The “discovery” of foliage as accents in the perennial garden has led to incredible developments in ferns, hosta, Heuchera, and Pulmonaria among others. In fact, for certain perennials, the focus has been more on innovations in foliage than in the flowers. This has been especially true for the shade loving perennials – this is why I said you are blessed! Shade gardeners can take advantage of this and plant some extremely exotic foliage plants
Ferns are a wonderful addition to the shade or woodland garden. They intrigue us with their form and grace. Their leaves vary in color and texture from the delicate, lacy, light green fronds of Lady Fern to the bold, leathery, deep green fronds of Christmas Fern.
For me, ferns evoke memories of quiet walks through the misty woodlands of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The cool, moist forest floor is covered with an abundance of different ferns. I have tried to replicate that same feeling in my own shady woodland garden. Ferns, hosta, and wildflowers abound – but the ferns are the highlight. Their great diversity in foliage is a wonderful compliment to the large-leaved hosta, Pulmonaria, Polygonatum, and Dicentra. In the early spring, the emergence of their fascinating fiddleheads provides additional interest in the garden.
We are offering some wonderful new ferns at Viette's. Come see these unique varieties with variations in leaf and stem color and texture.
Lady in Red Fern, Athyrium felix-femina ‘Lady in Red’, has the same light green lacy fronds as the native form but with contrasting red stems. These beautiful ferns are delightful in the shady border or woodland garden.
Ghost Fern, Athyrium nipponicum x felix-femina, is a pale silvery green hybrid of Japanese Painted Fern and Lady Fern - stunning in the garden.
Also new at Viette's is the beautiful variegated East Indian Holly Fern, Arachnoides simplicor ‘Variegata’. This outstanding fern with dark green leaves and a bright yellow midrib makes a stunning accent in the shady border and the beautiful fronds are excellent for use in fresh flower arrangements.
The Hardy Holly Fern, Cyrtomium fortunei, is another new addition to the fern collection at Viette's. This unusual evergreen fern has shiny, dark green, holly-like leaflets and makes a wonderful groundcover or accent plant.
Tassel Fern, Polystichum polyblepharum, is great for naturalizing. This beautiful fern has coarse, glossy, dark green foliage that adds wonderful texture to the woodland or shady border garden.
The very colorful Japanese Painted Fern, Athyrium nipponicum ‘Pictum’ was voted the Perennial Plant Association ‘Plant of the Year’ for 2004. Elegant fronds with silver, red, and green variegation make a striking addition to the shade garden.
Autumn Fern – Dryopteris erythrosora
Ostrich Fern – Matteuccia strutheropteris
Cinnamon Fern – Osmunda cinnamonea
Christmas Fern – Polystichum acrostichoides