Fiddle Heads

This post, “Fiddle Heads” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

A favorite shade garden plant is the Holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum).  I have them all over the garden.  I got my first ones from my dad.  He had them growing on the north side of his house which was very shady due to the high fence and house next door.  There was an edging made of bricks that surrounded the bed.  Because the bricks stayed damp most of the time, this is where the spores from the ferns would rest and begin to grow.  He would carefully peel off the small heart-shaped plants that would develop into the holly fern.  He would plant these and keep them well watered.  Soon they would begin to show the fronds and look like a regular holly fern.  He gave me many of his “babies” to put in my garden.


I was thinking of this the other day when I took this picture of the fiddle heads that just started showing with the warmer temperatures we have been having lately.  All of my ferns in my garden came from him.  I have a few ferns that I have found growing on a brick planter by the entry garden where I have several of these ferns.  I was happy to see that I must have the same growing conditions that he did.  I have potted them up just like my dad did.  Soon they will be large enough for me to give to my daughter. 

So just like the cycle of the seasons, I am continuing the propagation of these wonderful, evergreen ferns like my dad did, and maybe one day my daughter will do the same.



  1. jodi said,

    March 4, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    A lovely post…I’ve had to go down into the woods by the clearcut (grrrrr) and dig up a couple of holly ferns to put in my shade garden. They pouted for the first year but seemed to have taken hold last year, like the ostrich ferns did. I have high hopes this spring!

    They should do well. They are tough plants.

  2. Brenda Kula said,

    March 5, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Well, depending on her age, that is. Daughters don’t appreciate the same things we do until they reach a certain age, I’ve discovered. I have two grown daughters, and they’re just now beginning to notice the things Mom grows. And they’re 29 and 33! I thought it would take them forever to discover what I have always loved and savored about nature. And to think about putting beauty in their own gardens. Hopefully, your’s will catch on earlier than mine!

    When my daughter was about five, she said she wanted to be a plant lady when she grew up. Well, she became a teacher, and gardening wasn’t her “thing.” But now that she has her own home, she is doing more and more gardening. So, I am hoping that she’ll keep the holly fern tradition going.

  3. Randy said,

    March 5, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    I lover ferns and I had purchased several different types that are now gone. I don’t have any shade at all left, and I’ve never heard of fern that could take full sun. How wonderful that you have ferns are from your father.

    Yes, Randy, those ferns from my dad are special. Some of my holly ferns do get full afternoon sun. If I keep them well watered, they do fine. You might want to try one to see if it will do okay for you.

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