Yes, they are almost all some shade of green, and yes, they generally have a certain “ferniness”—soft texture, narrowly triangular, pinnately compound fronds coming from a clumped or creeping underground rhizome—but ferns are also beautiful, undeniably alluring, and truly a calming and unifying presence in the garden.

In many ways masses of ferns do for the shade garden what grasses do for the sun, harmonizing and uniting disparate colors and textures in a perfectly natural way. In fact, a shade garden without a good complement of ferns is simply incomplete.

~William Cullina–Native Ferns, Moss & Grasses

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