Ferns will thrive in those shady spots that are otherwise often difficult to fill. Most of those listed here are evergreen so will do their useful thing whatever the season or the weather.
Or to put it in more understandable terms, the Forked Hart’s Tongue Fern. This evergreen beauty sports leathery rich green strap-like fronds, heavily divided with crested forked tips. Eye-catching and guaranteed to provoke comment from visitors to your garden. Best in light to full shade. Likes rich soil. 2 feet. 2 litre pot.
Known as the Japanese Painted Fern because of the silvery metallic colour that the fronds develop, contrasting nicely with the reddish hue of the stems. It won't come as a surprise then that it is also known as 'Metallicum' - different name, same plant. A very attractive fern, happiest in light shade where it will grow up to 18 in. Lime-free soil. 2 litre...
There’s something rather exotic about the appearance of this fern – it looks as if it should be an indoor specimen, but it’s actually extremely hardy. Big, bold, flattish evergreen and pleasingly symmetrical fronds bring a touch of drama to a shady corner. Often called the holly fern, and it's easy to see why. Likes a humus-rich soil. To 15 in. 2 litre pot.
The legendary Tree Fern. You will have seen these in garden centres as hugely expensive soft trunks topped by ferny foliage. Well, this is your chance to take on an exciting long-term project! We offer young plants, just beginning to develop a trunk, which will eventually reach 20 feet in height. Will tolerate some direct sunlight. Acid soil. 2 litre pot.
As with many ferns, the name is a bit of a mouthful, so it’s easier to call it the Shuttlecock or Ostrich Fern. It grows into a magnificent specimen, like a huge shuttlecock, with fronds sometimes reaching 5 feet. Forms little colonies by lateral roots. Best in light to full shade. Lime-free soil. 2 litre pot.
The American Sword Fern is perhaps the very best of the evergreen ferns, with imposing arching fronds that taper to sword-like points. Will create a real focal point in a prominent position. Easy and undemanding. Best in light to full shade. Likes a humus-rich soil. 3 ft. 2 litre pot.
This is the soft shield fern: it is evergreen, with attractive feathery, finely dissected fronds, and the ability to take quite a lot of sun. Best, however, in light to full shade. It is quick to establish and will form quite a striking clump to fill a spot that other plants might spurn. Likes a humus-rich soil. To 36 in. 2 litre pot.
A very attractive form, this is the dwarf soft shield fern: it is evergreen, with triangular very upright fronds that are dense and overlapping, hence the name. Given its size, best to plant it where it won't be overwhelmed by larger neighbours. A tidy fern that won't get out of hand. Best in light to full shade. Any reasonable soil. 12 in. 2 litre pot.