The Fern Fairway in Summer

Cherry Ong, a frequent GPOD contributor from Richmond, British Columbia, has a narrow side yard in her garden that she calls the Fern Fairway. She always makes the most of this little space with a beautiful selection of plants, focused, as one might guess, on ferns and other shade-loving plants.

Today she’s sharing some photos of the garden as it looked at the height of summer last year.

This is the north side of the Fern Fairway, with its mainstays Leucothoe fontesiana ‘Rainbow’ (Zones 5–8), Athyrium ‘Godzilla’ (Zones 5–8), Hosta ‘Big Daddy’ (Zones 4–9), Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’ (Zones 5–9), and a metal fern ring.

Athyrium ‘Ghost’ (Zones 4–9) gets bigger and better with each passing year.

A longer view of this very narrow shade garden

Athyrium filix-femina ‘Dre’s Dagger’ is such a show-stopper. The first time I saw it was in Thomas Hobbs and Brent Beattie’s country garden, and it was love at first sight.

One of my houseplants on vacation

Fuchsia ‘Pink Marshmallow’ (Zones 10–11 or as an annual) brings joy to both humans and hummers!

Did I mention that it is difficult to photograph this corridor?

This planter is across the kitchen window. I tried something different this year and used square plastic pots as inserts. When the hostas went dormant, I replaced and rearranged the plants. This extends the season of the container without as much work for me. I can also bring in the annual ferns earlier.

I believe this is Asian saber fern (Polystichum neolabatum, Zones 5–9), a relatively new addition to the Fairway.

The delicate blooms of Cardiandra alternifolia (Zones 5–9)

Paris polyphylla(Zones 5–8) was a raffle win from a local garden club, and Tricyrtis ‘Renkaku’ was a purchase from a home plant sale by a well-known local gardener. I love the combo!


Have a garden you’d like to share?

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