Photos of Asparagus Ferns

hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)January 23, 2012

Well, it's not a good day for photography, what with the wonderful, heaven-sent rain and all, but I capped off a few shots of asparagus ferns in my yard. They look prettier in person, but I imagine few of you are willing to drive on over and have a look-see.

Here is an over-all photo of plants-on-sticks and hanging asparagus ferns on my patio, featuring the ever-present Hose.

A few more on sticks. I like height, and I'm not virtuous enough to wait for it.

Here is a shot of the vining variety. I can't get a good photo because the path is only three feet wide here.

And finally, the star- asparagus retrofractus. I have not been growing these for long, but I am smitten. Here it is with my ugly pony-tail palm.

I love them with ceramic vessels.

I'll try to get better shots next spring when they are fresh and lovely with new foliage.


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Your backyard looks fabulous! I love it. Thank you very much for sharing these pictures.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 5:32PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Looking very lush Renee, and the hanging basket approach to the Sprenger Asparagus is probably a very smart way to grow it. They are certainly MADE for such conditions; tolerating fairly deep shade, sporadic watering, wind, etc and still looking good. That full shot of the Asparagus retrofractus really shows the great form of the plant, but worth mentioning that the stems also have some serious thorns on them, so don't plant this where you need to squeeze by it. The vining species is Asparagus verticillatus, which is a classic cut foliage plant in filler bouquets from florists.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 5:45PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

The next time I go to Dr. Levine's, I'll get a photo of the asparagus ferns in his office atrium. They are planted in second floor balcony boxes and cascade down five feet. The building is ugly ugly ugly, but the atrium! Wow.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 7:17PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

If planted with enough soil depth and moist conditions, Sprenger Asparagus can easily cascade almost 8 feet. Probably one reason that I mostly use Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri Compacta' for in-ground landscape plantings, the regular form can be too much of a good thing sometimes.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 9:21PM
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you have my dream backyard!! thx so much for the pics. What all do you have there? Also, my niece near Phoenix has Asparagus ferns that don't look like any I have seen, tho I am not a pro. thx, Joyce (judystwin)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 1:13AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Judy, you're too kind. Every plant there is common and overused in Southern California. The ever-useful Nandina domestica is the backbone plant. Algerian ivy covers the chain-link fence. Phoenix roebellini (pygmy date palms), New Zealand flax, pittosporum "Wheeler's Dwarf" and asparagus and sword ferns. A giant bird of paradise and an escaped indoor ponytail palm that always looks half dried out. The main problems are trimming ivy and pulling out rampant sword ferns. Otherwise, it's a really easy part of my garden, and I scarcely ever do anything to it. It doesn't take much water either, believe it or not.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 2:44AM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

Beautiful, Renee! I especially LOVE the form of Asparagus retrofractus. And do I see some Nasturtiums coming up?

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 9:59AM
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That is what makes a good Gardner. They know what and how to place them for the best displays. Thank you for your wonderful skills and for sharing them with us here, Gives me hope that I will someday enjoy more beauty in my flower beds also.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 3:54PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Just beautiful, Renee! So lovely and relaxing looking. A perfect example of how even "well-loved" plant species can still create a lovely scene. Those plants will make some of your more unusual plants, like Asparagus retrofratus really pop, as well as anything that blooms. Just lovely, thanks for sharing!!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 5:30PM
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peggiewho(z9 Ca)

The poles are interesting. What are they, fence posts? How do you secure the objects to the poles( baskets and bird baths)? Your brugmansia looks a little sad now. I planted one last year because yours was so beautiful. I am hoping it makes it through winter. If it dies I will just try again. Yeah, just ordinary plants around a flag stone patio, rock walls and decking with poles and birdbaths. Not a leaf out of place. I don't think anyone is buying that you do little to create or maintain it. I think most of it you don't consider work except for your constant struggle with the Hose. Good winter time bones!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:55PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

Those are nice photos. I have a retrofractus that is big like a tree with thick trunks, but I don't show it off because it is in front of the house. It hides the p g and e meter. I have the sprengeri on the side of the house in an area where nothing else will grow. I have the lace fern in back, but it is newly planted and not very big yet.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 12:00PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Thanks. You're all too kind.

Peggy, I cut that brugmansia to the ground this year because it had gotten too big. I have another one that has spider mites and I'm thinking of giving it the same treatment.

Mikey and I used round fence posts dug about two feet into the ground (so the termites would have something to eat). Then we nailed a huge finishing nail into the top of each one and stuck a square wooden pot on top with the nail through the drain hole. The ferns quickly popped the seams of the wooden pots like the Incredible Hulk popping out of his clothes.

Then I had the brilliant idea of using moss and wire baskets instead, so we nailed them onto the posts with big washers to hold them up. Now they are all crooked from the tree trimmers dropping branches on them, and I can't adjust them because they are filled with dirt and fern roots.

The bird bath is secured with Liquid Nails. Mikey cleaned the algae and rust out of it once and it sprang dozens of leaks that I had to patch with PVC tape and silicone. The scummy algae covered the bottom again and it's good as new.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 1:46PM
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peggiewho(z9 Ca)

I have trouble with level too. I walked out into our little orchard today and there are hundreds of little piles of dirt where the worms have been working. Even if the tree trimmers didn't drop limbs on your pole garden the ground is constantly moving. The trouble with tall vertical elements is that little errors in the ground results in a large swing in the top end. My DH welds vertical elements for me because I am also impatient for tall things. After our nice rain I have lots of leaning objects. The pole garden gives a hanging basket effect, pretty clever. Level is over rated.
Maybe you can strip your mandevilla. If you cut it to the ground you will have to wait for the Y to develop. I hope I am trouble by your problem of the mandevilla growing so big that I have to cut it back.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 1:27AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

[url=]Hanging baskets at back deck[/url] by [url=]David Feix Landscape Design[/url], on Flickr

Here's a shot of the mature Asparagus retrofractus in the background of this photo. I've used it as an 8 foot tall screen at the fence line for privacy at my raised deck from the neighbor's view over the fence.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 2:22PM
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Mission accomplished Renee and everyone. I have been converted, previous to your posts i have paid zero attention to asparagus ferns, so I have no clue to their potential. Now I just arrived home from the nursery with a retrofractus. I had been searching for a mannerly vine to green up an area, but I think this will work better.

I might have a spot for another, depending on how close to the fence line I can plant it. What do you guys recommend? I don't want it to bring down the fence,when it bulks up.

(and Bahia, your link does not show up)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 5:45PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Beautiful garden, Renee!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 6:58PM
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More questions about retrofractus, do the gophers like it?

And now I am realizing I have to site it carefully, in case of a freeze, San Marcos Growers lists it between 20- 25 degrees. If it freezes, do the canes die, or just the foliage, and how long does it take to come back?


    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 7:30PM
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Everytime I visit this site and see pictures of your yard ... the same wild thoughts come sneaking into my brain ... like can I get hosenemesis to come to my barren 1/2 acre ...
I'd do just about anything to get her over here

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 12:28AM
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Wow - what amazing inspiration photos. We are just gearing up for a major garden overhaul in our new-to-us Temecula home and I've been searching for ideas for several weeks and haven't had much luck till now. I LOVE your gardens!!!! Absolutely gorgeous and actually looks "do-able".

Renee?? May I ask about the fertilizer program you use to get such robust growth? Thanks in advance :)


    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 3:06PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Wow, I'm flattered! You guys just put me into a great mood after a hard day at the office. Thank you so much.

Linda, I don't fertilize this part of the yard. Sometimes the Sprenger ferns in the pots turn yellow and I pour some diluted Miracle Grow on them. Once I put a bunch of grass clippings on the soil in the pots in hopes they would require less water, but that's it. All of these plants grow too fast without fertilizer.

Elvie, I don't know about the gophers. I have not had one attacked in five-six years, if that's any help. Frost: I lost a frond once in that really bad year we had- when was it? 2007? When everything was frozen all over Southern California? Since then, no problems. I have all of mine planted too close to the fences, I think. Remember they get huge. I may have to hack them back some day, but they appear to be growing slowly enough that I might be dead by then.
Thank you again for all of your kind comments. Sib5, I want to put you in my pocket and take you to work with me for a little pick-me-up when things get rough!


    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 10:38PM
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