A Transplanted Fern - Established in the Shade


Hi.  I'm Jake.  And I'm a shade gardener.  Like my Mom.  She, too, was a shade gardener.  And that's why I think I'm drawn to ferns.  My Mom toiled in the world of hostas every season.  Listen....I like hostas.  But I LOVE ferns.  This fern that you see above is of an unknown variety.  It came out of my sister-in-laws yard before they tore down their house to build anew.  I put this in a spot in the very back of Hornbeam Hill in late June of this year.  And look at it today:  there's new growth and it appears to have weathered the transplant shock and has established itself nicely. 

What is most interesting to me is the varied colors and textures and even leaf shapes on this one fern.  The new growth is a lighter, almost yellow-green with the older fronds being dark green.  Same with the delicate-nature of the actual leaves; the new ones are rigid and concave and the older ones have flattened out a bit and are laying open for the sun. 

I've written quite a bit about ferns with a focus on Ostrich Ferns which I initially inherited at our first house in Elmhurst and subsequently transplanted and shared with both my mother-in-law and my sister.  I wasn't sure if we had Ostrich Ferns until I reached out to the Master Gardener at the University of Illinois Agriculture Extension Office in DuPage.

My fern collection includes:


I even 'fostered' a fern at my mother-in-law's house in Naperville for the past few years. 

This mystery fern is not in a place of honor right now as I just plopped it n the mess that is as far back on our property as you can get.  I haven't paid any attention to it since I planted it and despite that, it is thriving.  Part of the reason I'm in love with it, right?  We'll see what happens in the Spring and how/if it comes back.  It is big enough that maybe next year, I can begin to split it up and put it in a place where we all can enjoy it. 

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