Monday, February 14, 2005

Oh deer, more ferns!

I was reading the other day that people in the South feel like they can say anything they want about somebody, as long as they end it with "bless his heart!" Now I can distinctly remember laying on the couch when I was a young boy, nursing my tongue that I had just about bitten in two by riding my bike off the back steps, and hearing my Mom talking to my Aunt Floy on the phone, saying "Well, he did it again, bless his heart!" I remember thinking it was odd she didn't even have to say who HE was. I may have had a mite more than my share of dumbness over the years, but I did survive childhood (no sure thing according to my brother, who over Thanksgiving told for about the thousandth time the story about how as a boy, I and my best friend, Mike, set up our fishing poles below the hydroelectric plant in what proved to be the overflow chute, right before they opened it up). Now in adulthood I like to think I'm past all of that, though my wife, Liz, does have what I call "The Look", that I get to see rather often. How she can get puzzlement, sympathy, disbelief, and resignation all in one glance is a complete mystery to me. I still do a few little things that surprise even me, and some of those things are in the garden. I'm always on the lookout for new plants for my woodland garden, and ferns are always welcome, so when I opened my Wayside catalogue and saw the deer fern, Blechnum spicant, stated to be evergreen even in zone 5, I had to have it; there are darn few evergreen plants in this climate. It was $7.95 (now I see, $10.95), but an evergreen fern has to be worth it. Well, when it arrived, it was pretty small, but I figured it would grow, so planted it in a shady spot and promptly forgot about it (I once lost a 5 foot tall viburnum for two years, so this shouldn't be surprising). Maybe a year later I ran across it while weeding, and I must say it wasn't much bigger, nor any more impressive, but it DID look oddly familiar, and I realized then that the woods were FULL of these little native ferns... so small, and frankly weedlike, that I had nevcr really noticed them before. Sigh! I don't suppose, of course, that YOU'VE ever done anything like this, bless your heart!

I suppose it's some sort of excuse that it was our first spring in the Cascade foothills but I once paid way too much money for a 2 gal. dicentra and as I was taking it out of the car, something pink in the woods caught my eye. Yeah, an area the size of my living room carpeted in bleeding heart.
Coulda been worse; you could have noticed a round hole about 8 inches across in your patch of Dicentra.
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