This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
"The Fern House, of which the central portico is seen in the engraving, is somewhat T shaped. Of course it is crammed full of plants; equally, of course, they are in excellent health. This is due to the careful manner in which the requirements are studied. The house in question is not all on a level; it is upstairs and downstairs, if we may so speak. One portion is on one level, one on another. The heating apparatus and the ventilation correspond; the consequence is there are several distinct climates in one house, and in doubtful cases the plants are shifted from clime to clime, till that one is found which best suits the requirements of the case. The center of the house is occupied by a projecting bow, on which is placed a good specimen of Blechnum corcovadense. Here are also fine specimens of Gleichenia flabellata, nestling under whose shade were blooming plants of Griffinia hyacintkina. In another part of the house was the curious Tupistra, with bunches of berry-like fruit like so many grapes."
We observe that in modern American greenhouses the preference of popularity seems to be given to Ferns, Dracaena, Marantas and Orchids - of them all, none are so easily managed, or so interesting as well as decorative as the Ferns, and even in Window Gardens the Fern Family find a congenial home, at once attractive and easily accommodated to the atmosphere of the parlor.