Warmer winter days, like today, are perfect for assessing the landscape plan. If deciduous trees, shrubs and perennials dominate your space, your garden may seem to resemble a moonscape, devoid of life. I looked around our acre garden and found some spots where I could pop in more evergreen ferns. These 3 pictured survived the weeks of snow and 0° temps this month. Autumn Fern, (Dryopteris erythrosora) Tassel Fern, (Polystichum polyblepharum) and Champion’s Wood Fern (Dryopteris championii) anchor a shady portion of a new bed on our patio, backed up by a big deciduous Royal Fern.
Another favorite for winter color is Arborvitae Fern, also called Braun’s Spikemoss, (Selaginella braunii), which is neither fern nor moss, but a club moss, which is a fern ally. Giant forms of club mosses flourished during the Permian and Carboniferous periods, millennia ago, laying down beds of coal. In extreme cold, Selaginella is semi-evergreen, simply curling up its fronds rather than disappearing.
Other evergreen ferns include Christmas Fern, Dixie Wood Fern, Leathery Wood Fern and Holly Fern.