Milliways Mail order shop: Advice, tips and tricks.
HOME Back to Articles
FERNS gardening with ferns ideas for fern border or displays.
See our article on Monster plants for more ideas or See our Japanese Plants page for more ideas.
Ferns are naturally occurring woodland plants and prefer dappled shade, ferns offer the perfect solution to damp, shady corners, and many offer a year-round display. In large gardens, they also mix well with other woodland plants and you can create wonderful woodland walks if you have the space. You can be adventurous and push the envelope a bit though and use them in container display on shady patios or down the side of the house. There are many to choose from we carry about 15 varieties most of the time including tree ferns grown in ireland
Dicksonia antarctica is the most popular tree fern. It's hardy to about -5°C, making it the most suitable to the Irish and UK climate.
Ferns prove that you don’t need bright flowers to create exciting planting schemes. Producing spores rather than flowers to reproduce, their delicate fronds can form a rich tapestry of green shades that can cover a floor or wall. They're easy to grow, and come in a wide range of shapes and sizes.
Ferns are one of the earliest types of plant to evolve on Earth, dating back to before dinosaurs. Appreciate their unfurling fronds and unique texture. Tree ferns in particular are useful for adding structure and instant impact to a garden or courtyard. or to provide shade over a border. You can create stunning features with the many colours and type of ferns.
The Victorians were fanatical about ferns. They even built ferneries, to collect them, with the term Pteridomania invented to describe this hobby or obsession.
Athyrium filix-femina, Lady fern, is an attractive deciduous fern that's suitable for cool, shady corners. It has delicate, lace-like foliage.
Asplenium scolopendrium, Hart's tongue fern, is one of the most popular evergreen ferns. It offers year-round interest when grown among shrubs or other shade- and moisture-loving perennials.
Osmunda regalis, Flowering fern, is one of the larger ferns with foliage that turns an impressive golden colour in autumn. It requires dappled shade and neutral-to-acidic soil.
Polystichum aculeatum, Hard shield fern, is an evergreen with tapering, ladder-like leaves. It's suitable for borders in light shade.
Dryopteris wallichiana, Wallich's wood fern, is native to the Himalayas. With attractive, shuttlecock-like leaves, this deciduous plant grows to about a 1m (3ft), also with large clumps of narrow, green leaves.
Most ferns (but not all) prefer to be planted in humus-rich, slightly alkaline soils and appreciate the addition of leaf mould.
It's best to leave the foliage of ferns that die down for winter , as this protects the crowns.
Remove the leaves in spring when new fronds start to unfurl.
Wrap tree ferns up with a fleece during winter in harsh areas.
Water the trunk and crown of tree ferns, rather than at the base. The fibrous feeding roots are on the trunk, not underground.
Tree ferns are slow-growing. If you want a large, impressive plant in your garden, and cant wait then you'll need to buy a large specimen. How ever a good one will cost a lot and most likely been taken from the wild.
Hart's Tongue Fern. Evergreen shuttlecock-like crowns of bright, glossy green, often waved, fronds, heart-shaped at the base. Height 45-70cm. Spread 60cm. Evergreen. Foliage colour Green. Hardy. Planting instructions Water thoroughly before planting.
Royal Fern. A deciduous fern forming dense clumps of bright green fronds. Height 2m. Spread 4m. Deciduous. Foliage colour Green. Hardy. Planting instructions Back-fill with soil mixed with peat and a suitable fertilizer.
Polystichum setiferum Congestum Group
An attractive dwarf fern with divided, green fronds with the lower leaves overlapping. Height 15-20cm. Spread 15-20cm. Evergreen. Foliage colour Green. Hardy. Protect crowns from winter wet. Planting instructions Water thoroughly before planting.
Man Fern, Soft Tree Fern, Woolly Tree Fern. A tree-like evergreen fern with delicate fronds, pale green at first darkening with age. Height 2-6m. Spread 4m. Evergreen. Foliage colour Green. Protect from frost. Sheltered Site. Planting instructions Water thoroughly before planting
UNDER CONSTRUCTION BETA SITE LIVE IN FEB.