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My Pet Ferns -- dedicated to hubber Nan Mynatt

Updated on March 21, 2010

The fern wall of my lanai

I love ferns

Their airy, feathery beauty belies their tenacity. They’ll grow on and on, reaching a venerable old age -- providing the conditions are right. Perhaps this explains why I love them so much: I could not grow ferns in the arid, harsh climate of the high plains of Alberta, no matter how hard I tried, indoor or out.

Florida, which boasts more species of ferns than anywhere else in North America, is a perfect environment for my darlings, and I surround myself in them.

Here are some pictures of my pet ferns at my Florida home. When I leave to go back to Canada, I pop them in the ground under the trees to spend the hot , wet summer without me, and every year, when I return they are waiting.

I dig them up, divide them if necessary, pot them in their organic hanging baskets to shelter my lanai, provide privacy and bestow on me the perfect spot to sit, watch the dappled sun shine through their fronds, and meditate on the beauty of nature, the profound mystery of the world and God’s grace in giving us this chance to live.

Hubber, Nan Mynatt today posted a lovely article on the history of ferns – Earth’s Oldest Plants. For inspiring me to share my green friends with my readers, I dedicate this hub to Nan.

Here is her informative hub on some of earth’s most beautiful and long lived plants – ferns.

Earth's Oldest Plants on HubPages: link offered below.

I hope these photographs motivate all of you to learn more and visit Nan’s hub.

Thanks, and enjoy.

The Holly Fern

The incredible Holly Fern, with its tough, almost rubbery fronds and small prickles on the edges defies the taste of any grazing animal. This is a beautiful specimen, one of my favorites.
The incredible Holly Fern, with its tough, almost rubbery fronds and small prickles on the edges defies the taste of any grazing animal. This is a beautiful specimen, one of my favorites.

Boston Fern

The rampaging, fast-spreading, shaggy Boston fern is a native of Florida and has nothing to do with the city of Boston at all. An easy fern to grow, providing it is kept humid, it spreads rapidly and quickly outgrows any container. This is a section
The rampaging, fast-spreading, shaggy Boston fern is a native of Florida and has nothing to do with the city of Boston at all. An easy fern to grow, providing it is kept humid, it spreads rapidly and quickly outgrows any container. This is a section

Red Fern

This years old Red Fern, named for the reddish stems, was a gift from a friend who owns a tree nursery. The center stem is woody, and with time grows to a height of two to three feet lifting the fronds off the ground.
This years old Red Fern, named for the reddish stems, was a gift from a friend who owns a tree nursery. The center stem is woody, and with time grows to a height of two to three feet lifting the fronds off the ground.

The Creeping Ground Fern

The Creeping Ground Fern spread out but never higher than ten to twelve inches, covering the floor of the forest and gobbling up leaf litter. A hearty feeder, this one requires feeding twice a month while in a pot.
The Creeping Ground Fern spread out but never higher than ten to twelve inches, covering the floor of the forest and gobbling up leaf litter. A hearty feeder, this one requires feeding twice a month while in a pot.

The Macho Fern

Well named, the Macho Fern is a rugged, large growing fern with fronds that may reach six feet in length. This is a division taken from a larger specimen in my garden.
Well named, the Macho Fern is a rugged, large growing fern with fronds that may reach six feet in length. This is a division taken from a larger specimen in my garden.

The Rabbit's Foot Fern

The Rabbit's Foot Fern spreads by the hairy rhizomes for which it is named. This particular fern spent last summer under an oak tree in a plastic hanging pot. This autumn, on my return, I found the pot completely encased in a tangle of roots, so plac
The Rabbit's Foot Fern spreads by the hairy rhizomes for which it is named. This particular fern spent last summer under an oak tree in a plastic hanging pot. This autumn, on my return, I found the pot completely encased in a tangle of roots, so plac

the Moss Fern

The Moss Fern is low-growing and prefers the dappled sun under a tree's canopy. Though it appears delicate, it is often considered a pest in the garden, as you simply cannot get rid of it. I disagree, and welcome the soft, mossy green carpet wherever
The Moss Fern is low-growing and prefers the dappled sun under a tree's canopy. Though it appears delicate, it is often considered a pest in the garden, as you simply cannot get rid of it. I disagree, and welcome the soft, mossy green carpet wherever

Autumn Fern

The Autumn fern is so named for it's amazing display of colored fronds in the early fall -- bright yellow, red and purple-red fronds decorate the plant for six weeks or so, and then, like magic, it becomes once again a sedate green fern.
The Autumn fern is so named for it's amazing display of colored fronds in the early fall -- bright yellow, red and purple-red fronds decorate the plant for six weeks or so, and then, like magic, it becomes once again a sedate green fern.

The view from my favorite chair

Behind this wall of ferns, the air is moist, cool and earthy smelling -- a wonderful place to sit and relax and ruminate on life.
Behind this wall of ferns, the air is moist, cool and earthy smelling -- a wonderful place to sit and relax and ruminate on life.

Boston Fern on a stump in my garden

This shaggy Boston, a little depressed from a few days of frost, has lived in this spot for a full year. She is screaming to be repotted and divided, and I'll get around to it -- once I know any danger of frost is in the past.
This shaggy Boston, a little depressed from a few days of frost, has lived in this spot for a full year. She is screaming to be repotted and divided, and I'll get around to it -- once I know any danger of frost is in the past.

A Macho Fern in my garden

I purchased this Macho Fern at a garden center last February. At the time, it lived in a six inch pot. Not quite a year later, it is five feet across. Macho Ferns can spread to fifteen feet and stand five to six feet tall. They need to be tamed every
I purchased this Macho Fern at a garden center last February. At the time, it lived in a six inch pot. Not quite a year later, it is five feet across. Macho Ferns can spread to fifteen feet and stand five to six feet tall. They need to be tamed every

Uninvited Ferns

These wild ferns show up everywhere, and will not leave. When diging them up, even the tiniest remnent of the rhizome will quickly become several new plants.
These wild ferns show up everywhere, and will not leave. When diging them up, even the tiniest remnent of the rhizome will quickly become several new plants.

For More Information about Ferns

"A complete guide to growing and caring for your fern including tips to avoid over watering and getting rid of insects"

  • From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1 Life cycle
2 Fern ecology
3 Fern structure
4 Evolution and classification
5 Smith's Classification
6 Economic uses
7 Cultural connotations
8 Medicinal Value
9 Misunderstood names
10 Gallery
11 See also
12 References
13 External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fern

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    • profile image

      Nan 7 years ago

      Thanks for the dedication of your article. Your plants are absolutely breath taking. They were on earth long before we came as mamuals. All they really need is water and shade. Some clipping. Your pictures have captured their beauty.

      Thanks. Nan

    • kartika damon profile image

      kartika damon 7 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

      Your ferns rock! Hey why shouldn't ferns get kudos? They do a lot for the world and certainly uplift our spirits and clean our air and give us a bit of green - a much needed and politically correct color!

    • profile image

      papajack 7 years ago

      Lynda: I envy your lifestyle and all its perks. Nature is wonderful and amazing no matter whether you enjoy ferns or Yucca.

    • lmmartin profile image
      Author

      lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Hi Nan, Yes indeed ferns are fascinating plants and such a joy to the eye. My pleasure to dedicate this small effort to you, and why not? It was your article that prompted me to grab the camera and share. Thanks for reading.

      Hey Kartika, As I watch the fronds wave gracefully in the morning breeze, visible from where I sit at my computer, it occurs to me that "rock" is not quite the right word for them, but I'll pass on your compliment anyway. And they certainly do add to my enjoyment of life. Thanks for dropping by.

      Hi Papajack -- Interesting you should mention the yucca, as I have one growing outside my bedroom window, along with a small collection of desert plants. They are sheltered by the eaves, so come the rainy season they don't get inundated. The aloes are flowering now -- beautiful tall spikes of red blossoms -- quite aromatic. I'll grab a photo of my tiny desert and post it under the comments but not until today's cloudy skies clear and sun shines again. Thanks for coming by.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      Lovely pix and words - I also love ferns. Maidenhair is perhaps my favourite. They grow wild in some parts of South Africa where the temperatures and humidity are right.

      My little garden though, is rather over-crowded with ferns left by previous tenants. Thanks for sharing.\Love and peace

      Tony

    • lmmartin profile image
      Author

      lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Thanks tony and peace and love to you, too.

    • Beata Stasak profile image

      Beata Stasak 7 years ago from Western Australia

      There are so many ferns in Australia, your article encouraged me to look for the types of ferns growing in my part of the world, so many things I don't know, so much to learn and so little time...thank you for your interesting article I learnt something new. Thank you my soulmate. Love from Beata

    • lmmartin profile image
      Author

      lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Hello Beata, Let's have one for the ferns. Maybe we'll see some photos of ferns of Australia next. Glad to hear from you, till next time, Lynda

    • profile image

      Marty 7 years ago

      Lovely photos. I can't wait to be in Florida so that I can enjoy them in person.

    • lmmartin profile image
      Author

      lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Looking forward to your arrival. So are the ferns. Lynda

    • StephenSMcmillan profile image

      StephenSMcmillan 6 years ago

      Great Idea, Very nice hub.

    • profile image

      Ekhines 3 years ago

      Do you know the actual name of your "moss fern" - I bought one and it seems to be dying on my =( so I want to look up how I might care for it differently. It's been indoors with minimal sunlight; at the moment, seems to be overwatered.

    • lmmartin profile image
      Author

      lmmartin 3 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Hi Ekhines, No, I don't know the botanical name for the moss ferm. Just bought it at Home Depot, brought it home and let it grow. But then, I'm in Florida and have no plants in my home but all outside. (Ain't it great?) However, when I lived in Alberta, I had a lot of trouble keeping ferns alive inside (and they wouldn't last a day outside!!!) I think a lot of us misunderstand ferns. They're not delicate house plants but vigorous outdoors one that need good air circulation, filtered sun and, surprisingly enough considering their looks, handle drought very well. So maybe you are overwatering for the conditions it's under. Hope this helps. Thanks for visiting my hub. Lynda

    • profile image

      ekhines 3 years ago

      thanks for the response!

    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 2 years ago from Washington State

      I have so many ferns growing wild around me outside I forgot how beautiful they look indoors. I love the view you have from your favorite chair. Boston ferns are one of my favorites. I need some new plants, but couldn't decide, now it is going to be a fern. Great photos, onto Nan's oldest plant page.

    • lmmartin profile image
      Author

      lmmartin 2 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Thanks, MJ.

    • lmmartin profile image
      Author

      lmmartin 2 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Thanks, MJ.

    • lmmartin profile image
      Author

      lmmartin 2 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Thanks, MJ.

    • lmmartin profile image
      Author

      lmmartin 2 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Thanks, MJ.

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