Synopses & Reviews
With their beauty and versatility, often combined with a toughness that belies their delicate appearance, ferns are among the most useful and rewarding plants that any gardener can grow. Ranging from diminutuve rock-garden gems to the stately tree ferns of the Southern Hemisphere, ferns offer a staggering variety of habit and shape. Their foliar color comprises not only endless variations of green, but also bronze, pink, silver, and blue gray. It all adds up to a dazzling array of choices, with new introductions pouring in from Asia and Central and South America to augment the already plentiful choices to be found among the more familiar species.
In the comprehensive reference, Olsen presents succinct descriptions, habitat information, and cultural recommendations for more than 960 ferns, nearly 700 of which are accompanied by color photographs. From Acrostichum to Woodwardia, Olsen leads the reader through every genus worthy of horticultural use. Early chapters focus on cultivation, propagation, and structure, and appendices highlight qualities that will enable gardeners to further refine their choices. Whether you are a beginner, a committed pteridophile, or anything in between, the expansive, well-organized, and lavishly illustrated volume will be the first place you'll turn to deepen your knowledge and appreciation of the fascinating world of ferns.
Gardeners who seek an up-to-date, authoritative guide to the wealth of garden-worthy ferns available today will find none better than Sue Olsen. Drawing from four decades of experience as a fern specialist, Olsen leads the reader through every genus with horticultural merit, focusing primarily on the temperate species but also including tropical ones. The remarkably comprehensive plant directory presents succinct descriptions for nearly 1000 ferns and fern allies from Acrostichum to Woodwardia, with habitat information, cultural recommendations, and help on plant identification. Chapters on the history, cultivation, propagation, and structure of ferns; a series of appendices highlighting plants mostly likely to thrive in various locations throughout the world and in special conditions; and lists (with contact information) of fern societies, places to see ferns, and specialty nurseries provide readers with everything they need to know to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of ferns. This expansive, well-organized reference is enriched with anecdotal insight and lavishly illustrated with 700 photographs.
An up-to-date, authoritative guide to the wealth of garden-worthy ferns available today. Contains succinct descriptions for nearly 1000 temperate and tropical ferns and fern allies, including habitat information, cultural recommendations, and help on identification. Lavishly illustrated with 700 photographs. A comprehensive reference for fern enthusiasts, shade gardeners, and designers.
About the Author
Sue Olsen has been studying, photographing, and writing about ferns for more than four decades. She is author of the award-winning Encyclopedia of Garden Ferns and through her nursery, Foliage Gardens, has introduced numerous ferns to horticulture. A founding member and first president of the Hardy Fern Foundation, Sue is editor of the Hardy Fern Foundation Quarterly. She is a graduate of Cornell University and lives in Bellevue, Washington.