Golden Mist™ Asian Wood Fern

Golden Mist™ Asian Wood Fern

Dryopteris labordei Golden Mist™


$14.95
Buy 3+ at $13.95 ea
Buy 6+ at $12.95 ea

Transform the shade border with this handsome Asian Wood Fern, which sports bright spring fiddleheads of yellow and gold, unfurling to perfect triangular bipinnate fronds of shimmering sunny color! Though they mature to dark green, the contrast of new and mature fronds is spectacular on this evergreen, and the very vivid, eyecatching golden shades add exceptional brightness to the shade.

It may remind you a bit of Autumn Fern, but Golden Mist™'s season of glory is spring. At 20 to 24 inches high and wide, it's also a slightly larger and more spreading plant, with fronds that arch up and out in a neat symmetrical, many-layered habit. Beautifully ornamental, it always attracts compliments in a container planting, and makes a breathtaking large planting for the open or woodland garden. (And since rabbits, deer, and other nibbling marauders tend to leave it alone, you can actually plant it unfenced without worry!)

Golden Mist™ fares best in soils that are loose, well-drained, and enriched with organics, but once established it is quite tolerant of less-than-ideal conditions. Give it neutral to acidic soil, open shade, and consistently moist soil the first year, and it will establish beautifully, its lovely fronds keeping their good looks right through winter in all but the snowiest climates.

Although native to Asia, the Wood Fern makes itself at home right here, and is one of the most dependable hardy ferns for the partly to fully shaded garden. Don't miss out on its splendid spring color show and year-round appeal. Zones 5-8.

Hardy Ferns are such individualists. You'd think that planting different varieties from the same family all together in a group would make for a rather dull, if intense, planting. But no — each manages a distinctive look, and I for one would be hard pressed to tell you which was my favorite! No wonder the great Victorian gardener Gertrude Jekyll dreamed of a rock garden devoted entirely to Ferns, a "restful delight of cool and beautiful foliage."

Even if your garden space is limited, find a place in the shade for Ferns. They ask for very little care, and repay you with ease of growth and breathtaking beauty. Most are easily divided after two or three years in your garden, increasing your garden beauty without costing you a dime. Best of all, they add texture like no other perennial — graceful and airy, despite their hardiness and willingness to grow.

In this article, I describe the very best Ferns for your garden this spring. And if you're looking for a particular variety to plant in mass or to dot among your shade landscape, I've got some fine recommendations. Remember, all of these Hardy Ferns are guaranteed to succeed in your garden, and if you divide them regularly, they'll "live forever"! Enjoy the ease and beauty of Hardy Ferns in every shady spot.

Among the most popular and widely-grown in American gardens, Hardy Ferns have come by their reputation honestly. An easier, more dependable, and lovelier Fern would be hard to imagine. The native North American species (A. felix-femina) is an absolute must for beginning gardeners, nearly growing itself. And the Asian species (A. nipponicum) contains the magnificent Painted Fern family, with some of the most beautiful frond colors in the world. The two species complement each other nicely, thriving in very moist to wet soil (waterside plantings are stunning!) and normal to alkaline soil.

Caring For Your Hardy Ferns

In the wild, Ferns thrive in the dappled shade of the woodland, finding their feet in rotted leaves and other rich soil ingredients. Very few (Brilliant Fern is one exception) can tolerate dry soils, and all prefer a good pampering their first two years — lots of water and humus!

Work the soil well and deep before you plant your Fern, raising the bed at least 3 inches above the soil level. If you have heavy soil, lighten it with rotted leaves or coarse bark.

Ferns need both moisture and excellent drainage, which can be a balancing act — a good, rich mulch works wonders. If rot is a problem, make the mulch gravel or other coarse, well-draining material.

Plant your Fern very shallowly, with the crown flush with the surrounding soil.

Keep garden debris away from the base of your Ferns if you can. Rot can be a problem when the crown of the fern sits in stagnant water — though some, such as the Tatting Fern, will happily rest in an inch or so of water on the bank of a stream or pond. If you see signs of Rot, apply a fungicide and chances are your Fern will shake it off!

If possible, water the roots and not the fronds.

If your Fern is evergreen, you might want to thin the old fronds in spring as the new ones appear. At the same time, apply a new layer of mulch for the new growing year.

Every 2 or 3 years, you can dig up and divide your Fern into several new plants to share with admiring friends or to increase your own garden's beauty!

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