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!