This section is from the book "The Gardener V3", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
It may not be generally known how easy of cultivation this beautiful Fern is, and how hardy of constitution it is, so that any one who has command of a small one-light cold frame may easily grow it.
A few years ago we got a lot of Tree and other Ferns from New Zealand, and among them was a nice stool of Todea superba. Like a great many who have not the proper means of growing them, we set it in one of the houses, where we gave it as much shade as was convenient; but in large airy houses it was next to impossible to keep it sufficiently moist, so that it never made much progress. We had other two plants for a considerable time before we got this one, and they were in the same condition. Well, two years ago, we put them out into a cold frame, turned the back of the frame to the south, and took out about 18 inches of soil, then put in a good bed of ashes, on which the plants were placed, the fronds being then about 1 foot from the glass. The glass was whitened over, so as to give a nice subdued light. The plants began to show how well they liked the change, and very soon developed into good specimens. We kept them all the winter of 1877-78 in the frame, with no protection except a mat on at night, and though more than once subjected to 14° of frost, they continued to thrive.
They have been allowed to remain in the frame ever since, and during the past winter have stood, uninjured, the severe ordeal they had to pass through - having as much as 15° of frost inside the frame, the soil having been frozen so hard for months that the pots in some cases were shattered to pieces. They are now throwing up a nice lot of young fronds, and have not lost one since they were first put into the frame. Another Fern which has stood the winter uninjured beside them, is Davallia Nova Zealandii; as also Pteris scaberula, Hymenophyllum tunbridgense, and H. Wilsonii.