Six on Saturday: 20.4.19 Ferns and fronds

This last week has seen me unwrapping my tree fern from its Winter protection and the start of many of the fern fronds unfurling. Fresh fronds in Spring are one of the purest greens in the garden. They are a great joy to watch each year as they uncurl. While I appreciate many people may not share my interest in ferns please have a scroll through to see their different forms. Next week I promise to return to the tulips I’m sure the rest of the garden bloggers will be posting about. So here we have six ferns in the garden.

1. Dicksonia Antartica

I’ve just unwrapped my tree fern from its winter covering. Tree ferns are meant to be large majestic showpieces for the garden. Mine is still a runt. It has however survived the winter as it has fresh fronds unfurling. I’m looking at a good many years until it develops its characteristic trunk. James Wong had written about the need for care in April so I’ve given it a good water and going to look at some fertilizer. I bought it last year and it suffered from the drought. I’d like to give it a better start this year.

2. Asplenium scolopendrium ‘Harts tongue’

Hart’s tongue is one of my favourite ferns. For many, it grows like a weed but it is evergreen and with the wider fronds it can survive in pots and in the ground. The fronds on this one are lovely tight spirals uncurling gradually. It adds a nice contrast of shape and texture amongst the other ferns in fern corner. The fronds are wonderful tight hairy coils.

3. Dryopteris Affinis ‘Cristata the King’ Scaly male fern

This is deciduous in my area. In warmer areas, it can remain evergreen. I bought this reduced as it was shrivelled and brown. However, I was confident it would recover with fresh ferns in Spring and I’ve been repaid for my faith. New fronds are coming through so hopefully have a nicely filled out fern again soon. This can grow to heights of a metre but I’ve generally seen it shorter than that but we’ll see as the year goes on.

4. Fern Matteuccia Struthiopteris ‘Ostrich Fern’

I purchased three of these from Sarah Raven. This one is coming up well, the others no sign of life yet. Maybe stick to the flowers from there. More her area of speciality. The ostrich fern is another deciduous fern. I’ve only just started to add deciduous ferns as I mainly bought ferns for that constant evergreen backdrop but I’ve come to appreciate some of the other forms. The change of colour in Autumn provides a different type of interest.

5. Fern plugs

I bought a cheap set of fern plus. I think one is another harts tongue fern, one is looking to holly fern. I need to have a look through the books or wait a bit longer for the others.

6. Windowbox planter-Fern Asplenium Trichomanes ‘Maidenhair spleenwort’

I started work on window box planters for the front garden. As we are having fresh render on the house I don’t want to drill into it yet. So these will be raised on stone bricks to height. I’ve done two of these windowboxes planning plants for the shaded conditions. They each have two Asplenium trichomanes ferns. This is a lovely small delicate evergreen fern to give the box some constant interest. Then the shoots you can see are hosta blue mouse ears. This grows with pale glaucous blue leaves to a height of about 10-15cm. Both came through the post from Edrom nurseries and I’m very happy with the state of them. You never know what you’ll get with online purchases but these are great. I’ll look at some Autumn crocus or cyclamen for Autumn interest and snowdrops for late Winter and Spring.  It’ll hopefully look nice as it fills out. I’ve never really bothered seriously with window boxes. I’ve always seen them as something terribly old fashioned filled with horrible bedding plants so I’m looking to make something I’m happy with.

I hope my exploration into ferns this week hasn’t bored you all too much. Alice isn’t too interested in the ferns either. She’s been enjoying her hand me down tractor from her cousins and the return of the bubble machine. I promise to give you some flower love next week. The tulips are looking set to hit their stride. The dahlia seedlings are looking ready to pot up.

If you fancy taking part in six on Saturday check out the participant’s guide. Then check out the comments in The Propagators latest six to see other gardeners six. With gardeners contributing from around the world there are lots to enjoy.

I’ve got dahlia seedlings to pot up and a bit ground to attack with the mattock. The weather is supposed to be warmer so I hope you all manage to get out and enjoy yourselves.

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30 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 20.4.19 Ferns and fronds”

  1. I love ferns too – haven’t seen a hart’s tongue before! Most won’t survive the dry summer here but to be honest, the main obstacle to me enjoying them more is the names. So long. So many consonants. 😄

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  2. I’m a big fan of ferns but do have lots of trouble IDing them! Love the tree ferns and the ostrich fern and, actually I love them all. As you say, there is something magical about watching the fronds unfurl in the spring. Tulips are good, but so are ferns!

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  3. The fronds are so graceful as they uncurl. Beautiful.
    I’m not a big lover of ferns but only because I tend to kill them. It’s a bit like hostas; I can’t seem to grow them. I think my garden is too sunny or I kill them with over watering!

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