Growing a Shady Fern Garden
Growing a shady fern garden and how to harvest your own unique varieties from the wild.
Hi friends, today I am going to show you how I harvested these lovely ferns from the wooded creek area from behind my house. Then I replanted them into pots to start growing a shady fern garden on my lower terrace patio. First of all let me say if you have no idea what you are looking at or doing, this may not be a good project for you. You could end up digging up things you do not really want to be growing in or around your home.
Like the episode of Schitt’s Creek where Johnny Rose cuts poison oak for the floral arrangements, such a classic! As an previous girl scout in my youth, my merit badges do pay off and I do know exactly what I am looking at; so it saves me a bit of time. You can download a plant identification app, which is helpful too. These pretty shade plants are called Red Trillium ferns. Fun little factoid we almost bought a beautiful craftsman style farmhouse on Red Trillium Ridge, located in Big Canoe, when we were shopping to build to the home we are currently in now. Below you can see a great example of a Maidenhair fern, which we were able to harvest from the lower portion of our yard. We are lucky that they are growing very plentiful in that area, along with the Lady fern and Cinnamon fern. That allows us to easily dig up a few and never miss them. I added the ferns in clusters to my vintage crocks, that do not have drain holes, which is perfect for the wet bog loving plants. They will also look super cute on my red truck porch too. I added some dried sheet moss to the tops of the planters, just to cover the soil and add to the woodsy feel. You can also harvest the moss as well by digging up a thin layer of moss with a flat head shovel. I just happened to have this floral moss on hand, which can be revitalized once placed in a living planter. I used three different sized crocks to house the various sized plants, and I even added in some of my existing mums from last fall. I had replanted the mum’s down at the wood line at the end of the season last year and they were already coming back. After I got all the pretties planted in their new homes, I grouped the ferns into a cluster so they could fill in as they grew throughout the season. As you can see my mums have decided to go ahead and blossom even though it is the middle of the summer. To which all I have to say; it has been a very strange growing season this year. I do however, like the unexpected bright orange blooms, they are very nice and do add a touch of color to my otherwise very monotone green planter display. Plus my red trilliums have continued to bloom and send up new fern shoots as well. Along with new fern fronds on the cinnamon ferns, which have added some fun and pretty visual interest as well to the planters.I also added in a sprig of variegated English ivy for a little bit of evergreen draping to overhang the crocks which is a perfect addition to these shade loving plants.I hope you have found some inspired shade garden ideas and now if you see some wild growing ferns at the edge of your property, you might be inspired to dig up a few and pot them for yourself to create your own fern garden. Honestly this actually how a lot of the gardeners propagated the wild and native growing plants in beginning before local garden centers.
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I love all the greenery from these plants. Appreciate the tips.
My sister would die for this garden! So pretty
This is quite informative. I’ve seen these around but had no idea what they were or could be used for. Nice garden shade by the way.
I love the idea of a shady fern garden! I sometimes don’t have a lot of luck with plants so hopefully these tips will help!
What a great idea! I’m always looking to brighten my home with more plants!
I like ferns but have never grown them. Do you know that ferns are one of the oldest plants living more than million years ago before the evolution of other vascular and flowering plants?
This is beautiful! Wish I could grow ferns where I live! Do you think they would grow in hot Arizona weather?
Nishtha, I did not know that,and what a fun factoid! You always know the coolest stuff my friend, thank you for sharing that information!
Vidhi you might be surprised, with the proper shade and wet, moist soil anything is possible. They would be lovely around a covered fountain area or maybe a koi pond?
Great tips! Love these ferns so gorgeous
So beautiful and doesn’t seem too difficult for me to maintain!
I wish that I had a green thumb