A neophyte tries pyrrosia spore collecting in situ

I noticed that some of my pyrrosia are sporing.  If you are a fan, maybe yours are too.  Possibly because they spent so much time in my garage over the past few weeks, but they seem to be popping today.  (LOTS of snow and cold in the Pacific Northwest in February and March.)  Even one pyrrosia in a pot that never came inside during the cold and snow is very ripe.  I remember them taking me by surprise about this time last year, when they were pretty much done.

Not wanting to sacrifice any of my precious pyrrosia fronds, I decided to try and cover them with paper envelopes to do the collection; it’s fortunate that there’s no rain in the forecast.  We’ll see.  After one day, there is some collection from one; I’m afraid I might be too late for the rest.

So, pyrrosia is moved on my “Sporing Calendar”, I pulled it forward to start looking around March 5th.

Just passing on if you are into collecting.

by Nancy Strahle

We Have A Winner!

Richie wins
Richie Wins!

Richie Steffen, President of the Hardy Fern Foundation, brings home the blue ribbon beating Ciscoe Morris in what is being called a grudge match. Congratulations on beating a very worthy and seasoned opponent at the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival in the Container Wars competition.
Joining Richie in his celebration is partner Rick Peterson, author Sue Olsen and her daughter Kris and son Greg.

Happy New Year from HFF!

Adiantum aleuticum subpumilum
Adiantum aleuticum subpumilum

The Hardy Fern Foundation greets 2019 and wishes you a Happy New Year!  The days are getting a little longer and brighter, and HFF’s 30th Anniversary Year begins! We are excited to reach this milestone, and look forward to celebrating with special events and historical flashbacks!

Stay tuned, and thanks for your interest and support!


Good speaker, good food, good company!

Susie Egan presents at the 2018 HFF Fall Social

HFF’s annual Fall Social last Saturday was a great success! Susie Egan, an HFF board member, great speaker, and the energetic owner of Cottage Lake Gardens, spoke about the Gardens and combining ferns with stunning companion plants (non-ferns).

HFF members and guests also enjoyed a potluck lunch and a display of fern fronds.  The frond display, curated by HFF president Richie Steffen, is always a favorite element at this event because it showcases the freshly cut fronds of about two hundred different ferns, all in one place.  Rare potted Pyrrosias were a special addition.

This year’s Social also doubled as HFF’s Annual Meeting, with the election of officers, board members, and a recap of Hardy Fern Foundation’s past year and future directions.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this event special, and especially to our board-member coordinator, Linda Pyles.  It takes a lot to put our Fall Social together, and Linda does a fantastic job.  Thanks, Linda!

HFF’s Curator to present on Fern Day at RSBG’s Fall Foliage Festival

Osmundastrum cinnamomea, Osmunda claytoniana, Disanthus cercidifolius

The Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden’s annual Fall Foliage Festival will be from Saturday, October 20th through Saturday, October 27th, 2018.

Saturday, the 27th, is Fern Day at the Festival, and the Hardy Fern Foundation’s Curator, Jo Laskowski, will give a short presentation, “Fern Sex for Dummies:  How to Talk to your Fern about Sex” and lead a tour of the Stumpery.

Fern focused schedule on Fern Day, October 27:

  • Discover and learn more about the fascinating world of ferns growing in the RSBG’s woodland gardens and the Hardy Fern Foundation’s Victorian Stumpery.  Stick around to make your own sun print with ferns – while supplies last!
  • 1pm: Fern Talk by Hardy Fern Foundation Curator Jo Laskowski in Pacific Bonsai Museum Pavilion
  • 2:15pm: Tour of Victorian Stumpery by Jo Laskowski (meet at Pacific Bonsai Museum Pavilion); Fern Sun Prints on RSBG Terrace

During the Festival, gate admission to the RSBG is suspended–it’s a great time to get in to the garden and wonder at the splendor of fall colors.  And maybe pick up a new plant or two (including ferns) in the RSBG Nursery!

You can find more details on the RSBG website: RSBG Fall Foliage

We had a great Fall Fern Sale at the BBG

Beautiful ferns and fern fans!

We had a fun and successful day at the Bellevue Botanical Garden last Saturday.  Thanks to all those who came and shared, learned, and purchased ferns! It was a beautiful selection of ferns.

And thanks to all the volunteers who helped make the sale such a success!  See you next year!

Take-down crew, HFF Fall Sale at BBG, September 8, 2018

2018 Fall Social and Annual Meeting

Polystichum polyblepharum
Polystichum polyblepharum

Members and their guests are invited to our annual Fall Social and Potluck Lunch!

October 20, 2018
11:00AM – 3:00PM at the Bellevue Botanical Garden
12001 Main Street, Bellevue, WA 98005


  • Guest speaker Susie Egan: Creating a Woodland Fantasy Garden: Combining Fantastic Ferns with Great Plants for a Fabulous Effect. Learn creative and beautiful ways of using ferns in the garden by combining them with equally stunning companion plants.
  • A Fern Frond Showcase by Richie Steffen, Director/Curator of the Elisabeth C Miller Botanical Garden
  • Fern Sale with experts on hand to answer your questions.
  • Book sales and signings of The Plant Lover’s Guide to Ferns by Sue Olsen and Richie Steffen and Encyclopedia of Garden Ferns by Sue Olsen.
  • Potluck Lunch, please bring a favorite main dish, salad, or dessert to share.

RSVP to Jo Laskowski at with the number of guests and the type of dish you plan to bring.

Hardy Fern Foundation’s Fall Plant Sale – almost here!

Fall both excites and relaxes – and brings great plant sales!

Even with cooling daytime temperatures, turning leaves, and the smell of fall in the air, we have still-warm soil and the prospect of helpful rain showers.  All together, a perfect combination for planting and the HFF Fall Fern Sale.

Saturday, September 8, 2018
9am – 3pm
Bellevue Botanical Garden
12001 Main St / Bellevue WA 98005


From 4” pots to 2-gallon pots, there will be plenty of sizes and types of ferns for you to select!  Here’s a sampling:

  •    Adiantum (maidenhair fern)                      
  •    Arachniodes          
  •    Dicksonia                                    
  •    Dryopteris (wood fern)                
  •    Asplenium                                               
  •    Matteuccia
  •    Athyrium (lady fern)
  •    Polypodium
  •    Blechnum                                                
  •    Polystichum (shield fern)
  •    Cyrtomium (holly fern)

 There will be plenty of expertise on-site for you to tap into, plus tee-shirts, coffee mugs, and books available!   Good parking, easy carry-out.

Fall Distribution happens soon

HFF’s 2018 Fall Distribution is coming!  Members and Affiliate Gardens should be on the lookout for an email with the listing of ferns available this year.  We anticipate the list will be sent in mid-August with shipment in mid-September.  The dates will be updated when more information is available.

Woodwardia unigemmata
Woodwardia unigemmata