Monday, April 26

Invasion of the giant spiders.

I love ferns - we have lots of them in the garden - lots of different shapes, colours and sizes. At this time of year I cut back the old fronds to reveal the fronds that will uncurl this year. This variety reminds me of a giant spider with its legs curled over its body. The sharp sighted of you may notice that it has more than eight legs - well I reserve the right to use artistic licence.

This fern has fronds that are just beginning ti uncurl and looks more like a scaly snail. It's amazing how often the spiral shape turns up in nature. I wonder how many examples we could find if we looked really carefully?

Besides concentraing on ferns I did do other things last week - like planting out the young broad bean plants that had been hardening off in the cold frame.

My complete diary entry for last week can be read on my website here.

This week's weather conditions are described here.

My diaries date back to 2007 with all entries for earlier years being housed in my diary archive here.

For those of you who like photos - and who doesn't? - my photo album for last week is here.


  1. Thanks for the fern reminder, must go and see how ours have fared over the winter. I love how they look at this stage - something between a crab and a fossil?

  2. My husband is a serious fernophile! His particular interest is wall ferns which grow on between-the-wars garden walls here, with lime mortar. Fascinating - and ancient - plants.

  3. Hi Flum, assume he is already a member of British Pteridological Society (founded in the Lake District - where else!)

    If not, maybe m/ship would be a handy birthday present one year?

  4. your broad beans look mine got burnt in the fire I cheated and bought some in town but they are fine specimens and I have high hopes for them!!

  5. BW & VH - they are great aren't they

    Tanya - It's not cheating at all if Alys Fowler can buy her plants at a car boot sale when she hasn't had her shed burnt down then you have absolutely no reason to feel as if it's cheating

  6. OMG - I oved my feet off the floor as soon as I saw the word "Spider" and then saw that picture...I HATE THEM! But like Ferns! I don't have any in the garden....I think I see them as a shady plant....maybe I should give them a bash...

  7. I was a little nervous about reading your post: spiders are not my favorite beasts to see pictures of and giant spiders, yikes. How pleasantly suprised I was to see ferns! Nothing going on at all in the veggie garden at my place...I'm jealous.

    Christine in Alaska

  8. Welcome coffeeandapplepie & Christine
    I thought the title would get people going a bit!

    Coffee - Ferns will grow in shade be we have lots just grwoing anywhere in the garden

    Christine - hope your veg patch is soon producing! When does your season begin?

  9. Now these are the kind of spiders that I like. I find ferns fascinating the way that they unfurl their new leaves, but I don't have any in my garden.

  10. Hi Jo, I love the shapes of the leaves too

  11. I'd like to get some ferns for a shady corner, which ones do you recommend?

  12. Damo - I must admit to having forgotten what most of my ferns are now.

    It does depend on how big you want them to grow some are huge others tiny!

    Dryopteris erythrosora (buckler fern) is good in that its new fronds are a sort of coppery colour - it is a bit later so I haven't trimmed the old fronds of that yet.

    I think the one in the photo is Dryopteris affinis 'Cristata' It grows quite large

    Asplenium scolopendrium hart's tongue fern is smaller and has smooth animal tongue like fronds.

    Dryopteris filix-mas 'Crispa Cristata' - grows fairly big - I have it in a large terracotta pot.

    The names are horrendous - I haven't mentioned any of the really small ones there's also Athyrium niponicum var. pictum
    Japanese painted fern - if you want something different to green fronds.
    I have to be honest though I just go to the garden centre and if I like the look of a fern I buy it!

  13. Thanks very much I'll look out for those, I'd like to brighten up a couple of really shady spots.


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