Ferns Make Interesting Foliage Plants!

Walking around the garden this morning shortly after the rain was wonderful leaving everything smelling fresh, dripping with raindrops with the plants looking totally revitalised too.

I set about my speed gardening as usual, weeded first then tidied up some ferns by cutting away the old tatty fronds followed by clearing little poplar tree twigs from them.

Its amazing what you find deep down in the centre of ferns, a little nature hub of wildlife including snails too, makes life so much easier when you suss out their hiding places.

To me the garden is one very large multidimensional collage of colours, shapes and sizes of foliage. They don’t have to fit perfectly next to each other, but intermingle contrasting and complimenting one another to form a rich tapestry of colourful interest as they grow through the seasons.

Some of the most dramatic plants aren’t the biggest or those with blousy flowers, but are fantastic foliage plants like ferns and hostas.

There’s something almost alien-like about ferns to me and in spring their new tightly curled fronds unfurl themselves showing off some of the most intricate leaf patterns. They look perfect too when partnered up with other plants like hostas, epimediums, tiarellas and pulmonarias in fact just about anything that enjoys their growing conditions.

In and around my little woodland/wildlife garden are various forms of soft shield ferns with beautiful uniformly cut foliage that grows out like a shuttle cock, they can grow quite large, but mine don’t because the ground is dryer, but have been in there for years and look happy.

At the base of my first planted Photinia Red Robin is a Hart’s Tongue Fern called Asplenium scolopendrium ‘Angustifolia’. Its newly curled fronds emerge from the centre opening out into strap-like rich dark green leaves with crimped outer edges. Its not as tall as the soft shield ferns but still dramatic in it own right amongst the other foliage plants where it is.

Another cultivar is Asplenium scolopendrium ‘Cristatum’, this one has bright green leaves with wavy margins but instead of being pointed at the ends like the other are uniformly crested at the tips, very pretty and distinctive too where its planted near a golden variegated holly bush on a short stem.

So when you choose your garden plants look carefully at the leaves, colour, shape etc. and think how well they will fit with others in your garden.