Right now all my fall colours are in full effect and I just made a surprise discovery my asparagus fern has turned a handsome bright yellow! Asparagus is known for its edible baby shoots, the pointy spears break ground in early spring, and are only harvestable for a short time before they mature, fan out and become tall feathery ferns. The soft ferns are a true green, even my purple asparagus have green ferns in spring and summer.
Asparagus is a perennial here on the coast, it takes years to develop, grown from seed the baby asparagus ferns are no bigger than a bean sprout the first year but get larger and larger each year as the roots establish. This is my asparagus patches third year, although it is still looking quite bare, it is finally starting to produce grocery store size spears, I can’t wait to eat my first home grown spears in the coming spring!
I grow my asparagus in a long strip bordered by lavender, the tall slender fern stalks have a natural tendency to droop, unstaked the flexible fawns fall all over each other, and create movement in the wind similar to a tall flowing ornamental grass. I have seen a lot of pictures of awkward asparagus rows relegated to the back of the garden bound in twine to keep the ferns up right, perhaps rightly so. In a conventional garden, asparagus fern will not fit neatly into a rectangular bed, it has a natural sprawling tendency, much better suited to mingle with a layered perennial landscape. I have been so impressed with asparagus fern I might try some in the back garden amidst my maples, grasses and russian sedge next year.