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Cool Ferns Print E-mail

Lemon_Twist_smallThere are a number of reasons why I got involved in hosta gardening.  One is that when the summer starts to heat up, I can still enjoy gardening in the shade.  Who wants to be out in the sun on an oppressive summer afternoon.  Also, hostas are so tough they can be successfully planted right thru the summer. 


When the days get hazy, hot and humid more of us look for the shady parts of our gardens to keep us cool. One of the best companion plants for hosta are ferns. Ferns are so subtle and blend so easily into the shade garden. Living here in New England we are blessed with an environment that ferns grow very easily in. Take a hike in any wooded area in the northeast you will find ferns growing natively. I can picture, in my minds eye, the stands of northern maidenhair fern my family would hike by on outings in western Massachusetts. This is a beautiful, delicate fern that is elegant with it's black stems supporting it's horseshoe shaped fronds.



We offer many fabulous ferns to add great texture to any garden. One of our favorites is Dryopteris crassirhizoma, the East Asian Wood Fern. Our plant was a gift from a friend, named Vern, who collected spores and grew it to maturity. We commonly refer to this plant as Vern's Fern. East Asian Wood Fern has a presence in the winter garden, as the crown stands four inches above the ground all winter long. In early spring as the crosiers begin to unfurl, the texture is amazing as the fiddleheads are covered  with brown hairs that are quite attractive. When fully expanded the fronds stand over 3 feet tall and are a shiny dark green.



                                                                              Dryopteris crassirhizoma   


Arguably the most widely planted fern is the Japanese Painted Fern. This fern has many selected forms, as a matter of fact, we will offer eight different cultivars this season. Japanese Painted Ferns feature nice silver, red, and green colors in the fronds. Stop by to check out the great ferns throughout our display gardens. 



                                                                                Japanese Painted Fern