Ferns

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cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Nice ferns and woodland setting, Mark! I too love woodlands and woodland gardens, but also the rocky crags and gravel flats of other settings-- why choose one or the other unless your property only accommodates the one habitat? Unfortunately (since I love open spaces and blazing sun as well) I have a lot more woodland/woodland edge meadow than truly sunny spots, but I will still aim for some of each!

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

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

cohan wrote:

Nice ferns and woodland setting, Mark! I too love woodlands and woodland gardens, but also the rocky crags and gravel flats of other settings-- why choose one or the other unless your property only accommodates the one habitat? Unfortunately (since I love open spaces and blazing sun as well) I have a lot more woodland/woodland edge meadow than truly sunny spots, but I will still aim for some of each!

When I first moved to my 1-3/4 acre property, I had 1 acre of full blazing sun, then the property falls off in the back, my lower 3/4 acre is steep and dry woodland (mostly sugar maple), this area beyond reasonable reach of a hose.  I wasted a lot of money in the early years here planting Rhododendrons, just to have them totally dessicate in winter (too sunny and wind-exposed on a hill).  In the 25 years I've been here, trees I've planted now provide some much needed shade, and the wooded south side boundary to my property has grown in and providing a good amount of open shade, so I can finally grow shade loving plants without them frying in the sun.

So I still have lots of open space for rock gardens and sun-loving plants in general.  But I am trying to narrow my focus; for example, tempted by hardy cacti, but judging by gardens I've seen in New England where hardy cacti are grown, our climate is not optimum for them and they look tatty and disheveled; haven't seen a cacti garden here that I've liked yet.  There are plenty of things that grow particularly well here, so why not focus my interests, not a bad idea for us plantaholics that like everything. ;)

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

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

One of my favorite ferns is a common one, Athyrium niponicum var. pictum, the Japanese Painted Fern.  For two years it languished in a pot in my "nursery seedling area" which is sunny and hot, and the fronds would crisp in the sun. It survived drought conditions.  I finally moved it to the north side of my house, getting shade from the shadow of the house, and it looked much better in that position, with perfectly gorgeous silver fronds.

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

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

For sure- working with plants that like your climate is a good idea! (when its possible to know what those are....lol)
Frankly, I've seen few cactus gardens I liked outside the obvious places where they especially thrive.. but not necessarily because the plants may not do well- just because they tend to be collections of plants rather than gardens- many of the growers need to broaden their interests to other sorts of dryland plants that will grow well with and complement the cacti and yuccas (the other obsession of cold hardy cactus growers)- so the garden is not just a series of single cacti dotted through the gravel.....

The painted fern is lovely, I've seen them (not here) but not grown... the big commercial garden centres here carry a number of ferns in summer, not sure if the plants they carry are actually hardy here- often they are shipped from head office in Toronto or something-- apparently no one told them its colder here..

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

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

Cohan, you might want to try Athyrium niponicum var. pictum, if you can get your hands on it.  It survived two years sitting in a small pot, the pot just sitting on the ground totally exposed, through a couple of very tough winters.  I suspect it is extremely hardy.  There are some recent-ish hybrids with this species, but I find they are not as hardy, so I'll stick with the original.

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

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

I'm not sure if I have Athyrium niponicum (I don't pay as much attention as I should to the ferns I have) but Athyrium filix-femina x niponicum 'Branford Beauty' (below, though not a great specimen!) is hardy here, as is A. filix-femina (which I see is a native species):

(Uggh, what a messy photo!  That area has been shaded by 8-foot tall 'Therese Bugnet' roses, and is hard to get into, so it's always thick with Campanula trachelium and greater celandine seedlings - but it will be renovated this year!)

Geoffrey and Mark, your ferns are spectacular!

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

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

Thanks Lori.  I have bought 'Branford Beauty' twice, and each time it died over winter, maybe it jusy needs to get firmly established before winter, so I'll try again with an earlier spring planting.  I have tried a couple other similar crosses coming from the fabulous garden of Nick Nicou, of Branford, CT, but I have yet to establish them with the exception of one that is just hanging on. These new hybrid ferns are in vogue, thus VERY expensive, and I bought them in late summer when perennials are discounted, I think the late planting is the problem.

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

cohan
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Nice silvery fern, Lori.
Mark, I'll have to look more closely at the ferns offered this year-- they have seemed to be mostly offered in 6" or larger pots, and I don't often want to spend that much on one plant...lol- more likely to buy several small plants, or more often yet, seeds!

There are some nice things available mail order, but that's even more money all at once  ;D
Just have to get some more spores one of these days - Kristl at Gardens North has offered a fair number of species...

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

Hoy
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Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I alreadyhave some very nice ferns but I can have more! Fall planting usually isn't problematic here, on the contrary as May-June usually are the driest months and new plants have to be watered.

I am also drawn in all directions and can't make up my mind whether to consentrate on this or that or both! Therefore I have both spores germinating and cactus seeds!

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

Geo F-W
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Joined: 2012-02-13

McDonough wrote:

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, your Adiantum is not a Adiantum venustum, but an Adiantum pedatum, because Adiantum aleuticum produces green, not cherry red, new growth (so, in fact, Adiantum aleuticum 'Japonicum' would be a pedatum...). This is a very good fern which is well hardy and very tolerant once installed, your picture clearly shows it.
Adiantum venustum is more adaptable but less cold hardy (zone 5) and has a different look.

Your pictures are stunning, I always wanted to try one or two Cypripedium, but I've never done, I love the shades of yellow and bronze of Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens, a very beautiful plant.

About Dryopteris wallichiana, it would be hardy to zone 6... So I imagine that it would need some protections in zone 5. The young wallichiana are sensitive to frost, so here, I plant large specimens, and only in spring, with a follow sprinkler (? not sure about the expression...) for 1 year.

In the same kind, I love Dryopteris cycadina, the beautiful Dryopteris crassirrhizoma, the big fern Dryopteris x complexa 'Robusta'.

About Athyrium nipponicum 'Pictum, I completely agree, it is tolerant to many conditions.
I especially like three selections of Athyrium nipponicum : Athyrium nipponicum 'Applecourt', the crested painted fern, Athyrium 'Branford Rambler', it's a creeping fern, a cross between painted fern and the lady fern, and Athyrium 'Ghost', also a cross between painted and lady fern. All three are quite showy and it is never easy to associate them in the garden.

But the lady fern has very nice selections also : 'Frizelliae', 'Frizelliae multifidum', 'Victoriae', 'Pseudovictoriae', 'Vernoniae', 'Plumosum Axminster', 'Lady In Red' etc..

Rick, Hoy and Cohan, thank you for your comments. In truth, I had not seen you live in so cold areas! While I often complain not to live in zone 9-10 on the west coast of France...

Does one of you grow Dryopteris x australis or Dryopteris goldiana? Both are large ferns, which are becoming very attractive when they are mature after a few years of cultivation, and adaptable to zone 4/5.

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/

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