Ferns are cool. Take advantage of the uniqueness that the native ferns offer. Ferns (especially the native varieties) easily acclimate to most  gardens and survive even harsh winters.

The Red Fern grows with elegance in your garden. One variety in particular is Blechnum  spicant (deer fern). It is smaller than a sword fern but still evergreen. The  fronds are more rounded than a sword fern. It will grow to about 24 inches in  the shade when well-watered; or in light sun – but it will stay smaller.

seeing a giant sword fern in the wild, but for a garden, where space is  limited and native plants are your preference, this is a perfect fit.

Adiantum pedatum (maidenhair fern) is another native fern  along  coastal regions. It is very delicate as it grows on thin black stems to about 12  inches before the canopy opens up. Moist soil is preferred as long as it drains  well. It is deciduous, so you won’t see any foliage in the winter, but once the  temperature rises in spring the new fiddleheads will start to push out in a soft  pink color. Protect it from high winds, due to its delicate stems.

Polypodium polypody (leathery leaf fern) is also  a native fern. This fern has a waxy  texture and grows on bluffs along the coastlines and oceanside forests. It may take almost a year to get it to a full size in a quart-size container. But once  mature, it was worth the wait. There are other polypodium varieties, but this  one is much more compact, and keeps it color much better.

Remember that ferns that are hardy here prefer the shade. Some will grow in  sunnier conditions. Filtered light would be  best.

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