Old Friends, New Fronds

IMG_4135 Boston fern close up of frond

It seemed to happen overnight, although it didn’t of course. These fronds of mine have been friends for years.

I’ve been in my small apartment now for five years. And some of you, gentle readers, have shared my journey as I have striven through thick and thin.

One of the things I left behind from my old life was a huge hanging basket of Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) which graced the bottom deck of our house. It was a much remarked upon focal point. Determined to replicate that success, when I moved house I purchased another much smaller one and planted it in a terracotta pot, hanging baskets no longer being part of my plan.

I envisaged its long arching fronds gracing a corner of my terrace on a tall planter stand from which it could drape its gorgeous emerald green foliage for best effect and my delight. Yes I know. All a little romantic. And for a long time the fern failed to thrive.

But now, five years later (not quite overnight) I’m close to fulfilling the dream. When I look out the window or sit on my terrace, I’m reminded of other Boston ferns, other places, other lives. Friends, fronds, they blur into one. I ponder on the need things have – beyond sustenance and nurture – the need for time in the process of thriving.

IMG_4134 Boston fern

I like the idea of having old friends in new places. 


The Boston fern is not the same one, but then I’m not the same person.

There is some growing to do – for both of us.

Reality is only what you imagine it to be.


“Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.” 

― Lewis Carroll

“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?” 

“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.” 

― John Lennon


25 responses to “Old Friends, New Fronds

  1. What a lovely restful corner. We need the green to balance out the colour in nature, much as we need the quiet to balance out the noise. Time for me to cut back all my ferns which are now well and truly blackened by the unusual zero temperatures in this part of the country.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought of saying (about myself), “It’s hard not to have a frond in the world.” But then I realized that I have at least one frond of a friend . . . Or is it, a friend of a frond? Well, no matter. It’s just nice to know that frondships can survive all sorts of dislocations, not to mention weathers. I may even become fond of these fronds, now that I can visit at will.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have a tree fern growing in a corner of my garden which always looked poorly. I planted a ngaio tree near it – rashly, because they grow fast when young, and can grow huge, but there was nowhere else for the ngaio to go – and the tree fern took on a new lease of life. It must have been getting too much sun pre-ngaio.

    Now I can scarcely see it behind the ngaio, but I know it’s happy.
    I’ve always suspected that ferns are somewhat secretive.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think you’re right, Denise! Ferns are mysterious, secret even. They hold the knowledge of ancient times close in their spores. They obviously make friends though. The ngaio being one. I know the cold weather variety thrives best in the damp cool sunless forests of southern Australia.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Plants do have a mind of their own, don’t they? I like this: “But then I am not the same person.” Like you, I get a rush of nostalgia at the sight of particular plants. Agapanthus are forever associated with Great Aunt Cos, so posh in her mansion with its huge hillside garden. A plant with a nickname: Aggie’s Pants! As children we found that hilarious, of course. How shocked she would be now that those agapanthus are designated weeds in certain parts of New Zealand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aggie’s Pants! I love it! And I love those banks of strappy leaves topped with Star of Bethlehem flowers. Another name for them here. I have childhood recollections of them being the best place to find snails – among the clumps.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Juliet I’m delighted my post resonated with you. I appreciate your kind comments and plan to visit your blog soon. It’s interesting that reflecting on the lessons I’ve learned and the process of formulating these things into a post reassured me how far I’ve come. So it’s a two way street 😊. I’m planning on a visit to your blog as I think we may have things in common. Thank you for taking time to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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