Draped Hypertufa planted up with Fern

My Draped Hypertufa Planted Up With A Fern!

With the danger of frost arriving next month here in Ohio, I have got to make a decision about my draped hypertufa.  I have chosen to use some Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri fern and some pelargoniums. These pelargoniums are like a succulent plant, plumpish and hold water, right? I chose pink and white.  These plants have done very well this year.

The reason I chose these plants because the Sprengeri belonged to my Mom, and her favorite flower was the pelargoniums. Of course, she called them geraniums. Didn’t we all before we learned the difference. But she loved their bright cheery color all year. So they are planted for her. Look, Mother! Your favorites!

I  look forward to planting this up each year since I made the planter several years ago. It was a challenge, but I really like how it turned out. It is an unusual planter. See the earlier blog on how I made it. I have made a lot  more of these in different sizes.

Holes drilled & screen insert - draped hypertufa planted
Holes drilled & screen insert

I did drill holes in it and with these tender plants, I will take it inside to winter as I always have the Sprengeri. It sheds needles all winter but in the spring, I give it a “haircut” and feed it, and it goes like gangbusters. It blooms small white fluffy flowers and then has berries which turn red.

Asparagus fern does grow thorny with age, so if you have an older one, handle it with gloves. I usually let the berries fall off and throw them out. My sister has one of these ferns and she has had it since she was 16 years old, which makes it about 40 years old now, and still going! Guess it’s the Energizer Fern!

Since the pelargoniums will also live through the winter, I will try to take good care of them. But just in case, I will also do some root cuttings ! I have only tried to “hang” one over the winter once, and , as I recall,  it didn’t make it. (Probably due to negligence on my part.)

Happy gardening to you! Do you have a plant or type of plant that holds a special meaning or memory for you? Don’t we all?



  1. These are two plants that I have always been able to over-winter inside my house successfully. It helps keep the cost of annuals down in the spring, if you can save some plants over the winter. Beautiful arrangement.

    1. Thanks. I do take a lot of mine inside just to keep them alive so that I can have “starts” in the spring. Saves money!

  2. How interesting this is!! Thanks so much for stopping by!! Glad to hear that you are enjoying your retirement. My Dad retired early but my mom kept working and then my Dad died suddenly at 67 years old. They never got to enjoy retirement together and my Mom always told me to retire early if you can!
    Have a good weekend!

    1. Thanks, and retiring early is something I have never regretted.

  3. I stumbled across your website via Pinterest, and feel really energised by it! I’ve long been interested in experimenting with all kinds of composites, and was anyway planning to try fabric-reinforced cement, not realising that somebody is already doing it. Your shapes are beautifully simple, and leave room to experiment with more ambitious projects. How about outdoor sculpture, or garden furniture, made from shaped chicken wire scaffold coated with hypertufa? Scale it up – add several layers for strength – and why not a garden bridge, a domed shed, or gazebo? On a related topic, I wish to share another, useful, cement idea.. Mix cement with small polystyrene (styrofoam) balls, and cast into highly-efficient heat-insulating slabs. planters, or insulating boxes. Not my invention, and I haven’t got around to trying it yet. However, a few years ago I saw a man on British television lay his hand on one side of a one-inch thick slab of this composite Then he kept firing an oxy-acetylene flame at the other side for a long time. That flame can melt steel, but barely scorched the cement board. His hand was completely safe. Just one inch thick! Simple and cheap to mix and cast. I don’t understand why insulating bricks and wall-linings are not made this way! I reckon you could trowel this mortar onto a wooden house (inside or out) to make it fire-proof & damp-proof – or just make a composting bin which keeps in the heat in winter. In Britain the polystyrene balls can be bought at upholstery businesses, because they fill ‘bean-bag’ seating with it. I guess you could use perlite instead, but it may be more expensive. Anyone trying this on a big scale could save much money (and the environment) if he made a machine that could grind up discarded styrofoam packaging back into small balls to mix with cement. Businesses may even pay him to cart away their unwanted packaging! Win, win!
    Oh. Don’t forget.. A high-cement-content mix is also waterproof! With steel-rod and chicken-wire reinforcing (called ‘ferrocement’) they make strong, thin-walled boats and even ships with it. No further waterproofing needed to make them float for decades. A cement polystyrene mix could make a thin-but-warm, waterproof lining for underground structures – or any building, in fact. Add some steel [Google ‘ferrocement’] if structural strength is needed (like for making a domed roof)]. I don’t know the best cement-polystyrene-water mix ratio, but I’m sure you can do it by feel, or maybe make a few test pieces to see what formula works best for you. Before I go, my attempts at making phantom leaves was equally a flop! And I didn’t even have to convert washing soda, because most supermarkets in England sell it. I got guey leaves that disintegrated easily, but the fleshy parts didn’t dissolve. Must have consulted the same websites! Lol. Best wishes! My name is Tom, and I live in Birmingham, England.

    1. Kim Smith says:

      Thanks for stopping by. And I can see there might be many uses for this type of cement reinforcement and some I am sure are in use already. But a resourceful person could really put some ideas into play and maybe make something that we can all get a benefit. As for those skeletal leaves, I may try again next year and soak them for weeks in water or find those bugs.

  4. Jennifer Anderson says:

    That looks great!

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