COLIN’S FAB­U­LOUS FERNS

There’s more vari­a­tion among these leafy plants that you’d imag­ine at first glance

Garden Answers (UK) - - Beautiful Gardens -

BLECH­NUM TAB­U­LARE

Named af­ter Table Moun­tain in Cape Town where it was first dis­cov­ered. Fronds have a leath­ery look and can be fer­tile or ster­ile. Hardy to -4C (25F). Trunks can reach H1m (3ft 3in)

ATHYRIUM FILIXFEMINA

The el­e­gant lady fern has lacy fronds in bright green. A de­cid­u­ous shade lover, this fern looks fab­u­lous as it un­folds in spring but can look tatty in au­tumn. Has an AGM from the RHS. H1.2m (4ft) S90cm (3ft)

BLECH­NUM DIS­COLOR

The crown fern comes from New Zealand, its up­right leaves form­ing a neat crown shape. Hardy to -6C (21F). Prefers a damp, well-drained shel­tered spot. Trunks form in time and will grow to 30cm (12in)

BLECH­NUM WATTSII

Com­monly known as hard water fern, this one prefers per­ma­nently damp, shady places. It hails from the wet forests of Tas­ma­nia. Shiny leath­ery leaves and a creep­ing un­der­ground rhi­zome. H1.2m (4ft)

ATHYRIUM NIPONICUM PICTUM

An el­e­gant hardy fern, the Ja­panese painted fern has dis­tinc­tive green leaves over­laid with pewter. Prefers neu­tral to acid soil and full to part shade. H30cm (12in) S1.2m (4ft)

POLYSTICHUM SETIFERUM

The soft shield fern is a large na­tive ev­er­green with lacy fo­liage. New fronds emerge furled and up­right in April, then fall open into a re­laxed clump. Prefers hu­mus­r­ish soil. H1.2m (4ft)

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