Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Grannie’s Fern

About 60 years ago, my grandmother brought an asparagus fern from her home in Kentucky to our home in central Florida. There it grew in the ground along side the old stucco garage accompanied by ten foot high poinsettias and glass lizards—which Mama abhorred but that is another story. The fern was completely happy in the sandy soil and all but ignored. When I went away to FSU, I took a piece of it for my dorm room window. I was such a novice gardener that I put it in a glass canister that had no drain-holes. I guess it only survived because I also planted it in only the sand from which I had dug it. And survived it has. Thirty-eight years later, I still have it---the same plant. It is in a three-gallon pot now and usually lives on our screen porch. Right this minute, though, it is on our hearth to protect it from the temperatures in the 20’s.


Long-time readers will know that we grow flowers that I enjoy making into bouquets and giving away. When my niece got married, I took an arrangement that included some of Grannie’s fern. That would be her great-grandmother’s fern. When our son got married, I made a large table arrangement for the rehearsal dinner. I included some of Grannie’s fern.

Grannie’s fern is a Protasparagus setaceus and  not actually a fern. It looks extremely delicate, but it has turned out to be extremely tough. Grannie was kind of like that.


Maybe it has to do with the thorns? Chances are pretty good at this point that Grannie’s fern may well survive us all. I hope someone will remember to put some in my funeral flowers when the time comes.

1 comment:

Island Rider said...

I have that same fern in my yard, a cutting from my own grandmother's as well. Here, it does not get as cold as up there so it can stay outside. It got scorched a little in last year's freeze, but came back fine. I call it by a different name though, Maiden Hair Fern. that's what my grandmother always called it.