Ferns Add Interest to the Shade

Posted By on Apr 24, 2007 | 2 comments


I just recently helped a friend install a koi pond and waterfall in a shaded area, and we had to find the perfect plants to accent the new feature. We relied heavily on ferns for interesting foliage, and we learned a little along the way.

Growing up, my grandmother always had ferns hanging on her porch and a few larger ones in her shade garden near the woods, but they all looked very similar to me. But, I am starting to discover that ferns are a varied and colorful bunch. The asparagus fern for example, something I had never seen before (I now own two of these), has very fine feathery foliage and is a real eye-catcher in a hanging basket.

There are also many new foliage colors from the silver-green foliage of the Painted Fern 'Silver Falls to the brilliant Fern Burgundy Lace. Ferns are fairly strong and don't mind growing in the shade. Ferns are some of the oldest plants on earth, so they should be easy enough to grow. If they survived the extinction of the dinosaurs they should survive you. They are resistant to extreme weather, poor dry soil, and some cultivars are exceptionally deer resistant.

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