Front Porch Ferns

July 24, 2013


Boston Ferns are on almost every porch in the South. But why would a plant with such literal Southern roots be named after the Tea Party City of the Northeast? Sources are mixed, but one explanation is that a new variety with gracefully arched fronds was discovered in a laboratory in Boston in 1894 – which is the same year Fairhope was founded!
Nice coincidence.
Mobile Alabama, Fairhope Supply Co.
Look carefully at these beautiful homes in Mobile, Alabama and you can
see their front porch fern – finery.
Historic home, Mobile AL
This family decided to place their ferns atop the bannisters instead of
hanging on the porch.
Every neighborhood has their rebels!
My Grandmother’s ferns were so amazingly large, people would borrow them to use as decorations for their wedding ceremonies. No florist in town could come close to her ferns.
large fern for a wedding, Mobile AL
Here’s a fern that’s wedding–worthy.
A small child could get lost in there.
old house Mobile Alabama
Boston Ferns are beautiful, but make a huge mess. Tiny little leaves flutter down to your porch and you have to continuously sweep. But for some reason, we keep putting them up.
Historic home Mobile AL
Ferns also grow wild in the ground in our tropical area. They spread and can be quite beautiful growing beneath a large oak tree. In some areas of Africa, the ferns are considered invasive and must be removed.
Southern ferns, Fairhope Supply Co.
Didn’t know that, did you?
(Thank you, Wikipedia)
Southern home Mobile, AL
The houses are lovely on their own, but Boston Ferns are the perfect finishing touch.
Like a strand of pearls on a Belle.

Southern porch Mobile Alabama, Fairhope Supply Co.

And this house gets the prize for the most beautiful front porch ferns. They are hung all the way down the side of the house along the driveway.
I wonder if they’ve ever been borrowed for a wedding?
  • Tara Gardner says:

    So beautiful. I’ve seen these homes, recognized them immediately. I’m a Mobile native and it never gets old seeing these beauties on Dauphin Street and Government and Springhill and more beautiful streets in our lovely city. Thanks for posting.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      So glad you found the post. I just love driving through that area and you’re right, it never gets old!

  • These are beautiful houses! Thanks for posting on Craft Frenzy Friday!

  • Those are some beautiful porches. I’ve never seen ferns as huge as the ones on that last porch! Thank you for sharing it at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great weekend!


  • The houses are so beautiful and the ferns are a perfect touch. Thanks you for beautiful photos!

    Have a blessed week,
    Linda at The French Hens nest

  • The homes are beautiful and I love the hanging ferns and landscaping! Thanks for joining the Open House party and I am now a GFC follower.
    ps: Fairhope is one of my favorite towns.

  • I love a great porch and you found some real beauties! The ferns really are the frosting on the cake.
    Thanks for the inspiration,
    Pieced Pastimes
    PS-Would love to have you link this up to Saturday Sparks. Links are open till Friday.

  • Fabulous porches! I’d love to have one with hanging ferns. That’s Southern with a capital S.

  • Those ferns are gorgeous! I always end up killing mine.

  • I am such a porch person! Thanks for sharing all these beautiful porches, and the ferns are gorgeous! Have a great day!

  • My grandmother always had a lot of ferns…dug from the woods and brought home 🙂 These are lovely views 🙂

  • Here in rural Ontario I grow ferns of all sorts. Some, it is true, make a terrible clean up mess….but I keep them anyway. Love them!

  • Anonymous says:

    The ones shown in your last pic “for the prize” are huge!! I’ve never seen them so big. Someone has a big ol’ green thumb 😉

  • How very beautiful. This is the first year I have not had all the ferns I have had in past years. Love seeing them here- xo Diana

  • Absolutely gorgeous! I love ferns, and I have the all over the place every summer. So graceful.

  • Beautiful historic homes, there’s nothing like the sight of hanging ferns on a veranda of an old home! Some of those homes remind me of the homes I showed on my current post, you should come check them out. 🙂
    Happy Wednesday,
    Gina at Victorian Wanna Be

  • I just love your blog. I can take a virtual trip home. It is wonderful. Front porches are the best and those beautiful ferns are the icing on the cake. Thanks!

  • You have posted a love of mine–porch ferns! In this shady valley they grow huge, so much so that it hurts to let the frost finally get them but there’s no summer room to overwinter them in. They really make a mess when we’ve tried to bring them in. I once hung one of ours in the shower where it thrived but it made shampooing difficult!

    I wonder if the owners of the beautiful porches you showed take theirs inside to a cool room over the winter or just start anew each spring? I would be happy sitting in a rocking chair on any of those porches Beautiful. I’m going to pin them for inspiration.

  • Awesomeness. I cannot stand the sweeping so mine is on the ground in front of the house and has naturalized. It has been there for years now and is creeping out all over the place.

  • What beautiful houses and ferns! I laughed about the tiny leaves and how we put up with sweeping them. When we bought our house 15 years ago, it came complete with Boston ferns. Summer starts at the Trammell House in mid-May when the porches are scrubbed down and ferns hung! And every year, the same fern has a new nest with baby birds.

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