Christopher Lloyd, the world's greatest ever garden writer who died in 2006,
asked me at our first meeting many years ago whether I was interested in
ferns. Not really, I replied. "You will be," he pronounced. And so it came
to pass; I now grow dozens of species. Over time, you not only appreciate
their subtle beauties of form and texture but also their trouble-free nature
and ability to grow in shady places where few other plants will thrive.
Among the loveliest groups are the maidenhair ferns, and among these I would
single out Adiantum aleuticum 'Japonicum', whose fronds are an arresting
coppery-pink when they emerge in spring before turning green. Of fairly
short stature, it is easily grown in soil that does not dry out too much and
is not overly gloomy. Z3.