Doss, I love the texture of your fern. I'm disappointed that it is hardy to only Z9. I can push a zone but not three zone, LOL! Too bad you lost them! I have to agree with you, they are worth replacing.
Bonitin- that picture was taken June 3 last year.I have a few planting in a group and they were a knock out. I was really impressed with how long they held their color, I just don't remember how long that was. I will have to pay attention and take pictures this year. I will try to remember to take pictures so we can see how they look through the growing season.
Here's my favorite fern and favorite fern pic. Southern maidenhair. I had two pretty big ones on my front porch. They had been through two winters, but the last freeze in Feb. burnt them completely. Hoping the roots are good and they'll come back. :(
Can't resist adding my favorite - this stand was here when we moved in, almost 20 years ago. Beautiful, and I love to watch all the unfurling of the fronds in the mid-spring. They just pop up after a few days of 60+ temps. I didn't know what it was for the longest time, but I believe they are Dryopteris carthusianna - a wood fern native to this area. This was taken on May 9, when they are the focal point of the early garden. Dax
Thanks, doss and Shadyfolks - what's amazing is that I took them for granted until I started DGing and learned to appreciate them. Now I'm adding about five more different kinds of ferns to the beds this year - I'm sure they will be very small for a few years, but I just love the textures - I've got a couple Japanese ferns and the one pictured above - Dryopteris "Brilliance" on order. I've never seen the Southern Maidenhair before - beautiful! I suppose it won't tolerate Zone 5, though --- Dang - Dax
Yes, aren't they lovely (Japanese Painted)? I planted a couple last year and they basically barely survived - But, I'm hopin they will creep this year so I have more than a couple leaves on a plant. They are so striking when they look like yours, bigcityal - Dax
No ferns in this picture and off topic - I'm posting this in defense of bishop's weed. This is the north side of my old house, with a steep drop off down to my neighbor's fence covered with grape vine. The grass wouldn't grow there, and one year I killed all the grass and spent a ton of money to put in mostly lamium. The next winter was extremely cold, and the lamium didn't make it. I despaired in the spring, as my slope started eroding into my nieghbor's yard until my neighbor gave me a bunch of bishop's weed she'd taken from the north side of her house. The bishop's weed did the trick, the slope was saved, and in the last five years it's never crossed the fence line back into her yard!
I had my bishops weed similar to Peg's. Lining a side walk, that way it "stays in check"
though in my north beds... it did get into the grass, but we just mowed it... and it was more out of site since it was on the neighbors driveway side... but never found it too invasive.
Doss: I'm pretty sure no one planted the chain ferns here, because I see them in the woods nearby alot. These just keep popping back up along the back wall of my little (wet) shady garden by my front walk. They're evergreen some years. (Depends on how cold it gets.) Been in this house for 3 years and this is the largest they've ever been this early in the season.
I don't have a favorite one yet. I keep trying to grow them in a container on my balcony, but so far not too much luck. However, I have a volunteer that must have come with a hosta I bought earlier this year. Can anyone identify it? On second thought, is it a weed?
I was looking through this thread today at all the beautiful photos posted. I just can't wait until the spring when the new growth shows. In the meantime I have a variegated Indian Holly Fern( Arachniodes simplicior) that still looks relatively good in the middle of the winter. Once the February cold comes it will disappear and not return until very late spring.
I love Arachhniodes simplicior and wish I could grow it here, we are Z5b, with our snow cover I can grow some plants that are rated Z6, I don't believe that enough for this fern, isn't it a Z7 plant?
Great pics in this thread. I think ferns are especially photogenic plants. I've also been missing my plants a lot right now. My favorite fern is also Maidenhair, but mine aren't much to look at yet. The best fern picture I have from last season are my Japanese Painted Ferns, which seem to be growing like crazy here. I know that I will have to thin them out this summer if they continue as they are doing.
Very nice shade garden Noreaster. I especially like the maidenhair ferns toward the back of your photo and wish I could grow them. Anyone have hints on growing it successfully? I have tried twice and lost it both times. Two of my gardening friends in my area also have had no luck with that fern.
Thanks doss and Shadyfolks for the compliments on the fern and photo. Our weather of late has been unusually warm without snow cover so the garden still looks like a somewhat tattered late fall still. I'm waiting for the ground to freeze to cover the garden with the evergreen boughs of the 8 Christmas trees I cut up. Picture someone dragging discarded evergreens through suburban streets trying to look like it's a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
Shadyfolks, the variegated holly fern is listed as hardy from zone 6 - 9 in "Ferns for American Gardens" by John Mickel. It also states it doesn't appear until early June in NY. I have 3 and they take their time to fill out and look best toward the end of summer for me. I do cover them with evergreen boughs after the ground freezes and they live in a fairly heavily mulched ground of leaf litter and spruce needles.They seem to be a good companion for the spring ephemerals. There is one caution for anyone gardening in warmer zones, they might be invasive in NC where they have escaped the garden and have been found in colonies in the wild.
Thanks doss and sempervirens. I've only had my maidenhair ferns for two seasons now...I hope I won't have problems with them in the future, as well...would sure hate to lose those. I'd like to hear tips, too.
Maiden hair - I have also heard that they like alkaline soil, but when I planted some, oh, probably 10 years ago I didn't know that. I stuck mine out in the woods, virtually no direct sun light, a high pretty dense canopy in sandy soil. A couple years ago I planted some tiny, tiny rhizomes in other perennial bed and they are living and hope they will soon start to take off.
Maybe some day if I come across the Indian Holly, I might try it. I just don't think I will go out of my way to find it so I can kill it :o)
Noreaster- I have to say that's a nice picture and what a beautiful section of your garden.
I have to say-It sure is nice looking at these great ferns pictures in the middle of January!!
Here's a fern - but I can't remember what it is. There are other ferns in this planting but they are too small to show right now. They are up under the Japanese Maple tree. It's fun in the middle of winter to see, anyway.
Yes, it's a tree fern in a very silly place under a Japanese Maple. Of course it will outgrow this space but they are easy to transplant. They do grow slowly but I've seen them here reach the rooftops.
That corner is pretty overplanted although I do love the effect. The Lady Fern is just in the wrong place or I need to get to love it where it is.
You sound like me...
There is a saying and I don't know who said it and I don't remember it to quote it, it went something like: a good garden spends half it's life in the wheelbarrow.
I know a few plants of mine that have gotten a couple of rides in the wheelbarrow, LOL! sounds like your garden is the same way :o)
I wish I could find out the exact quote and who said it.
my favorite that i can not grow any more is
Pteris-argyraea AKA: Silver-Brake http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/60943/
now that i have moved from a 10b to a 9a zone
i have tried 2 years now and it just doesn't like the winters here :-(
Strever...for three years now I've been trying to get an Autumn Fern to survive a winter. Last year I put one between the house and the septic tank, in a sheltered spot and it survived! I finally found a little micro-zone for those plants that want to be just one zone warmer. Maybe you can still find just the right spot.
Strever, Nice photos. The maidenhair certainly loves your garden and Dre's Dagger is just wonderful. Pteris ensiformis "Evergemiensis" will grow here. It's a variegated brake fern and gets to about 2 feet tall. You might want to try it. It's pretty vigorous in zone 9b. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/54040/
marie, I really like the pic of the buddha (sp?) sitting in the ferns. On my 'to do' list is to make a seated sculpture of one of my dogs and I want to put it in the middle of a bunch of hay scented ferns that I have on the left side of my yard.
I have the Hay-scented Fern, and just love it. It has 'migrated' to some extent, but has been reasonably easy to control. However, I cannot imagine how it managed to pop up on the opposite side of the deck...and it's a big deck.
I'm glad to hear that you haven't had too much trouble controlling it, as I've read a lot of conflicting stuff about it. I have a small bank of them between some tall pines, which is set apart from the rest of my garden by a path. Hopefully I'll be ok. If I can control my Lily of the Valley, I think I'll be ok with the ferns...their roots couldn't possibly run as deep as LOTV. On the other hand, I think I've got them in pretty ideal conditions, so maybe I am in trouble! I'm curious to see how much they've spread this coming Spring. Sensitive ferns are ferns that just seem to magically pop up here, I've noticed. How old are your Hay scented ones, Marie?
Here is the real Seamus sitting among them now...to be replaced by a statue Seamus in the future.
The Hay Scented fern must be at least five years old. (I don't always have the best records.) If it weren't buried right now under a foot of snow and ice, I would run out and look at the tag. This pic was taken in 2005.
My advice is to avoid Sensitve Fern. It is a thug that does not have a deep root system, but spreads like crazy and I have had trouble getting rid of it. It's beautiful, but it is going places that are reserved for other plants.
Here you can just see the Hay-Scented fern behind the solid hosta and to the left of the bird bath. It stays low and really compliments everything else around it.
Isn't it great to find a plant that fits a difficult spot like a drainsprout? Sometimes a "garden thug" is just what you need.
I agree about the digital cameras. I like to take photos of plants when they bloom so I know when it happens so I take a lot of photos and it's so easy to keep them organized by date and to find them by descriptions. That never would be possible with prints. I don't hesitate taking a lot of photos so I can try different light settings etc. either.
Wow, I go away for long weekend (rented cabin near Cook Forest, PA for Birthday weekend) and I see this thread has been busy! Marie-so glad you decided to 'play' with us, great photos and same with strevers (of who I am zone envious). Noreaster-that's a great pooch you have and so photogenic! I have 70# yellow lab and when I have tried to get her to sit and take picture, she chooses to sit on the plant rather than next to it. So for this reason I don't have too many great shots of my Maggie :o)
I think I mentioned this before but wow is it nice to reminisce about our ferns in this frigid weather! Thanks for sharing.
I'm lucky to have little dogs that like to go around my plants. However I pulled out all of the old hakone grass and they are very put out with me because the love to rip it off with their teeth. I don't know if you've ever felt hakone grass but it feels quite similar to velcro. Go figure.
Thanks, Shadyfolks. Seamus is a real ham when it comes to having his picture taken. My other BT just scowls at me. Both mine are pretty good about staying out of the garden when the plants are growing. Most of my plants are in raised beds, and just before the break dormancy I go around and put up those little wire edge fences around everything so that the dogs don't wander in and trample the new growth. Then when it's safe I take the fences down, and they pretty much respect it from there.
You really gave me a flashback when you mentioned a cabin in Cook Forest- I have been there a few times for family reunions when I was younger and it was always great fun. I remember the cabin we stayed at was near a spooky little mausoleum in a field on a hill.
That is a cool pic, Deb. The only ferns I have that slugs/snails seem to eat are the Hay Scented ones. I'm disappointed to hear that your ferns are still asleep, Deb, because that means mine are in a deep, deep sleep still! Hope yours wake up soon.
Why thank you!
I'm hoping to have more fern pics soon, but nothin' yet. I planted several 'evergreen" ferns last fall, but only one turned out to be actually evergreen. So, I'm waitin' and hopin' for signs of life.
Is that A. Venustum? You are so luck to have ferns unfurling, I am green with envy. We still have 6" of snow on the ground with a few inches coming tomorrow, so we are told. Winter is getting a little long for me :~(
I believe that is the Southern Maidenhair fern http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/795/
It's not hardy below zone 7.
Brrrrrrr...shadyfolks. And on the first day of spring too.
Me? No, I have been learning SEVERAL things everyday! It feels so good and it's so funny everytime I realize how clueless I was just a few months ago. Can you believe not even 6 months ago in my old place I killed a lavender with watering...I saw it looking worse and worse and thought it was thirsty! LOL!!!
I can believe it. We all make mistakes in gardening. I've overwatered (read killed) some hellebores in my lifetime and I still haven't figured out how grow seeds. Somehow I don't have the 'knack'. This winter I failed to check out a couple of pots and some hostas drowned. Learning in gardening never ends.
I also have a penchant for overplanting but I can't seem to get out of the habit.
I have that one Rob (the East ind. Holly). They did well over the winter and have put out new growth now. Very pretty fern.
My experience with the Japanese Painted is they just don't like even moderately dry spots. Mine continually struggled until I moved them to my shadiest, muckiest, muddiest bed. Now they're happy and seem to get bigger each season. We have high humidity here; that may be why they didn't do as well for you there, Doss?.
Thank you. I've been so pleased with these A. ferns that I planted 2 years ago that I have added many more in other spots. Holly fern has also done fairly well. However, this year and last, our latest freezes got some of its new growth. I found some polystichum polyblepharum today and plan to get it in the ground tomorrow. Just hope no one asks me to pronounce that! I'd have to go with 'tassel fern'!
I reckon my neighbors enjoy seeing what I'm doing. No one else around here is into gardening. I'm sure some of them wonder why I don't just plant lots of pretty flowers considering all the time and moolah I spend in/on the garden.
Every once in awhile I find people looking at my gardens. A lot of my garden is in the front since we live on a corner with 24 foot setbacks so I grow bearded iris there and have roses and a perennial garden. Right now the iris are putting on a big show. I don't have much shade in front though. Somehow the street trees never made on our street.
I'll bet that more people are enjoying it then you think. Another easy fern to grow is Athyrium filix-femina or Lady Fern if you are thinking about branching out.
I actually have a little bit of the Lady in Red fern. I'd planted it in the bed off the front porch and it looked scraggly so I moved it last year. I was amazed that it came back. I also have some other noids that have managed to hang on. I guess all the compost and mulch are working!
Bev: Yes, you did! Glad you chain fern is growing. :)
Sempervirens: You cinnamon looks very happy! I have one that didn't do well last summer. I think it suffered badly from the drought and I was afraid it was gone. But it is now putting up little tiny signs of life. Yay!
I agree that the area under the redwoods is magical. I have a little corner of my yard filled with redwood trees and I'm still trying to get things to grow in the dark. I've found it's actually hard to photograph under there so hat's off to you for the photos. Here's my little redwood space.
Have you looked into natives that grow under redwoods? I have some cool books about native plant communities that talk about companion plants for redwoods. Just a few are
flowers: Wester bleeding heart, red columbine (Aquiligia formosa), Smith's Fairy bells (Disporum smithii), trilliums, redwood violet, rue-anemone, california harebell, western heartsease (viola ocellata), mimulus dentatus
ground cover: insideout flower, wild ginger, forest anemone,
shrubs: pink flowering current, Rosa gymnocarpa
And I don't have a single one of those except wild ginger that has been in my garden for about 3 years and never spread. Button fern and astilbe seem to like it there. I've copied down your list and will do some research.