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There is still a lot of activity at Bettman. New trees and shrubs are being planted, leaf removal is underway and tree and shrub pruning is taking place. In between tasks I like to take stock of the gardens: what worked, what didn’t, identify what the gardens are lacking and perhaps what needs to be edited. What’s really standing out to me in the shady courtyard are the ferns, two in particular, that withstood hot, humid days as well as days when I was less than an ideal caretaker. These ferns looked smart all year, one is still showing off, despite the wicked cold that is settling in and both maintained a clean, crisp appearance when other ferns had flopped or showed signs of heat stress. They are ..drum roll, please ….

Japanese Beech Fern
I planted this fern three years ago and it has performed without fail. Last year I added St John’s Wart ground cover, and this year a deep purple huchera. The fern has maintained its tidy clump, and looked as fresh as it did in early summer until just a few weeks back- perhaps the end of November. I was so impressed with this fern I added six more to the gardens.

Autumn Fern
I wasn’t too surprised to see how well this fern performed because I have been growing it for years in my Ault Park garden and it did superbly there for years. Therefore it was without hesitation that I planted six in the courtyard garden this year. What attracts most gardeners, myself included, to this fern is that it emerges in early spring to showoff a gorgeous burnt orange to copper color. Then, over the summer, it transitions to green. It’s wonderful twist on our expected green in the spring to fall colors in autumn.

How Do You Know?
How do you know what you need to test with a single plant and what you can add multiples of in a garden? Experience, plain and simple. I have been gardening for over 20 years and in those years I’ve worked with a wide variety of plants, as have the designers our company. Should l come across a plant I have no personal experience with I turn to the other two designers or if need be my extended network of horticultural professionals for advice.
That’s why even experienced gardeners call us- for the insight and expertise that comes from working with the plants, not just reading about them.

Call us today for a garden walkabout to explore all the possibilities in your landscape. ~Jennifer 

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