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Japanese painted fern Athyrium nipponicum pictum — 60 Comments

  1. I see from your comment that bloggers are inclined to shun recommending plants. I am very pleased to see that you will continue as I have found it extememly helpful living in North East Scotland I was totally lost and was groping around in the dark looking for the type of plant that flourishes up here until I happened on your site. Keep up the good work I say! There are a lot of us out here who are lost and a few words of encouragement and help often mean the difference between a long struggle and a sucessful garden

  2. Lovely selection of ferns Alistair, we have quite a selection as well in the garden. they make wonderful foliage plants and can blend into a wide range of gardening styles.

    The painted fern is a particularly beautiful fern and we have a couple in the garden. Wouldnt be without it!

  3. dear Alastair, there’s so much in this post I want to comment on … I love ferns, wouldn’t do without them. Am very restricted myself because most need moisture but I have found a couple that don’t mind dry periods. About people not liking plant recommendations. Blogs are so personal and all so different, I guess you never can please everyone. i am continually fascinated and amazed at how we can grow the same plants (sometimes) in such different climates. Finally – I adore the photos of your garden, that is looking quite divine as you drift into winter.

    • Catmint, so many of the plants we grow in our gardens here originate in New Zealand, Australia and south Africa. I am also surprised at how some of them cope with the differing climates.

  4. You certainly do have many lovely ferns Alistair. I’ve added many new varieties this past season because of my shady garden additions and adventures. The sad thing is I think I’ve lost track of what and where they all are… originally thinking of them as fillers, but soon realizing what amazing plants they are… it’s a concern for me when I add so many new things in a particular season as I rush to get them planted. We had 24 degrees F last night and I haven’t been outside this morning to see the effect on the not totally colored up Japanese Maple foliage. Between the JM’s and the european beeches, we still have some color. I’m starting to build a 3′ by 40′ foot stone wall which I may extend even farther over time. It will be a slow process because of my arthritis and damaged shoulder, but given time, it should be a nice addition to the gardens. I’ll do a pick-up truck load of stones a day but do have to travel about the countryside to find them. I’ve enjoyed your latest post as always. Larry

    • Hi Larry, we did indeed get up this morning to find the ground thinly covered with snow. Take it easy with the wall building. I am hoping the surgery on your shoulder was of some benefit.

  5. Hi Alistair
    How “interesting” that some readers feel that your recommendations should automatically grow successfully in their own gardens!! Hah!
    Blogging is a definitely a personal experience.
    I look forward to your highlighted plants plus the helpful information as well as gorgeous photos. I really enjoy your blog and so do many many others.
    I have a number of ferns in my garden including Japanese Painted Fern in a hidden little corner. I always smile as I pass it. It’s a beauty.
    Hope you still have a few warm days left before winter sets in.
    Astrid

  6. I don’t have much luck with ferns, but have a few happy ones, and love all of them. I’m hoping I will become a better gardener and can figure out what I was doing wrong. I like blogs that recommend plants – I like to hear what others are growing, and I generally know if my garden has the conditions necessary for them to be successful. And if I were in your particular area, I would plant everything you recommended! There’s nothing better than regional experience, even though, as you say, your mileage may vary.

  7. ferns as a last resort? I wish! The one I had self planted and growing in the waterfall, died when we did the pond repairs. Lost another tough fern, because I didn’t water it enough. I vividly remember the first Japanese painted fern I saw, at a Yellow Book garden in London. A most covetable plant, to enjoy in Your garden.

  8. Very nice to visit your beautiful blog, and see these marvellous pictures of yours. Ferns are beautiful, still I don’t have many of them, but last Summer just thouhgt I might have more, when saw them in botanical garden. Maybe I now want this Japanese painted fern : ) Greetings from Finland, we have snow already, though it may not stay yet(hope so).

  9. Hi Alistair I like that shuttlecock fern, I am not a great lover of ferns though, your photo’s are lovely and the last one with the snow – I wish it snowed here. I know what grows well in my garden and area, and I try to include planting details on my posts, on the plants that I grow. Whether or not they are useful I do not know, but the information is there, hopefully it will be useful for someone else, and vice a versa. Best Wishes Karen.

  10. I too have the Japanese fern in my garden. I love the color and texture and how it lights up the shady areas. You have some interesting images of the ferns. Is that an app filter? I really like it on the one Painter fern frond. So pretty. SNOW??? Yipes. We did not even get snow yet.

    • Donna, the snow was indeed early fortunately it only lasted for a short time. When I reduce the size of my pictures for the blog I use the photo editor (befunky) it gives the option to blur edges.

  11. Alistair what we be without ferns especially here in the States as there are many natives that are beautiful…Matteuccia is one of those as we call it Ostrich Fern…I just planted nine around the shadier rain garden. A lot of my shade is dry so some ferns do not like it…I love my Japanese painted ferns though…what a great fern to start with…and I agree recommend away…I do!

    Your garden is beautiful with its fall colors and coat of frost although no snow please. None here yet but after the hurricane comes through we will probably see some.

  12. Ferns have a reputation for being boring but your pictures show how varied they can be. I agree with you about the Shuttlecock fern – it has an amazing ability to seed itself about. Something I put up with as the plant is so reliable and the colour of the new foliage is so beautiful.
    Your snowy picture gave me the shivers 🙂

  13. Hi Alistair! Winter has arrived in your part of the world hu?
    I am totally with you about giving advice on plants: people is not stupid, they know every garden is different from another and they can’t expect the same results as you. And then you take a position about things, many people don’t want to take this responsibility.
    I love ferns but unfortunately I still can’t have them in my garden, I need more shadow and less drought… Grow, trees, grow!

  14. Oh no! – I’ll have to scrap all those notes I’ve been copying from your blog. I was wondering why my garden doesn’t look like yours.

    Before I started blogging, I have to admit that I thought ferns were boring. It’s the pictures of the leaves unfurling that grabbed my attention. My favourite of yours is the shuttlecock fern.

  15. I also love ferns, and I enjoyed seeing some that grow well for you. I also grow the Japanese Painted fern as well as the Harts Tongue. I have much warmer summers than you, but they do well here in shade and good soil with lots of organic matter.

    I also enjoyed the views of your garden! Snow already! Looks delightful.

  16. It is great when you can grow such a variety of foliage plants, and your garden looks lovely, even so late in the year. I enjoy reading about what plants do well for you even though I garden in a totally different climate.

  17. Your plants are all spectacular but since i’ve just seen those ferns, i think they are awesome. We have lots of ferns but mostly green, so yours with tinge of maroon is wonderful. But when i see your last shot of the snow, i feel so sad and disappointed. How much more if I am the one tending those plants, oh i am so sorry for them as well as the owner. They are still so beautiful to already succumb to snow!

  18. Fantastic and wonderful photos of ferns. Would very much like ferns in my garden. The first I tried – died. Will try more as finances allow.

    Hydrangeas – climbing kind completely different atmosphere from the bushy ones. Tried one of them. It too died. (Not everything in my garden dies!) Have wondered if it was just as well – was concerned it might eat into the bricks.

    Recommending plants. Of course you should recommend plants. Apart from it being likely that it will be useful for some people – it’s your blog and you should do exactly what you like with it. It can’t be beyond people’s wits to realise tropical plants won’t grow too well in Greenland. I’d say it’s jolly useful to be able to gather ideas from people in similar ‘zones’.

    Just read your comment on my blog. It used to have a sub-title – ‘Incorportaing Household Tasks and Cabbages’. (Something like that). I’m thinking I should change the current one to ‘Alistair Baiting’!

    • Esther if you right click your mouse over the link you should get a grey box list of options among them the choice of opening the link in a new tab and another of opening in a new window, I use this a lot,

      Alistair when you add a link have a look to see if there is an option to open in a new tab or winow, if there is click it, this is what I do,

      I hope this helps, Frances

      • Frances, after Esthers suggestion of opening in a new window I found this method and clicked the box as you suggest, this I have done for my next post. Esther, on my next post I talk a little of your suggestion, I am not as yet convinced that opening in a new window is of any benefit to the visitor, however I would be happy enough to be convinced.

        • Apologies. I did read your question when you wrote it – but forgot to reply.

          So many links open in new windows on blogs, I click on a link without thinking what will happen. Then, when I’ve taken a look, I automatically press the X – and the whole lot vanishes so I have to go round the houses to get back to where I was. Although this is stupid, I doubt I’m the only one who’s caught this way.

          I like to look at links as I go along. Some are immediately relevant and it’s handy to have two windows so one can cross-refer.

          With others, it’s better to come back to them at the end of the post and, as I didn’t know about right clicking, I couldn’t do this, I’d just have to press the back button – which I’d forget to do . . . !

          Esther

          Knowing about the right click list helps – but not everyone will know (and I know I will forget until after I’ve closed the window and got lost!)

          • Esther, thinking of it, I have been caught out in the way you mention by clicking x. Frances of Island Threads is also in favour of the manner in which you have your links on your blog. As I said to Frances I am leaning towards this method which you informed me of. I bring it up on the post which I have already prepared for next week. I make reference to yourself and link to your your blog and also ask what others may think, simply because I like to hear other opinions. Thanks again for drawing my attention to this.

        • Alistair it’s your blog so do what you feel comfortable with, as I said I have links I put into my posts open in a new tab or window (depending on how the visitor uses their browser) not asking you to tell me but consider if you find this helpful or hinrance when you have visited my blog,
          the only problem that I know of with back clicking is if the link takes you to a page with more links you want to follow then to back click you might find yourself doing a whole series of click backs, this is why I prefer to open in another tab but as I say this is my preference, you do your preference on your blog, Frances 🙂

          • Frances, I don’t so much think I was more comfortable with the way I did this thing with the links, simply never occurred to me to do otherwise. I have checked it out on your blog and this is the way Esther does it, I am leaning towards it.

          • Another vote here for opening in a new window. Apart from anything else, it allows me to open every link in your blog without moving away from the main page.

  19. Your ferns are so very lovely, Alistair. I can grow some in my shady spot, but I wish I had your weather to grow more. And please continue offering your recommendations for I find great value in them. The remainder of your garden is lovely–filled with lush beauty and so much interest.

    • Thanks SB, I think you would soon get a bit fed up with our weather. On the other hand I am so unaccustomed to high Summer temperatures that I am not so sure if I could cope with it, in spite of my complaining over here.

  20. I loved the round trip in your garden, Alistair, as always it looks so beautiful. I really like ferns too, I have three in my garden but I haven’t bought any of them and have no idea what they are called. They self seeded between my paving slabs many years ago and I carefully lifted them and potted them on and they have been happily growing in my ‘Woodland corner’ ever since 🙂

  21. Alistair, After 40 years I think you are well within your rights to be recommending plants. I know your climate is different from mine and I always bare that in mind. I, for one, regard your opinion highly.
    I have 5 or 6 varieties ferns and would love more. The native Ostrich fern is probably my favourite, but a close second and third would be the Japanese Painted Fern and the Dryopteris Erythrosora.
    We have yet to have snow. It has been mild and raining for days. Snow is just around the corner however.

  22. hello Alistair, thanks for a lovely array of ferns I have been looking into them more recently as I am wondering if the mostly shaded area of my north facing front garden would suit them, it does have some shelter from the wind,
    lovely foliage and views too, we have not had snow but sleet and frost and too much rain in the last 2 weeks,

    I agree with you that common sense should tell people to read all info and then sift what suits their garden and climate, I love people who speak from experience, what irritates me are the so called professional and trained gardeners who tell you, you can do this, that and the other when they have no direct experience and are most of the time wrong!!!
    have a lovely Sunday, Frances

  23. Well, I’m not a fern lover, Alistair, as Linnie will tell you. I spend far too much time digging unwanted seedlings out of the garden to wish to introduce new members of the tribe. Also, ferns fail my ‘every plant in my garden must have two virtues’ test. That said, you make ferns look very tempting

  24. Thoroughly enjoyed looking around your beautiful garden. Those ferns are gorgeous – my fav has to be the Japanese painted ferns.
    I find it difficult to walk past the fern section at my local nursery!!

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