It would be a challenge to transplant. I let it be for a few more years, but the sides of the large, plastic pot started to crack. Worried that the plant would die with so little leg room, Mike maneuvered the pot, split the sides and planted the fern where in now resides. The roots were happy to be free from that pot, and the fern lives on.
History of Ferns
I wish I had pictures of my traveling fern in those early days. Do you ever wonder how we managed life before digital? Back when film was at a premium, and you had to pay to develop photographs, you chose your subject wisely. Digital photography is liberating.
Plumosa growing strong since 1988
Lovely new growth
Lindy-Lu under the fern.
Thank you, Boomdee for your July 15th comment. It inspired this post.
Unless you live in Kauai, Hamburg or Seattle, you probably have to water your outdoor potted plants. This holds true for indoor plants that don’t get the benefit of seasonal rain. It’s a fine line between over-watering which can drown the roots, or under-watering which can quickly kill a summer annual. The mix of shallow roots and rising temperatures dry out plants. Mulching helps, but plants still need a regular drink of water. Further, seeing water pour out of the bottom of the pot on to the deck or walkway is a water-conservation no-no. What to do?
We’ve been experimenting with various self-watering devices, a misnomer since you still have to fill the reservoir with water. Our first self watering gadget was a glass globe about the size of a baseball. It came with a porous clay reservoir that you staked into the soil. After filling the glass globe with water, you quickly upended it and inserted it into the reservoir. They looked pretty, but presented two problems. The opening was narrow and hard to fill from a watering can. When I carried them to and from the sink, I worried I would drop them. Once full, you couldn’t set them down.
Next, my husband came up with the idea of using plastic apple juice containers, the ones that are about the size of a large apple. The opening was larger and they had a flat bottom. They worked, but they didn’t look nice after several weeks in the sun. When empty, they were light enough to be knocked out of the container by a squirrel…or a gardener… and often ended up under the shrubs.
Pictured below are our current watering stakes. The ceramic bird has a built-in reservoir in the back made of clay but molded into one piece. The stake remains in the soil and you add water from the top. Isn’t it cute? The verdict is out at this point. I like the ease of use and the little pop of color but I’m not convinced that one per pot is enough.
The baby bird or BORDY, is also molded in one piece but you add water through the mouth. For some reason it reminds me of a dolphin more than a bird. What do you think?
Do you have a favorite self-watering gadget? Please share in the comments, below.