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Learn more about ferns

  • The stem of a marginal wood fern in the Northampton garden of Anne Lombard. <br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Anne Lombard holds maidenhair fern in her Northampton garden. <br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Anne Lombard of Northampton walks through her back yard garden thick with ferns. <br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • A crested wood fern in the Northampton garden of Anne Lombard. <br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • An oak fern in the Northampton garden of Anne Lombard. <br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Ferns make up a large portion of Anne Lombard's back yard garden. <br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • A long beech fern in the Northampton garden of Anne Lombard. <br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Anne Lombard turns over a Braun's holly fern to reveal the sori, or spores, of this fertile specimen. <br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • The underside of a Braun's holly fern is covered with sori, or spores, on this fertile specimen. The appearance and placement of the sori can help identify a fern.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • The underside of a narrow-leafed glade fern in the Northampton garden of Anne Lombard. <br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Anne Lombard holds maidenhair fern in her Northampton garden. <br/>KEVIN GUTTING

Whether you want to add ferns to your shade garden or simply desire to learn how to identify them in the wild, here are two upcoming programs:

∎ “Discovering Native Ferns,” Garden in the Woods, Framingham. Aug. 3, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with Don Lubin and Ray Abair, fern enthusiasts.

Learn to identify more than 20 common ferns of New England through a lecture, slide show, drawings and microscopic examinations followed by a field walk through the garden, which is the home of the New England Wild Flower Society. Fee: $72, members $60. Register online at www.newenglandwild.org.

∎ “Fabulous Ferns,” Sept. 21, 10 a.m. to noon with Anne Lombard at the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton. Fee: $15, members $10.

Learn about 30 species of ferns and fern allies like club mosses during a field walk through the woods and meadows of the sanctuary. Pre-registration is required. Call 584-3009.

A recommended guide to ferns is “Ferns of Northeastern and Central North America” by Boughton Cobb, Elizabeth Farnsworth and Cheryl Lowe for the New England Wild Flower Society, published in 2005.

Related

350 million years and counting: The unusual life cycle and history of ferns

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The surfeit of water in June caused some plants to rot, much to the dismay of local gardeners. Before the current heat wave, however, ferns were thriving. “They are very happy this summer,” Anne Lombard of Northampton, a local fern enthusiast, reported in early July. Lombard has a small fern garden in the backyard of her downtown Northampton home and … 0

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