Home & Garden

Ferns deserve a spot in your shade garden

Ferns will look beautiful in your shade garden.
Ferns will look beautiful in your shade garden. Getty Images/iStockphoto

▪ I’m in love with ferns! These long-lived perennials deserve a prominent spot in your shade garden. These plants like morning sun and afternoon shade or shade all day. Ferns grow in a vase shape, but heights can vary. Some are evergreen, like autumn fern. Some are not, like painted fern. Check the labels so you’ll know what you’re buying. They are tough, hardy and easy to care for once established.

▪ What’s blooming? Gardenia, daylily, roses, hydrangea, oakleaf hydrangea, clematis, confederate jasmine, dogwood Kousa, privet and ligustrum.

▪ Add some landscape lighting to accent your home, trees and walkways. Check fernvalley.com for more information.

▪ It’s not too late to apply weed control to lawns. Read and follow directions on the label. Make sure the product is specific to your variety of lawn.

▪ Knowing how to plant, where to plant and what to plant can be a daunting task. Stop wasting time and money! Take a class, read a book or hire a landscape design professional.

▪ Plastic is out! As the hotter months approach, invest in a galvanized watering can. Watering cans are great to spot-water a container or plant, and they are an attractive addition to the garden. Buy as a can that’s as large as you can safely lift when filled with water. Spend a little more money and invest in quality.

▪ Prune azaleas after the flowers fade. Do not shear these plants. Prune individual limbs to keep the shrubs neat and tidy. Keep in mind that the best time to prune shrubs is after they bloom.

▪ Fertilize perennials with a slow-release fertilizer. Slow-release fertilizers feed the plants for an extended period of time, usually three to six months, and do not burn the roots and foliage of plants like some of the granular varieties.

▪ Humid weather often brings fungus problems to the garden. Powdery Mildew and Black Spot show up on the leaves of plants. Although rarely fatal, these diseases are unsightly and weaken the plants. Use a fungicide, such as Daconil, to control fungus problems. Buy disease-resistant plants whenever possible.

Todd Goulding provides residential landscape design consultations. Contact him at fernvalley.com or 478-345-0719.