Thursday, 21 May 2009

The Filicarium



Ferns have been a relatively recent discovery for me. In fact it was back in Spring 2006 that I first really appreciated just how beautiful the unfurling fronds can be reaching up from a woodland floor. I'd stumbled across the Filicarium, a small fernery, set in a spinney, tucked away next to a property we'd recently purchased.

Owned by Mr Dubois, who was sometimes referred to as the 'Perigordine fox' on account of his numerous, slightly unorthodox property deals, the Filicarium was something of a hobby for him until he flogged the land at about the same time we'd completed on the house close by.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, prior to the sale of the land, he let me take a few of the ferns and thus gave me a planting answer to some difficult areas that I 'd struggled with here at Le Banquet such as the bed in the photograph above which receives only a few hours of dappled sunlight from May onwards courtesy of the large Lime tree which comes into leaf and shades the ground below.

Already planted with Japanese Anemones, Anemone × hybrida , Lily of the Valley, Convallaria majalis , Periwinkle, Vinca minor plus a young Hydrangea paniculata (can't remember which one) It's the ferns that bring it to life as the croziers unfurl and bring their slighty exotic structure to the whole area.



I am really taken with the Holly fern, Cyrtomium fortunei with its large leathery fronds.




The crested fronds of the Dryopteris affinis 'Cristata'. I've just noticed the seedlings of the 'Touch me not', Impatiens balfourii in the bottom right hand corner, an enthusiastic self seeder which also grows well (too well) in this border.



I think this is the Male fern, D. filix-mas of which I've got quite a few together with the Golden male fern D. affinis. Some of them are quite large and I think their fronds may attain a metre or so by late summer this year.




Here's some placed in another 'difficult' corner . The wall is dotted with Asplenium trichomanes, the Maiden hair spleenwort which pops up everywhere.



Here's a closer look together with Kenilworth ivy, Cymbalaria Muralis.

Above are the beautiful, leathery fronds of the Hart's tongue fern, Asplenium scolopendrium which grows abundently here and appears just about everywhere from the river bank to cracks in the walls, whether shade or sun; it's everywhere.



Finally, above is the Maidenhair fern, Adiantum just starting to put on new growth. This is actually colonised around my small well which is fed via a source. Not exactly looking its best now, in a month or so it will be covered with fresh, delicate new growth. All you've got to do is stick your head in a well to see it!

20 comments:

  1. Rob, I love ferns and it was a treat for me to look at all your pictures and read the post! Sword fern is native in our area. I love the Australian Tree fern, but was able to keep it only for two years, it's too cold for it here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great mix of textures. I'm a fern fan as well, particularly the dryopterus, although I haven't used that particular species before. Do you ever mix any hakonechola aureola in, or stick with a classic woodland garden feel?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love all these ferns, Rob! How lovely to have such a variety.

    The Cymbalaria muralis goes so well with ferns too. (It must remind me of somewhere pleasant I've been - seeing that combination together makes me feel especially happy!)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Rob, everything is looking so lush. Stunningly green, and beautiful. I absolutely love ferns, they are one of my favorites.

    But they sure took a beating this winter, I have lost quite a few, and those that are left are slow to respond.

    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's just beautiful there! I love all of the ferns and the flowers mixed in. Each fern is so different and seems to add so much. I'm glad you were able to take some of the ferns, they look like they like it there!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Filicarium is a new term to me Rob, though I grow a lot of ferns. Love the pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yes ferns are a love of mine and do fill some difficult spaces. Most importantly the slugs and snails generlly leave then alone unlike the Hostas which make good companions. I get a horrible dark blight look to my Hart's Tongue fern but the new growth comes back and looks good for a few months each year.
    Your garden sounds really interesting Rob

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Rob, there is much to learn about ferns, I know very little. Your property with the moisture and shade seems the perfect spot for a fernery, what a delightful title. i am also interested in your neighbor flogging the land? Do tell more. :-)
    Frances

    ReplyDelete
  9. Very lovely. I have several ferns that popped up over this last winter (I'm in Everett, Washington) and they're such a soft addition to that shade garden.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Filicarium is a new term for me too. Lovely post. We have a lot of native ferns on our place which I've transplanted into the garden with varying degrees of success. When they succeed they add a wonderful texture to the garden.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Another fern fan here Rob although I must confess I know very few of the names. We have a few in the garden planted by nature and I now have a couple of Japanese painted ferns. The area you describe sounds very tranquil and cool which I imagine will be most welcome in high summer. Keep an eye on the vinca minor - I didn't and regret it :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I generally have kept with the woodsy feel where I'm growing ferns. I probably should have made mor mention on the 'touch me nots' which are a really nice shade of pink and take sun, shade, damp or dry. They seed themselves around.

    Mr Dubois swapped some of his land with the equivalent of the local council. He as ever appears to have the better deal. He frequently goes to rugby matches with the local mayor!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Those picture are so, so pretty! I love ferns but don't have much shade yet - though the 19 trees planted in the past year will give us more shade eventually!

    ReplyDelete
  14. The ferns look very natural in your setting and make such a lovely green floor for your shady garden rooms.

    The only shade we have is the woods behind the house, but I'll probably never garden there because of the ticks. Please tell me that there are no ticks in the Dordogne!

    Cameron

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love ferns:)

    I remember when I was a little girl, running around between the big leaves. Well, I was about a meter tall, and the ferns just swept over my head. And that very special smell..!

    Luckily they like it here, my back yard is full of Ostrich fern, which is told to be a delicacy(I haven't tried, -yet)
    The Male fern form large clumps, and looks fantastic.
    I would not return empty handed from Mr dubois, that's for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love ferns. I love the green on them. They are so easy to handle. and sturdy, too! Some ferns can grow so big ...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ostrich Fern is something I need to grow! I've seen almost two metre specimens.

    Sadly, ticks, yes we do. They're calle Tiques.

    ReplyDelete
  18. You have a great variety of ferns, Rob. I love how they've naturalized in so many areas after you put in just a couple. Many of them would get way to big for my yard but I do have a couple varieties...they add a nice touch to my shade areas, too. I read a comment about ticks...oh boy, have we got 'em in my yard. I just got 3 rather large tick bites, and just started on an antibiotic for one on my neck that swelled up and made me feel like I had the flu! I think it's working. I now have to spray practically an entire can of bug spray on me before I'll go in the yard! Not the way I like to garden.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Rob,
    Ferns in the summertime are so refreshing. I have southern shield fern in my graden and it is the color of grass making a nice substitute where grass will not grow.
    Donna

    ReplyDelete
  20. Tiques! There went my "move to France" fantasy! LOL

    I've been getting at least one tick a day, even with wearing repellent. Snakes are out, too. Please tell me you have no poisonous snakes in the Dordogne and that may bring back my France fantasy!

    Cameron

    ReplyDelete