Monday 23 April 2018

Mysterious ferns.

 It wasn't until I counted the ferns in my garden today, that I realised just how much of a passion they have become.    I wish I had made notes of them in my diary, because to be honest, their names elude me.
 I was reading Life in a cottage garden by Carol Klein today, the following is her view on ferns.    I wonder why I am spellbound!!!
 They are the most mysterious of plants. All manner of magical properties have been attributed to ferns, mainly because before the invention of the microscope nobody understood how they reproduced.
 Folklore had it that spores could bestow the gift of invisibility on those who believed in their magic power.
Just to watch fronds unfurl is magic enough.
 Somehow ferns embody the power of nature and the way it triumphs.   Gardens would disappear without human attention but most plants would survive and somehow you feel ferns would be oblivious.
 Their ancestry stretches back five hundred million years and makes flowering plants look like newcomers who have just tipped up on the botanic scene.
They were here long before humans and no doubt will still be going strong long after we cease to exist.

I'm hooked :)


  1. Oh I do know the feeling. I love ferns. I have several in my garden too. Our hot dry summers do limit the types I can grow. I have tried so many. I hope to add a couple this summer too. I write down everything I plant in the garden and I still can't figure out what is where. I don't think it really matters as long as you are enjoying your garden. The only time it matters is when someone asks 'what is that' and you know someone will ask. ha.. My response is always "I could look it up" and usually no one really wants to know thankfully. Love seeing those fronds unfolding. I will have to go out to see if any of my ferns are unfurling. If not it won't be long. It is warmer here now. Yay!!!

    1. Hi Lisa,

      I did not realise I had collected so many over the years.
      Family tend to give me plants as gifts.
      I have 52 ferns, amazing.
      I wish I had logged them as they arrived but didn't. So follish.
      Of course many are the same species.
      Glad you are getting warmer. We are set for a cold spell to arrive at the end of the week. Oh joy!!

  2. Isn't Carol a neat lady? Always seems so positive about gardens. I enjoy her spots on Gardeners World.

    1. Carol is a lovely lady. I have many of her books and love re-reading them.
      I particularly like her writings on wild flowers.

  3. Oh yes! Ferns are utterly magical! I often ponder on their history, a little like mushrooms and toadstools...such alien plants, their unfurling always takes my breath away. Mine just keep on going wherever they are planted, in shade or sun. Marvelous post!xxx

    1. Mushrooms toadstools alongside moss and lichen are totally fascinating and very otherworldly. I am pretty sure I must have been a white witch in a previous life :)

      Hope you are having a good week Dina

    2. You and me both, white witches for sure!xxx

  4. I've always liked ferns, I didn't realise their ancestry stretches back five hundred million years ... amazing.

    I enjoyed your post, thank you.
    I hope the week ahead will be a good one for you.

    All the best Jan

    1. Yes it is amazing. I re-read that as I was sure I was seeing it wrong.

      Have a good week.

  5. I do love ferns, especially as a companion plant to all my big-leaved hostas. A funny story--a couple of years ago, I was volunteering during our annual Garden Walk and happened to be assigned to a beautiful garden filled with all kinds of unusual plants. I fielded all kinds of questions, often having to run to the owner to ask her about some specific plant. But one gentleman's question was "Are there ferns that are hardy here in Illinois?" I was so stunned by this question that I gave a flippant answer at first and then apologized and explained. I'm sure he was thinking of the Boston ferns you see in hanging baskets in every garden shop. But I couldn't believe he had never seen ferns in the woods! Spring is finally arriving here--the first tulips are finally starting to open up, hooray!

    1. Rose,
      That story did make me smile.
      Thank you.
      Ferns grow naturally along the lanes here. Some are enormous and of course the woods are full of them.

      So please Spring has arrived. I know you love tulips, so have no doubt that you are so excited to see them in full glory.

      Enjoy the warmer weather Rose.

    2. Hosta and ferns are a lovely combination.
      I do have hosta here but not too many. The slugs love them so they need a lot of protection (I use sheep wool pellers and it works)

  6. So interesting... yes, I do love ferns! you have captured them beautifully!