A fine fern for now

Fern and snow

My newly planted Christmas fern – green and frondy under a blanket of snow.

The non-stop carols on the radio are already driving me crazy. I wish there was a switch I could flip. Before December 1st–no holiday anything. After December 1st–full-on Santa insanity.

But I have one exception to my no-holiday-related-anything-before-December rule. That’s my adorable new Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides). Set into the ground just a few weeks ago, this fiercesomely frondy plant has already lived up to its reputation for staying green despite winter’s onslaught. I know this because I’ve poked around in the snow a couple of times to check on it.

I’ve heard they’re quite easy to grow if you get the conditions right:

  • moist, well-drained soil
  • shade
  • in a spot protected from the heat in the dog days of summer.

So far so good. Come spring, I’m hoping for soft, silvery fiddleheads sprouting up. If I’ve had success, I’d like to introduce more to the garden. They’re actually quite a useful plant for a mixed bed of evergreens, as an accent plant and even as ground cover.

I’d like to think that Christmas ferns are the sole diet of flying reindeer seeking out their emerald leather leaves while earthbound at dusk but since it’s a native to Ontario and Quebec as well as the entire eastern half of the U.S., I realize that’s a bit of a stretch.

But I can still hold onto the idea that Polystichum acrostichoides spells magic in winter.

 

2 thoughts on “A fine fern for now

  1. Pingback: Ministry of the fence Celebrate Canada Part 2 Fab Ferns

  2. Pingback: Ministry of the fence Small, shade garden ideas with surprising Maidenhair fern

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