Friday, November 19, 2010

Goodbye Ferns, Hello Winter Urns

tropical upright fern/winter urn
I bid a reluctant goodbye to my three tropical upright ferns that had performed so spectacularly all summer and fall.  I brought one of them inside, but their gigantism forced me to send the other two to the compost heap, where they look very forlorn.  Even a Victorian home can only handle so many ferns on stands. In their place are three berry laden Blue Princess Hollies, well insulated with extra soil and lots of cedar and dogwood boughs.  With luck they'll survive the winter and join the far less showy Blue Prince holly in the garden in the spring.  The lovely brown of the underside of the magnolia leaves makes a nice compliment to my rusty iron urns (rust initially from neglect, now turned purposeful strategy). 

Blue Princess holly, cedar boughs, red osier dogwood twigs, magnolia leaves

For the two concrete urns at the top of the stairs I impaled two moss balls on dogwood stakes and thrust them into into my existing pots of ivy with some white pine and salal.  For all of the violence of their making, they have a calm formal look and the moss balls echo the size and shape of the ball finials on the newel posts at the base of the stairs--another subconscious design coup (I'm that good).  So, that's the fun part of putting the garden to bed, I really must get back to the real chores before the final deep freeze.

The impaled moss ball topiary (slightly askew from this angle)

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