A Late Frost

Trillium grandiflorum

A late frost in May is not uncommon, but we’re always happy when we skirt the possibility. For many of the plants that are blooming and at their peak ( Magnolia, Rhododendrum dauricum, primula, and the species peonies, to name a few), a frost can destroy the flowers and damage their foliage. Luckily, as I write this at 5:00 this morning and after being up several times through the night to check on the temperature, the greenhouse, and to be certain that any plants we’ve covered are still in fact covered, the deep cold has missed us by a couple of degrees. Yeah!

Mertensia virginica

On a different note, here are a few photos of what’s blooming at the moment. Blessed treasures, they are. Happy Mother’s day to all! And, a poem by e.e. cummings for this fine spring day ( just sent to me this morning by a dear friend…thank you, Joanne!)

Trillium erectum

“o Sweet Spontaneous”
sweet spontaneous
earth how often have

fingers of
prurient philosophers pinched

, has the naughty thumb
of science prodded

beauty, how
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy knees
squeezing and

buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive

to the incomparable
couch of death thy

thou answerest

them only with


Azalea ‘Candy Pink’ and Magnolia stellata in one of the woodland gardens

Comings And Goings

Saruma henryi

Saruma henryi

Our very dear WWOOF volunteer (Zoe) has gone to her next farm assignment over in the Maine western foothills and Dottie, our little bottle lamb, will be leaving this week to graze on grassy pastures over at our friend Sally’s. We’ll miss Zoe’s enthusiasm and positive energy (and her very good sense of humor!). We’ll also miss the pitter patter of our pampered lamb making herself comfortable inside the house. But she’s bigger now and ready to rejoin a flock of fleecy friends. Picture 2953
There are also some comings and goings in the gardens. Those wonderful azaleas are coming into bloom. Gorgeous… and some with a light sweet fragrance. One of our favorite plants, Saruma henryi, an upright and shade loving wild ginger, is also in bloom and quite lovely. Its soft yellow 3 petaled flowers and slightly fuzzy leaves are a beautiful addition to the woodland garden.
Azalea 'Roger Luce hybrid'

Azalea ‘Roger Luce hybrid’

Picture 2901
Picture 2897The month of June brings a new look to the gardens. Fuller now with the larger plants…hosta, rodgersia, ferns, polygonatums, and woodland peonies (to name a few) making an impressive statement.This being said, gems like Saruma henryi, anemonellas, and dodecatheons ( again, to name a few) are no less striking and appreciated. We, as usual, remain busy in the nursery continuing to pot up new additions and also to replenish the plants that have gone home with our customers. These comings and goings at Fernwood Nursery include people, plants, and….lambs.



Peony Japonica hybrid

Peony Japonica hybrid

Bicolored Iris

Bicolored Iris

We are having friends over for dinner tonight. Good friends. Lovely friends. They are neighbors of ours, and live just down on the lake. They are the kind of friends that know we are straight out with all the hustle and bustle of the nursery and growing plants. They are the kind of friends that show up here after closing with homemade John’s ice cream and a few beers. I think sometimes they save us from ourselves, we would keep working on through the evening even if it means wearing a headlamp. Don’t laugh, we do this! They come and make us stop, and we love them for this. So, in honor of summer ( and food) and these very good friends, dinner plans have been made. Our first thought was to actually leave the farm to enjoy dinner over at their place on the lake. Swell idea, really. But then we got to thinking……so many plants are in bloom. So many amazing spring woodlanders that Kari will want to see. So, dinner here at Fernwood, along with a guided tour around the gardens. We promise not to do any weeding as we walk around!
Phlox stolonifera 'Home Fires'  along with Double trillium

Phlox stolonifera ‘Home Fires’ along with Double trillium

Picture 1112
Lathyrus albo rosea

Lathyrus albo rosea

Podophyllum hexandrum

Podophyllum hexandrum

Arisaema ' Starburst'

Arisaema ‘ Starburst’

Azalea Seedling by Roger Luce

Azalea Seedling by Roger Luce