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The Hardy Fern Foundation Turns Twenty

Articles: The Hardy Fern Foundation Turns Twenty

Dryopteris blandfordii in a garden with a white Trillium chloropetalum and a ground cover of Blechnum penna-marina. Photographs by Richie Steffen
When one thinks of ferns, a picture of lush abundance comes to mind of cool shady woodland settings and delicate fronds covered in dew. In these days of strong emphasis on foliage and texture in the garden, it is hard to imagine that, not so long ago, plants as useful as ferns were hard to come by in any variety, even in the Pacific Northwest where ferns could easily be a regional symbol (just below the Douglas-fir). Except for offerings from small specialty mail-order nurseries, little more than a handful of native ferns were available. Occasionally, one could find dried up hunks of root sealed in a plastic bag hanging from a store shelf proclaiming to contain a fern of great beauty; unfortunately, many of these bags held little more than imminent compost.
A group of experienced and passionate gardeners wanted more. So, from among a small but dedicated group of Seattle area fern enthusiasts, the Hardy Fern Foundation (HFF) was formed in 1989. In the past twenty year...

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