Cultivation of Ferns

Ferns are probably the most useful of all garden plants for the difficult parts of the garden such as under the drip of trees, or corners where there is absolutely no sunshine. By planting such spots with a variety of hardy ferns, and putting between them a few of the early spring bulbs such as grape hyacinths, the odd corner can be made into a thing of beauty all through the growing season.

It is not only a bad practice from a social point of view to dig up wild ferns and bring them into the garden, but it is also a very foolish one, because ferns that are grubbed up during the growing season very seldom transplant satisfactorily. It is much better to visit a nurseryman and buy a few plants, which will not be found expensive. As a rule ferns can be planted at any time while they are resting, preferably in autumn or early spring, and need no attention beyond an annual top dressing of decayed leaves in winter. Some of the best for the amateurs garden are as follows:

Harts Tongue Fern, Parsley Fern. Hard Fern, Wallrue. Spleenwort, Ladyfern. Prickly Shield Fern, Male fern. Polypody.

Ferula. Herbaceous plants with ornamental foliage.

Plant from November to March in sandy loam and peat in an open position on the margin of shrubberies, bordera, ponds, on rockeries or banks, or isolated on lawns.

Increase by division of roots at planting time. Seeds may also be sown in autumn in a light soil in the open ground. Transplant the seedlings the following summer.

The plants bear yellow flowers, which appear in Juno on stems up to 12 ft. in height.

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