Added inspiration

Not that further inspiration is required, but a weekend on the western slope of Roundhead Mountain, without the distraction of internet, has encouraged  adding to the somewhat recently begun collection of ferns. My mostly shaded garden has included common Autumn, Cinnamon, Ostrich, Tassel, Christmas, Ghost, and Japanese Painted ferns for years, with volunteer Sensitive, Rock cap, and Chain ferns appearing spontaneously as shade has increased over three decades. A look alike, Arborvitae fern (a spike moss), has long been a favorite.

Lush, fern edged trails, even in late summer, inspire to add ferns along the garden’s paths.
Dryopteris wallichiana ‘Jurassic Gold’
Athyrium filix-femina ‘Frizelliae’

In recent years, twenty or thirty newcomers have been added, almost all without any attention to care after planting, and with my barely controlled passion for filling every available space in the garden, planting ferns seems a reasonable extravagance. Helpful to this mild compulsion, in contrast to many other exotics, ferns can be obtained at relatively minimal expense through the garden center or by mail order.

Selaginella braunii 
Arachniodes simplicior, the East Indian holly fern
Polystichum polyblepharum – Tassel Fern

I am disappointed that I cannot yet name many of the newer ferns. If possible, it seems that my ever short memory has further deteriorated, so I have broken a cardinal rule and as inconspicuously as possible placed metal tags beneath each. Certainly, I’ll learn half before I’m dead and gone.

Athyrium niponicum, the Japanese painted fern
Polystichum setiferum ‘Bevis’ Soft Field fern
Polypodium virginianum, Rock cap fern

To assist my learning, hopefully not a lost cause, I brought along a fern reference to fill the very quiet evening hours when not gazing at the star filled sky. This has provided further inspiration, with plans to place an order for several more choice selections the minute I return to civilisation.

Cyrtomium macrophyllum. Largeleaf holly fern.
Woodwardi areolata
Dryopteris sieboldii, Siebold’s Wood fern
Osmunda regalis ‘ Purpurascens’ (Royal Fern)
Athyrium filix-femina ‘Victoriae’ Victoria Lady fern
Onoclea sensibilis, Sensitive fern,
Matteuccia struthiopteris, Ostrich fern

3 Comments Add yours

  1. I was wondering who are you ordering your ferns from? We have lots of places where the trees have created enough shade to completely change the ground cover. Out goes the grass and in could come ferns, among other plants.

    1. Dave says:

      A few common ferns have been ordered from sources that send a sliver of root, but for most obtained by mail order I use Sebright Gardens out of Oregon. Ferns are listed as 3/4 gallon, but the soil is removed and they are sent bareroot. Every one I’ve received has been fresh, with substantial roots and top growth.

  2. tonytomeo says:

    Oh, I thought they were all native there. I had to go back to see they are your collection. Holly fern sort of gave it away.

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