Create a Garden Showplace with Ferns

Trees, perennials, annuals, and showy shrubs can bring interest and beauty to your landscape.

Fern Garden

There are wide different varieties of ferns that you can consider purchasing. Some specimens will only grow to a mature height of 6-12 inches. You can also find numerous varieties that will reach heights of 3-5 feet. Think of the beautiful garden silhouettes you could create when incorporating several different ferns into your designs.

When you grow these plants, you will most appreciate their feathery, delicate shapes. You can blend New York ferns with your perennials and add wonderful texture to any garden bed. Remember that the New York ferns typically act as a ground cover. These plants have a scent reminiscent of fresh hay and prefer to be in a moist environment where they will only be exposed to filtered light.

Choose an Ostrich fern, a maiden fern, or a stately Royal fern, and add these specimens to a shady area of your yard. Ostrich ferns are tall and graceful, with fronds resembling an ostrich's elongated feathers. In northern climates, you can plant these in the sun or shade, but an Ostrich fern needs protection from the sun if it is grown in the southern states. The shapes and colors of these ferns can make that hazy, shaded piece of ground one of the most attractive features in your landscape.

Some ferns produce small flowers, but these flowers do not appeal to gardening enthusiasts. Look for colorful pink or yellow flowers on the common Bracken ferns that grow wild in some wooded regions. If you are looking for a few graceful specimens, choose a Cinnamon fern, a Holly fern, or a Christmas fern to add to your yard. Ferns have earned a place in the landscape because they provide unusual textures and are easy to care for throughout the year.

Combine ferns with Creeping Jenny and Mallow to create a lovely boundary around the edge of a pond or stream. Mix a few feathery plants with hardy perennials such as Bee Balm, Geraniums, and Sedums. The ferns will add height, visual interest, and unique texture, making even the most miniature garden bed more appealing.

You can find ferns for any area of your yard, but a Christmas fern or Japanese Painted fern will undoubtedly appreciate being placed in the partial-to-full shade. Even those challenging-to-plant areas around the roots of trees can become home to a group of ferns. In return, the ferns will serve as unique ground cover and bring visual interest to an otherwise empty spot in your yard.

Ferns do much more than offer visual beauty. These plants require very little care, and many species can withstand drought, freezing temperatures, and hard frosts. Ferns supply ready to cover for birds and other small woodland creatures. These plants are also excellent for sustainable gardens because of their low water requirements.