Coastal and Tropical South

January, 2012
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Bird's Nest Fern
There are ferns, and then there are bird's nest ferns (Asplenium spp.) that break most of the common rules for this plant group. No frilly, thin fronds in this genus, although some have fancy cut edges that ruffle a bit. Instead, bird's nest fern sends up solid, spring green fronds that rise above a knitted button of a center. Less likely to dry out indoors and able to grow three foot fronds, this fern needs only bright light and weekly watering to sport almost endless good looks. It is a charming addition to any indoor garden and brightens a shady space for months outdoors where it cannot be planted directly in the garden.

Tool or Gardening Product

Fiskars Power Gear Pruner
As the garden ages, the caliper of plant material to be pruned gets bigger. I daresay all of us overwork our tools, as I did recently, using a ratcheting lopper for branches too big for it. A good tool died that day, and I reluctantly went shopping so I could finish the job. I found the lopper of my dreams in the Fiskars Titanium Power Gear 32 inch bypass model. It easily cuts branches up to two inches in diameter without straining the tool or the gardener. The tool is oddly light to be so powerful, has ergonomic handles for an easy fit, and cuts like a dream.

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