Six hardy ferns

Amateur Gardening - - Pick Of The Very Best -

Athyrium nipon­icum var. pic­tum AGM

The el­e­gant, grey-green fronds of the de­cid­u­ous Ja­panese painted fern fea­ture strik­ing sil­ver and pur­ple mark­ings. Good in con­tainer dis­plays with heucheras. Needs neu­tral-to-acid, re­li­ably moist soil. H&S: 20in (50cm).

Mat­teuc­cia struthiopteris AGM

The shut­tle­cock or ostrich fern is a vig­or­ous plant whose up­right, arch­ing, de­cid­u­ous fronds cre­ate a jungly feel. Tol­er­ant of wet soil, it spreads by rhi­zomes so can be hard to control in small spa­ces. HxS: 5x5-8ft (1.5x1.5-2.5m).

Dry­opteris ery­throsora AGM

Also known as the au­tumn fern; cop­per­coloured fronds emerge in spring, then fade to green be­fore rus­set tones re­turn in au­tumn. Semi-ev­er­green, it can cope with some sun as long as the soil stays moist. HxS: 2ftx16in (60x40cm).

Poly­podium vul­gare

Of­ten found grow­ing in nooks and cran­nies in walls, and in tree cav­i­ties. The fronds of this na­tive ev­er­green fern have a leath­ery tex­ture. Drought­tol­er­ant, it needs shel­ter from cold winds. HxS: 1ftx39in (30x39in).

Polystichum setiferum ‘Her­ren­hausen’

A very pretty va­ri­ety of our na­tive soft shield fern. The ev­er­green lacy fronds make del­i­cate mounds of fo­liage. Lovely at the edge of a shady border, and good in con­tain­ers. H&S: 20in (50cm).

As­ple­nium scolopen­drium AGM

Rather than dis­sected fronds, the hart’s tongue fern has lance-shaped, glossy blades with wavy edges. Ev­er­green, with a good win­ter pres­ence. Will grow in dry shade, in neu­tral-to-al­ka­line soil. H&S: 20in (50cm).

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