This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
This lovely tribe of plants deserves especial cultivation, so remarkably elegant are the forms of their foliage, so refreshing to the eye their lively green tints, and so graceful their disposition; growing summer and winter, they are always interesting, and, to a refined mind, are of a particularly pleasing and attractive character.
At one end of my stove there is a tank of water for the use of the house, round which tank I have formed a small rockery; upon this I grow a collection of choice Stove Ferns, Lycopodiums, and Mosses, with a few of the hardy sorts, which are found to flourish in perfect luxuriance.
In the tank I have growing Limnocharis Humboldtii, a most beautiful water-plant, winch will only succeed in stove heat. This has a very interesting appearance, as the leaves float on the surface.
As most Ferns delight in "shade and a moist atmosphere," in order to shew their delicately green foliage to advantage, and, in fact, will not satisfactorily succeed without it, in the summer season I should recommend some free-growing creepers to be trained under the glass. Such fine plants as Passiflora Buonapartii, or Quadran-gularis, Ipomsea Learii, and several of the Aristolochias, having ample foliage, are well adapted for this purpose.
Ferns may be very successfully grown in pots, in which case perfect drainage is requisite, the soil must be peat and leaf-mould in equal portions, liberally intermixed with silver-sand and potsherds broken small. During summer they should be kept moist by repeated watering.
Propagation is easily effected by divisions of the roots, as the smallest piece soon makes a plant; or by seeds, which are very minute, and mostly formed in round brown spots, or long streaks, on the under side of the leaves or fronds, as they are usually called. They may be sown at any time of the year under a bell-glass; those seeds at the base of the leaves should be selected, as they are more fully developed.
When Ferns are grown in a house where a good deal of moisture is kept up, it is not unusual to see young Seedlings vegetating most freely in all directions. The following is a list of such as I can recommend, all of them being handsome in their growth, particularly the class Adiantum:
Adiantum cuneatuni. „ concinnum. trapeziforme. rhomboideum. „ fovianum. ,, Capillus Veneris, pedatum. reniforme. „ formosum. Asplenium Trichomanes. „ elongatum.
Aspidium atomarium. „ falcatum. „ Lonchitis. „ molle. „ Serra. „ cristatum. „ Oreopteris. „ capense. Blechnum boreale.
„ lanceolatum. „ polypodioides.
Cheilanthes lendigera. Cheilanthes spectabilis. „ tomentosa.
Cryptogramma crispa. Diplazium decussatum. Fadyenia prolifera. Gymnogramma ochracea. Lomaria Patersoni.
„ hastata. Polypodium aureum.
Pteris falcata. „ arguta. „ hastata. „ serrulata. „ longifolia. „ leptophylla. „ Plumieri. „ vespertilionis. „ denticulata. Scolopendrium vulgare. Lycopodium caesium. „ circinale.
The species in each genus of Fern often so closely resemble each other, and nurserymen so seldom study their botanical distinctions, that it is very difficult at all times to procure them correct to name. This I have found a source of disappointment; but should any one be desirous of forming a collection, I shall have much pleasure in recommending them where to procure them correctly named.
Hull, January, 1849. H. S. Norman.