Today we’re back in Cherry Ong’s fabulous garden in British Columbia.
The side garden developed this year is entirely a shade garden featuring ferns. We had so many names for it, since it was a long narrow strip. We settled (for now) on calling it the Fern Fairway. The area is hard to photograph given its width.
To start the garden, I used some perennials that I was already growing in containers. I varied the heights of the containers to create more vertical interest especially at eye level, though I kept the diameter of the pots 14 inches or less so as not to block the walkway access.
The containers are varied. Some are finds from Craigslist, like the metal lattice weave urns; the others are plastic, ceramic, or galvanized iron. I did luck out by finding some corten steel planters made by very talented local designer Todd Holloway. For the most part, I tried to use what I had. I added some garden glass, metal buoy, souvenirs, and found objects from various places to add interest to the corridor. Of course, I couldn’t resist adding annuals because of the color and additional lushness that they bring.
Plumose soft shield fern (Polystichum setiferum ‘Plumosomultilobum’, Zones 6–8)
A heuchera brings warm foliage color to the Fern Fairway.
It isn’t all ferns in the Fern Fairway. Coleus brings bold color.
Maidenhair spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes, Zones 3–9)
Containers attached to the fence add height and interest in the narrow space.
Tuberous begonias (Zones 10–11 or as annual/tender bulb) add flowers to the mix.
The Fern Fairway is full of diverse foliage colors.
Rosy maidenhair fern (Adiantum hispidulum, Zones 8–10) gets its name from the pinkish color of the new fronds. Here the color perfectly echoes that of the heuchera it is paired with.
A Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum pictum ‘Regal Red’, Zones 3–8) also sits with a perfect heuchera companion.
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