Japanese Painted Fern adds a fine texture to the mix. It also offers a new color; the silvery-green fonds are flushed with burgundy-purple, adding depth and dimension. Happily, Japanese painted fern is slow-growing, so it won't take over the garden in the way some old-fashioned ferns can. Name: Athyrium niponicum pictum Growing Conditions: Shade and moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter Plant Size: To 1 foot tall and wide Zones: 5-8
For front shade bed: Ghost Athyrium Lady Fern Plant. More tolerant of dryness than most ferns with a beautiful, rare silvery-gray foliage so luminous it almost glows in the shady bed. Wonderful color to contrast with the blues, greens and purples on other plants. Moderate growth rate, reaching 2-3' tall and 18" to 24" wide after several years. $15.00 for 1-quart pot.