Florence's Haven

Karin's Sun Border

Mary's Meadow

Nectar Garden

Polo Pony Bed

Pump House Garden

Spalding's Path

Spruill Woods

Tack Shed

Walnut Grove

William's Hillside


Ernest's Fern Swale

Christmas fern Christmas Fern
Polystichum aristichoides

Arching fronds, 1 to 2 feet long characterize this common evergreen fern. It is excellent to plant on slopes where it helps stem erosion. It prefers moist woodland settings but will adapt to drier conditions.

     Master Gardener Ernest made the most of a low spot in the cleared portion of the McFarlane woods by planting it with evergreen ferns and assorted small shrubs.   This river of ferns implies a waterway where there is none.
     Future plans for this fern swale include a viewing platform overlook from an adjacent pathway.
    The swale has become home to several old gates found on the property, added for visual interest.
  Ernest Arvesen, a longtime volunteer at McFarlane, passed away in November 2017, leaving us with his horticultural legacy that includes a small grove of chalk maples from his own garden and the fern swale. A dogwood tree has been planted in his honor.
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