As summer comes to a close, many plants have been performing all season long and have begun to look tired. An exception to that expectation is the shade-loving, groundcover alternative fern. Ferns add great texture and structure the understory of your tree canopy. A selection still looking good under the Metsequoia Allée is the Japanese beech fern.
Japanese beech fern (Phegopteris decursive-pinnata syn. Thelypteris decursive-pinnata) displays a very unique blend of lance-shaped fronds in both upright and arching positions. This vigorous spreader forms runners, but is never a thug. Referring to it as a groundcover would be pretty accurate.
The graceful fronds with lighter green undersides lend brightness to shady gardens, and pair magically with plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) and Great Expectations hosta. This deciduous fern generally grows 12-24” tall, and performs best with consistent moisture and good drainage. It’s a wonderful addition to the shaded border or seasonal planter that still looks good at the end of the season.
Members can select their own Japanese beech fern as a plant dividend at the Fall Celebration on Sunday, October 16. Join today to get this garden gem for your shade garden.