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Tell me about ferns

(6 Posts)
didireallysaythat Sat 03-Jan-15 12:52:40

I've a front border which doesn't get much or any sun. Its currently a mess with irises, Chinese lanterns, periwinkle, sedum nothing much of merit. I fancy a tidy border with a few big ferns and a few smaller ones.

Are ferns easy to grow/keep alive ? What are you favourites ? Is there someone I should look online or is the local nursery the best source ? I'm happy to start with smaller plants as grow in pots to bring them on. I also have a cold but bright greenhouse if they can be raised from small ? Can you tell I've never had a fern before ??

Thank you

bilbodog Sat 03-Jan-15 15:12:19

I would go for ferns and hostas. If you have a local plant nursery that does them they should be able to give you advice on which ones to go for. Box does well in the shade as well so a few 'box balls' would look smart. It is expensive but if you buy small plants and let them grow yourself then not too bad. Go to the local library and look at some gardening books - some will give planting ideas for shady areas and that will give you some good ideas as well.

Ferguson Sat 03-Jan-15 19:18:44

I'm sure there will be fern specialists on-line, either for advice to to buy from.

They are quite slow growing I think, so you would probably need to buy quite large ones if you want a big one. Hellebores are also nice in shady places, and pulmonaria: this is a good one in dark areas:

Rhubarbgarden Sat 03-Jan-15 19:28:57

Fibrex are good.

didireallysaythat Sun 04-Jan-15 00:15:18

Ferguson - yesyes pulmonaria would work well and I've got a patch that needs dividing so I'll do that later in the year. I've also a 2 by 3 metre patch of hellebores that desperately needs sorting so that will work too.

Rhubarb I'd not come across fibrex before - really helpful thank you !

Bilbo yes I hadn't thought of hostas- our local nursery has a good selection so I'll take a look.

Thank you all.

Ferguson Thu 08-Jan-15 21:13:23

A delightful early bulb, that I have starting to flower now is:

Pulmonaria are so tough you could probably divide quite soon, then they should flower in a few weeks (I have one just opening, and our lovely black hellebores are showing little flowers already.)

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