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.
Dear Sir: Permit me to offer through the pages of the Horticulturist, a few remarks on this beautiful class of plants, which appears to be greatly neglected by the people of this country, especially amongst our ornamental gardeners. If we take into consideration the great variety and beauty, with their hardiness and easy cultivation, this is one of the most lovely tribes, and would be a great acquisition to the flower garden, and can be cultivated by the cottager or amateur, as well as by the wealthiest. I think the most ornamental way to grow the Fern is to make a nice rockery; this can be done by procuring a quantity of rough stones and irregular pieces of wood; the situation best adapted to the growth of Ferns is rather a moist, well shaded place. An open north aspect is the best. First take and train up a quantity of soil to form a gradual slope, and then place a quantity of old stumps or roots of trees or anything, with a good number of rough stones, so as to give the slope a romantic appearance; then take some good strong loam, one-half loam, mould one-fourth, and one-fourth peat soil, mixing them all well together, and then placing it six or eight inches thick amongst the wood and stones.
This done according to any design, it will now be ready for the seed or plants, whichever is the easiest to procure. I think the seed might be sown at any season of the year, but seeds collected in the fall might be sown the last week in April, and you will have a quantity of interesting plants the same season. The following varieties are perfectly hardy and beautiful distinct species.
Aspidium or Shield Fern, A. dentatum, A. bulbiferum, A. fragile, A. lan-chitis, A. regium, A. cristatum, A. labatum, A. filix mas, A. fontanum, A. filix foemina, A. spinulasum, A. rhaeticuna, A. oculeatum.
Asplenium, Spleenwort, A, rata muraria, A. trichomanes, A. viride, A. mari-num, A. adiantum nigrum, A. ebeneum, A. alternifolium, A. lanceolatum, A. rhiza-phyllum, A. septentrionale.
Blechnum, Stone Fern, B. boreale, anoclea sensibilis, or sensitive Fern.
Polypodium, Polypody, P. vulgare, P. combricum, P. dentatum, P. dryopteris, P. auriculatum, P. virginicum, P. calearenm.
Botrychium, Moon Wort, B. lunaria, B. fumeriodis, B. dissectum.
Ophioglossum, Adder's Tongue, O. vulgatum.
Osmunda, Flowering Fern, O. regalis, 0. cirmamemea, O. claytoniana.
Lycopodium, Club Moss, L. selaginodis, L. alpinum, L. nudum, L. denticu-latum, L. obscurum, L. complanatum.
Scolopendrium, Hart's Tongue, S. vulgare, S. officinarum.
Adiantium, Maiden Hair Fern, A. capis veneris, A. pedatum.
Woodsia, Hyperborea, W. ilnense, Woodwardia virginica.
Pteris, Brake, P. aquilina, P. caudata, P. atrapurpurea, P. crispa.
I have noted a few of the hardy varieties, which, with a little attention, would have a pleasing effect. These varieties are quite hardy, being indigenous to the Northern States and Britain.
These plants are beautiful under greenhouse treatment, many of the varieties keeping their foliage all the winter. I hope ere long to see this lovely class of plants largely cultivated, so that we may keep pace with our brethren across the channel. I think there are a few of our gentlemen and ladies that will be able to appreciate the beauties of nature peculiarly displayed in this curious yet magnificent genera; there is room for considerable additions to the above selection, but it will be found to be complete in distinctness. Will not some of our lovers of nature's beauties take a step towards increasing this family? it is calculated to lead us to a meditation towards Nature's God, from whom we have such choicest gifts.