Consider This: Ferns

Too much time has gone by without a post– these new working hours do not leave much time for me to formulate a decent blog post!

Currently, I have been waiting for a seed catalog I requested– Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I just recently heard about it through Twitter from my fellow gardening friends. I heard it is a great catalog and I can’t wait to get my hands on it! My husband’s co-worker gave me a couple of seed packets and I would like to look for some others. I have to admit, this winter feels like it is going much faster, given the fact we have not received nearly the snow or have had to deal with the sub-zero temperatures that made last year’s winter so darn long.

So, as I sat at work yesterday, an idea came to me. I thought I would start a new mini- series that would lead up to the upcoming growing season– I call it “Consider This”. Giving a little snapshot of certain plants/flowers/shrubs/trees that you should consider planting in your garden and/or yard if you are able to! I won’t do it every week, but as I go along I will pick out a few different botanicals that should be given some serious consideration to your landscape.

My first plant I am going to highlight are ferns. I LOVE ferns. I try to get my hands on as many varieties of ferns as I can. The simple, elegant beauty that comes from these plants cannot be emphasized enough.

Here are some quick facts about Ferns:

  • They are one of the oldest living plants still alive on our planet. They literally have not changed for over a million years.
  • Ferns came be as small as 2 to 3 feet high, or other varieties are actual fern trees.
  • Their leaves are called fronds. If you want to see a beautiful sight, watch a fern start growing and unfurling it’s beautiful fronds.

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  • Ferns reproduce by spores and not leaves. I remember freaking out as I looking under the leaves of my autumn fern and saw all these brown spots. I thought it was dying, when, it was actually growing!
  • You can harvest the tender little fronds of an ostrich fern just after it sprouts from the ground and eat them. They are called fiddleheads.

 

Ferns are a woodland plant, so they thrive in shade. There are several different kinds, as I have stated above. I will give you the list of the ones I have collected over the past few years:

  • Ostrich Fern– most common fern that is readily available. You find this one most of the time in the forest.
  • Maidenhair fern — very delicate fern with contrasting black stems.
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Maidenhair Fern
  • Japanese Painted Fern — beautiful fern that has white fronds and reddish stems.
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Japanese Painted Fern
  • Ghost Fern — gorgeous silver fern that when established, grows rapidly.
  • American Lady Fern — this fern was very popular during the Victorian Era. Beautiful, curly fronds with reddish/orange stems.
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American Lady Fern
  • Cinnamon Fern — my favorite fern, by far. The fronds in the middle grow to look like “cinnamon sticks”, hence the name.
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Cinnamon Fern
  • Autumn Fern — fronds are orange/red and bring color to your shade and woodland garden. This is by far my most hardy fern, and one of the most beautiful.
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Autumn Fern

Yes, as I said above, this is just a snapshot of the many ferns that are available. I absolutely love ferns and have always wanted to do a post all about them. I hope to keep adding to my collection, as long as I have shade, I will keep buying them!

Thank you for taking the time to read this long post!

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Consider This: Ferns

  1. Hi Wendy! This was a great post and really informative. Your photos are gorgeous too! I loved the close up of the fern unfolding and the really lovely Cinnamon Fern. That is a fern that I have admired for a while but I have not seen it for sale here, so I need to investigate more. Im glad you haven’t had a bad winter and hopefully it will just pass quietly by and go right into spring without any snow or bad weather for you. Its always fun to look at seed catalogs and I will check out that link you provided. I have ordered quite a few flower seeds for cutting and I am anxious to sow them outside, but I have to wait until later in February just in case of a cold snap.
    Enjoy your week!
    – Kate

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  2. Just letting you know that the seed company is fantastic – I just went over to take a look and I’m amazed at the different varieties they have. They even have cotton!! I’m going to try some as it would be lovely in bouquets. Thank you SO much for sharing this!
    – Kate

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    1. Oh, good. No problem– I like to pass along the cool stuff I come across! I just skimmed it a little online, but I requested a catalog, so I look forward to looking at the hard copy. While I have a spare minute, I might look at it now!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love ferns – they make me think about tramping through the forest when I was a kid. Another great post! When’s the book coming out? 🙂

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