Combine these easy-growing plants to fill your shade garden with texture spring to fall. Delicate textures from fern-type make this a dramatic woodland garden.

By Jenny Krane
Updated May 23, 2019
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Two species of fern (and one species of bleeding heart with fern-like leaves) give this green, woodland garden a textured and interesting base. Other forest favorites like foam flower, spiderwort, and corydalis soften the edges of the garden and fill in the center, while also adding bright and pastel colors to the design. This garden plan has a rounded overall shape. It is perfect for a narrow bed along a walkway, or to serve as an island-like bed in the middle of the yard.

All of the plants in this garden plan are perennials, making this garden low-maintenance every growing season after the first. This one-time investment fills itself in year after year, and will only require deadheading and pruning to keep larger plants under control. Since these plant varieties are used to being in a wooded setting, they aren't complicated to care for. The best part? Some varies of the involved ferns are evergreen or semi-evergreen, giving the garden a little bit of color even in winter.

Free Garden Plan

Our free Planting Guide for this garden includes an illustrated version of the plan, a detailed layout diagram, a list of plants for the garden as shown, and complete instructions for installing the garden. (Free, one-time registration allows unlimited access to Planting Guides for all garden plans.)

Use classic woodland garden plants to create a full and colorful display of blooms and foliage.

Garden size: 5 x 6 feet

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Laurie Black
Ian Adams
Greg Scheidemann

Plant List

Related: Fern Care Guide

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