Maidenhair fern at the hundred fountains ,Villa d'Este, Tivoli ,Italy
One of the memorable gardens to visit is Villa d'Este at Tivoli outside Rome where Maidenhair fern can be seen growing profusely out of rock crevices and clothing the fountains. The local species does much the same thing if given half the chance and only really needs the occasional cut back of old fronds to keep it looking good. After recent rains and milder temperatures, it is sending out a flush of pale new growth and looks exceptionally fine and delicate. It is actually quite a hardy plant though and 'goes to sleep' during dry periods coming back to life when conditions are right. It will even tolerate a position in sun without any burning of the fronds. Cutting it back to ground level seems to be the way to go if it ever looks tatty as it will quickly come back to life when conditions are favourable.