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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Fabulous Fronderosa Frolic 2012 Part One

The Ferns


Each August, the Fronderosa Frolic, which Valerie Easton of the Seattle Times has called the horticultural equivalent of Woodstock, is hosted by the inspirational  Judith Jones at her Fancy Fronds Nursery.  To learn more about Judith Jones, "The fern madame" read her entertaining article here.  I used to think that a fern is a fern is a fern.  After visiting Fancy Fronds years ago, I realized that I was quite mistaken and have come to love their amazing diversity as you can see here.     It is fitting, therefore, that this first post about the frolic should show you some of the great fern offerings at the event.

For me, a big part of the fun is the road trip to Gold Bar, the location of Fancy Fronds Nursery.  The scenery is beautiful!

And gets more gorgeous the closer you get. Sorry for the dirty windshield!



There are many interesting roadside attractions along the way. From a distance the largest words on this sign catch the eye and it looks like the establishment is called Reptile Zoo and BBQ. It never fails to elicit peals of laughter from all in the car and at least one "tastes just like chicken."

At the Reptile Zoo, open 365 days a year in case you're making holiday plans, you can have your picture taken holding a snake, pat a lizzard, etc.  Ahh the holidays, fragrant evergreens, twinkling lights, egg nog, and reptiles crawling all over you.

Oh right, the ferns...

If you are a fern aficionado or even just a schlub who likes them like me, Fancy Fronds Nursery alone is worth the drive to Gold Bar, Washington. Add to this stellar nursery the garden which we'll tour tomorrow and the expertise and wit of Ms Jones, who speaks all over the world about ferns, and  and  you'll want to make Gold Bar your second home!  Fancy Fronds is open by appointment  so do call first if planning a trip at any time other than Frolic weekend. Imagine having Fancy Fronds and Judith's wisdom (botanical latin is her first language) all to yourself. 

This Woodwardia unigemmata's common name is Chain Fern because the intricate patterns on its fronds remind some of links of chain. 

Cheilanthes lendigera

Pyrrosia sheareri

A whole table of Asplenium scolopendrium babies in a variety of types.






Osmunda regalis



Part of Judith's  Pyrrosia collection

A sight that we all love - a fern unfurling a new frond.  This one belongs to a tree fern (not sure which one.)

If it can be grown in ferndom, Judith is sure to have it!
 

12 comments:

  1. Oh how I love fernage. LoOks like a blast. And a reptile zoo!?!?! Sooo fun!

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    1. You should come down for the Frolic next year! Flower World with all the cool palms is only about 15 minutes away. I don't know if it would be wonderful or awful to see so much green goodness and not be able to take any of it home. Can one purchase a license to import plants?

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    2. I think you have to arrange phytosanitary certificates and then an inspection with a list of what you will be bringing in advance from what I understand. Thankfully there are is a lovely nursery up here who has told me they will bring in plants for me on next years cistus nursery catalogue.

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  2. For some reason I've never realized that the Frolic actually took place at her nursery. I thought ya'll took over a camp ground or something.

    I almost purchased a Pyrrosia sheareri from her at the last HPSO sale, I wonder why I didn't? There's always next year right?

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    1. Her place is like a camp ground - really beautiful.

      I like my Pyrrosia sheareri but it seems to be growing farily slowly. Maybe if it wasn't so crowded? They look great in pots, too so you should get one! By golly, I've gotta get to that HSPO sale next year!

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  3. Ferns are nice, they don't seem to like my garden much though, maybe it's too dry, i do like Cheilanthes Lendigera, lovely foliage.

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    1. It is lovely! Sorry that ferns don't like your garden. You said that you have mostly potters clay for soil & I suspect that might play a part as welll.

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  4. OH my...I love that Cheilanthes lendigera...so delicate!

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    1. It's gorgeous! Y'all should consider driving up for the frolic next year!

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  5. That chain fern is totally cool! Hmm, I might have to hunt that one down, the Pyrrosia too. We noticed that Reptile Zoo sign too, and laughed. I bought some ferns at the Frolic for a shady bed that I'm redoing. Right now it has a lot of columbines in it, but I'm going to dig most of them out and give them away at a plant swap this fall.

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    1. Glad you made it to the Frolic. Did you stop at Flower World or any other places after the sale?

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.