12 in - 24 in
Easy Care Plants
Part Shade, Shade
Dry, Moist, well-drained
Deer Resistance, Heat Tolerant
Clay, Normal, loamy, Poor, Sandy
Border, Foliage Interest, Outdoor
*Due to state restrictions we cannot ship to the following:
Canada, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
are such individualists. You'd think that planting different varieties from the same family all together in a group would make for a rather dull, if intense, planting. But no — each manages a distinctive look, and I for one would be hard pressed to tell you which was my favorite! No wonder the great Victorian gardener Gertrude Jekyll dreamed of a rock garden devoted entirely to Ferns, a "restful delight of cool and beautiful foliage."
Even if your garden space is limited, find a place in the shade for Ferns. They ask for very little care, and repay you with ease of growth and breathtaking beauty. Most are easily divided after two or three years in your garden, increasing your garden beauty without costing you a dime. Best of all, they add texture like no other perennial — graceful and airy, despite their hardiness and willingness to grow.
In this article, I describe the very best Ferns for your garden this spring. And if you're looking for a particular variety to plant in mass or to dot among your shade landscape, I've got some fine recommendations. Remember, all of these Hardy Ferns
are guaranteed to succeed in your garden, and if you divide them regularly, they'll "live forever"! Enjoy the ease and beauty of Hardy Ferns
in every shady spot.
Among the most popular and widely-grown in American gardens, Hardy Ferns
have come by their reputation honestly. An easier, more dependable, and lovelier Fern would be hard to imagine. The native North American species (A. felix-femina) is an absolute must for beginning gardeners, nearly growing itself. And the Asian species (A. nipponicum) contains the magnificent Painted Fern family, with some of the most beautiful frond colors in the world. The two species complement each other nicely, thriving in very moist to wet soil (waterside plantings are stunning!) and normal to alkaline soil.
In the wild, Ferns thrive in the dappled shade of the woodland, finding their feet in rotted leaves and other rich soil ingredients. Very few (Brilliant Fern is one exception) can tolerate dry soils, and all prefer a good pampering their first two years — lots of water and humus!
Work the soil well and deep before you plant your Fern, raising the bed at least 3 inches above the soil level. If you have heavy soil, lighten it with rotted leaves or coarse bark.
Ferns need both moisture and excellent drainage, which can be a balancing act — a good, rich mulch works wonders. If rot is a problem, make the mulch gravel or other coarse, well-draining material.
Plant your Fern very shallowly, with the crown flush with the surrounding soil.
Keep garden debris away from the base of your Ferns if you can. Rot can be a problem when the crown of the fern sits in stagnant water — though some, such as the Tatting Fern, will happily rest in an inch or so of water on the bank of a stream or pond. If you see signs of Rot, apply a fungicide and chances are your Fern will shake it off!
If possible, water the roots and not the fronds.
If your Fern is evergreen, you might want to thin the old fronds in spring as the new ones appear. At the same time, apply a new layer of mulch for the new growing year.
Every 2 or 3 years, you can dig up and divide your Fern into several new plants to share with admiring friends or to increase your own garden's beauty!
As the deer population has boomed and
food has become scarcer, they have become more aggressive. In some areas deer will
strip your garden bare, leaving nothing green or flowery behind. While there is no such thing as a completely deer-proof garden, there
are some effective things you can do to protect your garden from these
Use physical barriers A High Fence
Deer can jump pretty high, but a fence higher than eight feet (higher on an up-slope) and
flush with the ground will keep any deer out. Electric Fences
They are a much easier and less expensive solution. Deer generally
will not try to jump electric fences, but will rather try to climb
through the wires, receiving a deterring shock.Bird-Netting
An even less extreme
physical option is to put bird netting over your larger and more
Herbs, some conifers, and many flowers
are some of the best deer-resistant
plants. More fragrant plants will often deter predation. Planting just a few deer-resistant
plants will limit grazing of your other plants. Remember, "deer-resistant
" does not mean deer-proof. A hungry animal will eat just about anything.
Having a dog In the Family
Owning a dog, especially a big dog will almost always keep deer from approaching your home. Just the scent of the dog will keep most deer away, and if your dog lives outside you will probably never see any deer.
For most gardeners, it is a combination of different solutions that works best. Every gardener has to find the solution that works best in their garden.
Space plants according to the ultimate size of species you’ve chosen. Most hardy ferns
prefer a shady or partly shaded location, with soil that is light yet highly organic. Take care not to
plant crowns too deep – set them at or just below soil level. Mulch at planting time, and make sure
plants have ample water during the spring and early summer, particularly during the first few years,
when plants are establishing themselves.
We recommend that no fertilizer be
used on hardy ferns; mulching will provide enough organic matter. It’s best not to disturb the duff
(the layer of decaying vegetation that covers the soil around the plant). Overhead spraying from time
to time is beneficial. Divide as necessary by separating the rhizomes – this should be done before new
growth begins in the spring or, preferably, as plants go dormant in the fall.
A Tradition of Distinction
Since its founding in 1920, Wayside Gardens has brought the rarest and highest-quality plants to the garden market. Wayside was founded in 1920 by two acclaimed growers who came together to pursue their shared vision of marketing all high-end plants for the serious garden enthusiast. Originally located in Mentor, Ohio, Wayside Gardens swiftly grew a reputation for the highest-quality plants and the most sophisticated clientele. In 1975, Wayside was purchased by the Park Seed Company, and moved to Hodges, SC. The company has flourished since then, growing to become an undisputed leader in rare and unique plant growing.
Wayside's horticulturists travel the world in search of new and unusual plant cultivars and proudly offer the garden industry’s most sophisticated selection of high quality and rare perennial plants, bulbs, trees, shrubs, roses, vines, and indoor plants. Beginning with ties to the Dutch family bulb business in Holland, our horticulturists have developed close relationships with perennial and bulb growers throughout the United States and Europe, providing access to many rare and unique garden treasures. Throughout our history we have had the pleasure of introducing numerous exotic foreign and domestic plant cultivars to the American garden market. The Wayside collection of new and exclusive plant products is so preeminent that the catalog has long been lauded in the industry and is even used as a reference work in horticultural schools.
Impeccable Quality and Value – We Guarantee It!
At Wayside Gardens, “pedigreed plants” and “root strength” have always been watchwords. The Wayside Gardens impeccable plant quality begins with selecting only the finest new product offerings with improved plant features and numerous advantages for our gardening customers. These improved plant selections are then grown to our exacting quality standards by garden industry professionals. This produces superior plants with well developed root systems and healthy, vigorous plant growth habits. That is why we proudly guarantee all Wayside Gardens' products to perform as advertised, being of superior quality, true to type, and shipped properly.
Larger Containers & Well Established Root Systems
We use larger containers and grow bigger plants than other nurseries, leading to greater root strength. Where appropriate, Wayside Gardens propagates our plants vegetatively rather than from seed, to ensure the plants possess the correct form and are true to variety, like a true double form, as opposed to the single or semi-double forms that may result from seed propagation. Because we employ only the finest and most technologically advanced plant growing methods, you can be confident in receiving healthy plants ready to burst forth in glorious growth in your garden.
- Unique, well-established and vigorous growing plants offer greater value for your money than other nurseries.
- Dedicated to providing detailed plant care instruction and informative plant information to make your product selection and planting truly enjoyable.
- Trained horticulturists are on-call to offer you any help or advice you need on how to care for your plants.
- All Wayside plants are carefully packaged to ensure a safe arrival.
- Your plants will be shipped to you at the proper time for planting.
- Honored to be your first choice in horticulture.
- If your item has received our recommended care and still doesn't perform to your satisfaction, we will replace it free of charge or credit you the item’s cost.
- Wayside Gardens is committed to helping you make your gardening an exquisite experience.
Tips for gardening in particularly hot, dry climates: 1. Water with a drip system whenever possible – soak the bed slowly and thoroughly to a depth of 10" to 12".
2. Watering deeply every 3 to 5 days is preferable to a shallow daily watering.
3. Water in the early morning, so foliage has time to dry.
4. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch or similar material to aid in water retention and help keep the roots cool during hot weather.