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My Favorite Ferns in NC Gardens and Why

I tend to incorporate ferns into designs for shady sites, especially for properties with deer. My favorites happen to be cold-hardy in NC, plus range in size, color, and texture. Read on to learn about my favorite ferns and why I like them.
Autumn ferns are one my favorites. I like this fern for the size (3’x3’), which is useful when filling in shady areas. Mostly, I choose Dryopteris for the seasonal color. The fiddleheads offer a bronzy color in spring. In fall, the foliage changes from green, to orange and finally bronze.

Holly ferns are a good option for leaf size and shine – their large glossy leaves are very showy. I like to combine holly ferns with a shiny leaved plant in another area of the garden, like a Camellia. They’re also a nice addition to a wet site or rain garden.

Tassel ferns are a great fern for smaller areas. They are slow growing and only reach 2 feet in height. I especially like to use tassel fern for their ruffled texture.

Interested in adding ferns or other shade plants to your landscape? Contact Bright Leaf Landscaping at 919-619-4460 or fill out our online contact form. Design and installation are our expertise, and we are always happy to meet with new clients to discuss potential projects!