About Ferns

When dinosaurs were the king of all animals, ferns were everywhere. A fern is any one of a group of about 12,000 species of plants belonging to the botanical group known as Pteridophyta. Ferns have no pollen, no seeds and a life cycle that is unlike any other plant. They have fine fibrous roots, crowns from which the fronds arise and organs on the fronds that form part of the reproductive process – ferns have neither seeds nor flowers. Ferns crave moisture to thrive and therefore still retain a love of the humidity and shadiness that existed in the primeval forest.

Ferns are a valuable part of any garden collection. They are generally easy to grow and once they are established require little to no looking after. Very much the lazy gardener's plant.

There are ferns that are native to the Tropics, huge tree ferns from Australia and New Zealand, and British natives and Japanese Painted Ferns. Much of the subtle differences lie in the shape of the frond, or the way the frond develops. They are really quite extraordinary plants. There are outdoor and indoor ferns, hardy, half hardy and tender. They provide a tremendous range of greens for your garden and go so well with hostas and grasses and bamboos.

Many of our ferns are fully hardy, surviving easily whatever British weather might throw at them. We also supply tender and no less beautiful ferns aiming to cover a wide range of ferny tastes. We can advise on what to grow and when and how to grow then courtesy of our resident experts and fern legends Martin Rickard and Dick Hayward.

Fern sizes Ferns at Canonteign Falls in Christow

Bowdens is a member of the British Pteridological Society