It is the time of the year when the shuttlecock fern fronds are uncoiling from the crown of its dormant self. The emerging fiddleheads create a ring coming out of the ground to resemble a shuttlecock, giving it its name. For me, it doesn’t evoke images of badminton but gives a glimpse into a prehistoric time when ferns ruled the plant kingdom.
This deciduous fern spreads through rhizomes that if left can create established populations. With its tolerance of damp shade it suits a woodland garden or a damp bed well. Once the fronds emerge, they expand to an eventual height of a meter or more and stand quite vertically, giving a soft yet architectural dimension to a border.
Words by Sam, photographs by Hannah