Ferns

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Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

Geoffrey - I would be greatly interested in your experience with ferns. We grow quite a number even in the dry south-east of England, and I am keen to start growing them again from spores. I visited Martin Rickard many years ago, after seeing his extraordinary and superb displays at the Chelsea Show, and I am sure there is quite a revival again in their interest amongst gardeners. I am especially attracted by many of the xerophytic species, though these are grown by relatively few gardeners. Several of these grow well on a simple sand bed along with dryland alpines and provide good contrast.

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

Geo F-W
Geo F-W's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2012-02-13

Thank you Rick! I see that the nargs and srgc forums are closely related!  ;D

McDonough wrote:

Yes please, would love to see your Epimediums, particularly 'The Giant' hybrids.  Feel free to post in the Epimediums 2012 topic:
http://nargs.org/smf/index.php?topic=943.0

Ok, the first blooms of the 'Giants' hybrids will begin here in late March, so I would take plenty of pictures.(There are pictures of many epimediums in the flickr gallery under my name, at the bottom of my post).

There is an interesting book on ferns, very accessible, "Encyclopedia of Garden Ferns" by Sue Olsen, a good book, well illustrated.

Ferns are perfect companions for epimediums, indeed, particularly those with small or medium sizes like Gymnocarpium, Phegopteris, Polypodium etc.
Here I grow about an hundred of them, most are really easy to grow, some require a little more care and patience, as Pyrrosia ...

Tim, here the climate is quite wet (almost 1000mm / year) and the garden soil is clayey, which doesn't let me any choice for xerics species: container or, as you say, sand bed where they grow very well in full sun. So, the number of xerics ferns here is quite small at the moment: Cheilanthes tomentosa, Cheilanthes lanosa, Cheilanthes sinuata (Astrolepis sinuata), Pellaea rotundifolia, Pellaea falcata, Pellaea atropurpurea, Paraceterach muelleri.(many forms of Ceterach officinarum but it's not really a xeric fern)
I would try others but it's not always easy to find them in France...

By cons, if I often grown ferns from spores (it's incredibly easy isn'it?), I never even tried sowing xeric fern spores...Maybe later, I'm very encumbered by my little fern-seedling's greenhouses!

1 : Dryopteris affinis 'Cristata The King'

2 : Adiantum aleuticum 'Japonicum'

3 : Adiantum 'Miss Sharples'

4 : Adiantum venustum

5,6 : Onocloa sensibilis, for wet soil.

7 : Cystopteris lanosa

8 : Gymnocarpium dryopteris, a very good groundcover

9 : Phegopteris connectilis, wich is a very very good fern and a good companion for Epimediums.

Geoffrey F-Winterspoon.
Arras, Northern France, USDA zone 8 (temps min -12°c), cool and humid summer and cool winter.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29627653@N04/sets/72157627728518944/

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Geoffrey, I checked out your Flickr link, and WOW, many superb Epimediums there, I'm taking notes on some exciting named Epimedium hybrids I've not heard of.  I'm sure we'll be discussing these.

Regarding ferns, that's a super selection of ferns you show, please let us know which ones they are, I want to grow all of them!  I too have been intrigued by xeric ferns, but don't currently grow any, this topic can serve as a good reference for ones to try, as you have suggested.  Your annual rainfall is actually quite similar to what we get here in Northeastern USA.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Geo F-W
Geo F-W's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2012-02-13

Ooops, I was sure that I put the identifications...I correct immediately.

Well Mark, if you have a rather sunny place, fairly dry and very well drained, try Cheilanthes tomentosa, the most adaptable of Cheilanthes in my opinion.

Here :

1,2,3 : Coniogramme emeiensis, one of my favourite! Often called "Bamboo fern". Easy from spores, I've got many babies.

4 : Blechnum penna-marina, a little groundcover, easy in half-shade in acidic or neutral soil.

5 : Athyrium otophorum 'Okanum', well known, but I love it, very colorfull.

6 : Polypodium cambricum, I don't know the name of the selection...Great with Epimedium!

7 : Polypodium cambricum 'Omnilacerum'

8, 9 : Dryopteris wallichiana

10 : Adiantum venustum, for me, the best of the Adiantum.

Geoffrey F-Winterspoon.
Arras, Northern France, USDA zone 8 (temps min -12°c), cool and humid summer and cool winter.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29627653@N04/sets/72157627728518944/

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Lots of beauties Geoffrey! ferns are another group I have little of, but hope to have more someday! Likely a rather different set than yours for hardiness reasons!

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

What a wonderful assortment, Geoffrey. :o

I need to add to my pitifully small collection, too!

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Hi, Geoffrey, you have a fine collection!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Geoffrey, what a super fine selection of ferns :o :o :o , my list of "must have" ferns just increased dramatically.  The red-pink color on Adiantum aleuticum 'Japonicum' is wonderful.  I'm partial to Adiantum, the one named 'Miss Sharples' is so fine and lacy.  I like the "fluffy" looking ferns very much, your first form of Polypodium cambricum is gorgeous.

But it is the upright vase-shaped ferns that I like best, like Dryopteris wallichiana that you show us, to add elegant vertical accent in the woodland garden.  So this one goes to the top of my list for fern acquisitions 2012 :)

I have an Adiantum growing in my garden since I moved into my current home 25 years ago.  Just spent about 1-1/2 hours looking for photos, I know that one spring season over the last few years i took lots of photos capturing the fronds as they emerge, but can not find them (I take thousands of photos, most live with their generic digital names until I have time to go through them and rename them).  I did find a few general garden views where the Adiantum is present, I think it is A. pedatum, or A. aleuticum, but could it be venustum? If I'm wrong, please let me know.

Here are some garden views of what I think is Adiantum pedatum, co-mingling with Epimedium, Pulmonaria, and Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens, from the red emerging shoots, chartreuse young unfurling leaflets, to the dark stemmed green leafy canopy by early May.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

What a glorious mix of plants! I grow several adiantums but, oh, I wish I had clumps of cypripedium like that too. Woodland plants like this I think are gardening at its very best, and probably also more accessible for many gardeners than the more esoteric alpine plants that many of us love so much. So now which way do I turn - the long wanted tufa garden or the 'woodland'? Nothing better than such a choice!

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

On the forums I too get pulled in this direction or that.  I marvel at eye-popping hardy cacti and incredible Yucca plants seen on NARGS, to such an extent that I mentally reconsider my "no spiny plants and glochid-free gardening" doctrine, but when it comes down to it, soft fluffy fronds, feathery foliage, and foamy flowers in the woodland garden take precedence.  So, I'm still on the fence about whether I start a hardy cacti garden, but creating a sunny enbankment full of hardy succulents (Sedum, Sempervivum, Delosperma and company) is definitely on my agenda for the 2012 season.

I remember visiting one of the most remarkable private gardens in Seattle (although can't remember the owner's name), one that featured ferns almost exclusively; it left an indelible impression on my garden sensibility, one that I feel compelled to pursue some 28 years hence. :)

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

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