In the front of my home off of the corner of the
porch is a very shady area where I have made a
small pump fountain or pond.
I had the usual Hostas and wood ferns planted
there along with Astilbes for early Spring color.
Of course shade loving Impatiens were planted in
containers to add color for the Summer but I wanted
a plant that would last Spring into Fall with some color
and texture, so I planted two Japanese Painted Ferns
in the bed. They have grown larger each year and are
just the plant that was needed for this spot around the
The Japanese Painted Fern, Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum',
is a low maintenance, deciduous fern with soft
grayish-green and silvery dark maroon foliage. Being
the Perennial of the Year for 2004, one can see
why. ‘Japanese Painted Fern’ has a plant spread of 24”
and a height of 24” and a must to any garden. Japanese
Painted Fern requires full shade, however, small amounts
of afternoon sun give the most vibrant color to its foliage.
A well-drained area is best, not allowing
it to dry out.
Perfect as a border plant, planted near streams or
ponds or as an accent plant. I have also since added
Jack Frost Brunnera to the bed to help light up the shady