Where is the best place to look for information on ferns?

Hi all I hope you can help me.

I need to know where is the best site/place to look for information on ferns?

After much deliberation and watching the recent garden revival on stumperies, I've decided to go with my gardens more rustic style by planting grasses, ferns for the shaded areas and most probably one stumperie.

I do already have some ferns grow in the garden but not necessarily where they should be, I have a couple of different varieties though not sure of the names but I want to move some and plant a lot more. I want evergreen ferns though, I can't have a bare mud laden garden to look at next winter. And I'd also like some that grow lower to the ground as opposed to growing very tall.

I have looked around on the internet but I'm not finding anything terribly helpful so all suggestions for sites or indeed ferns would be greatly appreciated. Heather x



  • Alan4711Alan4711 Posts: 1,569
  • Hi Heather, when I am looking for specific plant information, I try and find specialists nurseries online as they are usually full of useful information. There is one here:


    Once you have found what you want you can shop around by Googling the specific plant name.

    Hope this helps.

  • Thanks to both Alan4711 and Lancashire Lass for the info. I'll get hunting.

  • Hi,

    I too am just beginning on a stumperie - I've moved some old stumps into place, put a washbasin wrapped in black plastic into a shallow hole in front (in the hope of it looking like a little pond at some stage...) and was wondering what to plant around it. Ferns may be the answer! Maybe some which flower occasionally would be nice to add some colour - this is in a shady corner of the garden with nothing but a bare patch of fence and some stinging nettles at the moment.

    Good luck with your stumperie Heather - let us know if you find anything useful!
  • StillLearningStillLearning Posts: 180


    I am beginning a fernery and found Bowden's to be brilliant. I received their catalogue which was excellent really informative and then emailed them with the area size and what ferns from their collection I thought could work. They called me to discuss it through with more suggestions and am now waiting my delivery for the end of Feb - would thoroughly recommend them - First Class service image

  • Thanks for that, I will look them up.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,219

    Hi, Newleaf.

    You will spend a long time looking for a flowering fern, because ferns do not have flowers, they reproduce by spores on the underside of the leaves, and not seeds.image

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 7,186

    I can recommend Bowdens too - great plants and very helpful.  I have used them for both ferns and hostas

    The Stone Age didn’t end because they ran out of stones ......
  • New leaf, have a look at Heucheras many will grow in shady places and come in a vast array of colours, also Hostas, they both flower but it's their gorgeous foliage that makes them special.

  • greenjudegreenjude Posts: 64

    Hi Heather. The British Pteridological Society's website is full of useful info. There may even be a group near you and they're very friendly people. (Yes, I'm a member.)

    Another good nursery for buying online is shadyplants.net in Ireland. They have lovely ferns in beautiful condition.

    For low-growing evergreen ferns, I can recommend Polystichum setiferum and it's many varieties. They're evergreen and very graceful, and so easy to grow. There's also our native Hart's Tongue, Asplenium scolopendrium, which also has lots of varieties. We have some great native Polypodiums which will grow well on stumps an in hollows in old wood.

    There are lots of Dryopteris species, some tall but plenty of lower growing ones. Watch out though, because some are deciduous. Though don't discount deciuous ferns, there are some real beauties, like the many Athyrium hybrids which have some amazing colours. They grow well with bulbs an other plants that die down in summer, like Arums.

    Heucheras, Heucherellas and Tiarellas (all related) are lovely among ferns and slugs don't like them. That's the only drawback to Hostas - molluscs.

    I think it's a lovely idea to have lots of ferns and a stumpery (but then I would - I'm fanatical about them!) I warn you, once you get a taste for them they really take hold of you. I have about 300!

    Best of luck with your project.

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