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Hardy Fern Foundation 2013 Fall Social

 

Part of Saturday's fern frond displ

Part of Saturday’s fern frond display

This past Saturday, the Hardy Fern Foundation held its Fall Social at the Center for Urban Horticulture (CUH) at the University of Washington.  This is always a warm and comfortable event, with good people, good presentations, and good food.  Everyone enjoys getting together and sharing fern “stuff” as the days get darker and colder.

This year HFF members collected fern fronds from their gardens and shared them with identification information.  This was a chance to see some unusual ferns.  Some of them, like Woodwardia unigemmata, are rarely seen in all their splendor.  This weekend, a 5 or 6 foot frond from HFF’s Stumpery (in the Rhododendron Species Foundation garden) was brought in for us all to see.  Many of the ferns were ones I’d never seen before, and many are rarely, if ever, seen at plant sales.

Coniogramme intermedia Yoroi Musha - cut leaf bamboo fern

Coniogramme intermedia Yoroi Musha – cut leaf bamboo fern

 

We also had a great slide presentation and talk given by Pat Riehl.  She shared tales and pictures from a trip to South Africa in early 2012. This was a group tour to see ferns in South Africa, and several people in the audience had been on the tour.  Thanks to Pat, a few thousand pictures were narrowed down to a couple hundred (?), with identification captions!

 

Here are some pictures of the fern fronds we got to enjoy.  In our neck of the woods, we have an amazing group of fern growers and collectors, with an amazing array of ferns.

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE
Asplenium scolopendrium 'crispum' - wavy Hart's tongue fern

Asplenium scolopendrium ‘crispum’ – wavy Hart’s tongue fern

A fancy Cyrtomium (I think)

A fancy Cyrtomium (I think)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woodwardia unigemmata towers above everything else - the meeting room was difficult to photograph

Woodwardia unigemmata towers above everything else – the meeting room was difficult to photograph

Coniogramme intermedia "Yoroi Musha' - cut leaf bamboo fern

Coniogramme intermedia “Yoroi Musha’ – cut leaf bamboo fern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pyrrosia hastata 'Cheju Silver' - silver arrow felt fern

Pyrrosia hastata ‘Cheju Silver’ – silver arrow felt fern

Winterizing the Hardy Fern Foundation’s Hoop House

Yesterday, the Hardy Fern Foundation had a work party to get the hoop house winterized – that is covered in plastic.

I’m fairly new to the activities and workings of the Foundation, so some of my observations might be “duh” to some, and may be even less-than-accurate to others.  Nevertheless, here’s some background as I understand it.  Comments and corrections welcome!  Add them below!

Last winter (and the winter before, and the winter before…) we had a very cold winter in the Pacific Northwest, and an especially early frost that did significant damage to many of the ferns in the Foundation’s Nursery.  The new, really wonderful, hoop house was built this year (?).  Now, it needs some winter protection.   Just in time, since some possible frost has been forecast for the next few days.  (Yikes. What’s up with that?)

A group of hardy souls met yesterday, in the rain, to cover the hoop house.  They unrolled the plastic, tied ropes to its edges in about 4 places – camping style, threw the ropes over the top of the house, and pulled the plastic over the top from the other side.  Very impressive.  Then the plastic was put over the ends of the house and secured with “wiggly wire” and fir stripping.  The doors on one end were framed in lathe, so the plastic can be cut and the doors opened.  I wasn’t on hand for the entire process, being in a group of volunteers happily weeding away on some nursery stock, but here are some pictures of the very successful activities.  (I did get a chance to cut some of the fir stripping with a saw that one person characterized as a butter knife – but with old wet wood that saw worked for me!)

Hardy Fern Foundation at the NWFGS – Pyrrosia

Pyrrosia

Pyrrosia

I’m a member of the Hardy Fern Foundation (www.hardyferns.org).  Not an “academic” member, just a fan of ferns.  I don’t know why!  My true fan status began a few years ago when we did a major garden remodel, and I was working on the design and the choice of plants.  Through other associations –Northwest Horticultural Society (www.northwesthort.org), classes at the Elizabeth Miller Garden (www.millergarden.org) in Seattle–, research, and events, I got a little closer to developing a thing for ferns.

As a member of the Hardy Fern Foundation, I had the opportunity to staff the HFF booth at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show last week.  This show is always like a breath of fresh air in the middle of winter.  (Did you know it’s been freezingly cold, snowing, and now downpouring around here for the last couple of weeks, with more on the way? So much for the blue skies we enjoyed at the beginning of the month.)

Hardy Fern Foundation booth at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show 2011

Hardy Fern Foundation booth at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show 2011

The NWFGS was wonderful as usual, but I was surprised to be treated to a special display of pyrrosia’s in the HFF booth!  These ferns are a little bit different, somewhat rare and expensive, and perhaps not everybody’s cup of tea.  These pyrrosia’s were part of Richie Steffen’s personal collection, and I really enjoyed spending a few hours with them.   If you are unfamiliar with them, here are some pictures.

Pyrrosia lingua 'Futaba Shishi'

Pyrrosia lingua 'Futaba Shishi'

Pyrrosia 'Kei Kan' P1010847

Pyrrosia 'Kei Kan' P1010847

Pyrrosia polydactyla 'fingered felt fern'

Pyrrosia polydactyla 'fingered felt fern'

Pyrossia 'Tochiba Koryu'

Pyrossia 'Tochiba Koryu'

And here is a picture of our roof on the same day, with the confluence of seasons: little mounds of receding snow on spring’s burgeoning moss.  Perhaps ‘spring’ is an overstatement.

little mounds of remaining snow and moss on our roof

Little Mounds of Remaining Snow and Moss on Our Roof