Ferns in the garden add structure to the garden with their varied leaf colours and textures. Ferns are used to bring life to shady problem areas of the garden where most plants cannot grow. The budding foliage in spring creates a sea of lush green new growth that can be used as a foil for other plants to excel.
Ferns as a plant group thrive in moist soil and shady places, but some varieties can handle higher light levels and drier soils.
Dryopteris ferns are a group that can handle drier soil conditions than other varieties.
Ferns such as Athyrium's and Dryopteris filix-mas benefit from growing in sunny places.
Ferns are low-maintenance plants that require little pruning throughout the year, apart from an annual clean-up involving the removal of older spent branches.
Popular ferns available year-round at the Boma garden centre in Kentish town are Dryopteris (wood ferns), Asplenium (Hart's Tongue fern), Polystichum (shield fern), Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern), Osmunda regalis (king fern).