Six on Saturday | May Day

This week is all about ferns. I have a lot of ferns in my garden, they self-seed (if that is a word you can use about ferns) along the rockery walls and in the edges of steps. Apart from the Hart’s Tongue fern and the ones I bought last year to plant in containers along with my fuchsias I don’t know what the others are.

(1) The Woodland Border is starting to green up now – full of ferns and heucheras, hellebores, bugle and a multitude of other plants which will all appear on my plant list (under Garden Diary) at some point. This part of the garden spends the entire winter months in shade as the sun sets before it gets around the next door barn. I think this might be why some plants struggle to survive here. We’ll look at more woodland plants next week.

(2) Hart’s Tongue fern has been mentioned many times before but is a huge part of this area of the garden. They grow on top of the wall and out of the wall and look lovely for most of the year. In February I cut off all the blackened leaves and let the new one unfurl.

(3) There are other ferns along this border, but I have no idea what they are or whether they are just native ferns that ‘blew’ in on the wind. The first one is quite dainty

but this is a much more rugged affair.

(4) In the front courtyard however are ferns I have names for, as I purchased them last year, but they look quite similar at the moment as they are only just appearing again after disappearing over the winter. These ferns share pots with fuchsias, but I think once I can get to a garden centre and buy some new pots they may be separated. This is I think Athyrium niponicum ‘Ursulas Red’ a Japanese painted fern. This fern features central stipes (stems) that are reddish, particularly toward the tip, with a red flush appearing on the pinnae (leaves) nearest the central stem. Pinnae (leaves) are purple-bronze to start turning silvery as they age.

(5) More Athyriums – these may be wrongly named, but all these were part of the collection I ordered. A shame I didn’t label the pots I put them in!  These striking deciduous perennials known as Japanese ‘painted lady ferns’ are supposedly easy to grow and pretty much pest and disease free. I like that in a plant.

(6) Random ferns grow in the cracks of the granite slabs that are in front of my house which as you can see is rather wild, with dog violets and hebes and forget-me-nots which self-seed here, not to mention Valerian/Centranthus which will appear in a month or so followed by crocosmia. I wish cow parsley would seed here and some red campion perhaps would be nice.


The header this week is a fern twirl (a photo editing technique I have just learned about and which has been filling some of my spare time when I am not blogging or gardening) and the lovely rainbow at the top appeared late afternoon on Thursday as I was playing with the twirls.

As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ who is celebrating his third anniversary of this meme and where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world.

Take care out there!

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday


  1. Ronnie Tyler says:

    I love ferns and will make a note of yours for planting ideas in the shady part of our garden. Thank you 🤗

    1. cavershamjj says:

      i am becoming a big fan of ferns, thanks for sharing yours.

  2. Catherine says:

    It’s so nice to see a Six featuring ferns. I have a small number, but I found one a few days ago while crawling (with difficulty) under the trees at the back of the garden. It was beautifully lit, but I didn’t have the camera with me – well who would while crawling though trees & shrubbery – perhaps I should go back in (if the knees will allow) and try for a photo.

    I like the Hart’s Tongue fern – and the swirl technique that’s produced those lovely shade of green & yellow.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Ah, but will you get that light again?

      1. Catherine says:

        lol. It was sun filtering through the trees, backlighting the fern, and we’ve been promised another week of good sunshine here. But…I can’t remember what time of day I saw it, and I don’t fancy taking up residence for more than a few minutes to get the shot. So, to answer your question…maybe not. 😁

  3. Love all of these rich textures, Jude, especially in the first and the last photo.

  4. Cathy says:

    Glorious ferns Jude, and that woodland border is looking goood

  5. The forget me nots are looking very pretty.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Pulled out a couple of bucket fulls yesterday, from the bed in the gravel garden as they were stopping the perennials from breathing. Now to see if I have lost any over the winter.

  6. Nigel | MCR says:

    Wow thats a crazy difference. My ferns in Manchester. Haven’t shown any sign of life yet. Nice planting

  7. parikhit dutta says:

    Ferns always look so dainty and pretty! 🙂

  8. Jim Stephens says:

    I followed your link to Swirls and Twirls, that’s a good chunk of the next few days booked in. I’ve done a few blogs on ferns, you might put names to one or two of yours from them. Athyrium otophorum okanum and A. nipponicum ‘Red Beauty’ are two I think I recognize.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Jim. Warning. The twirls are addictive 😁

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