Here’s a fern and Heuchera foliage combination I planted a while ago in a shady corner that I’m really enjoying. At the back is an Athyrium ‘Ghost’ (ghost fern), and in front are two different coral bells, Heuchera ‘Green Spice’ and Heuchera ‘Cinnabar Silver’. I love the silver, purple and green colour scheme to these three plants.
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This is across the walkway from the garden under the evergreens, that I wrote about earlier. This section of garden is extra shady, since it is on the north side of my house with tall conifers. I rearranged this part of the garden bed, and added new Heuchera and the Athyrium ‘Ghost’ at the back in the corner. I’ve planted this fern in a few shady garden areas, since it brightens the bed up with the reflective silvery green fronds.
To one side in front are three Heuchera ‘Cinnabar Silver’ (coral bells). There are another three of these Heuchera across the walkway. This cultivar will stay fairly short, including the flower stalks. ‘Cinnabar Silver’ has a wonderful silver sheen, with purple tones on the leaves. The veins are a dark contrast to the metallic leaf. I admire the way this foliage looks with the silver fern.
On the other side in front are three Heuchera ‘Green Spice’ (also called ‘Eco-improved’). These coral bells have slightly silver green leaves with purple running along the veins, making beautiful patterns. The newest leaves have a red colouring along the veins. Around the edge of each scalloped leaf is a medium green band. The foliage of ‘Green Spice’ is fantastic, coordinating well with the woodland plants across the walkway, yet having a little extra dazzle.
The Athyrium ‘Ghost’ fern produces a good number of these light green and silver fronds. They develop a very lush look over the season, since they send up new fronds throughout the summer. It grows about 45 cm (18 inches) to 60 cm (2 feet) tall in my garden. This cross between Athrium filix-femina (lady fern) and Athyrium niponicum (Japanese painted fern) is a real winner, both beautiful and hardy.
I like the green, silver and purple colour scheme in this garden area now, and it coordinates nicely with the green, silver and white scheme on the other side of the walkway. The green and silver fern, green, silver and purple ‘Green Spice’ and silver and purple ‘Cinnabar Silver’ make an attractive trio. This fern and Heuchera combination can handle the shade cast by the house and trees, and provide beautiful colour with their foliage all season.
Here are some more photos and information about coral bells in my garden, including Heuchera ‘Mint Frost’, and Heuchera ‘Plum Pudding’. You can see the flowers of ‘Cinnabar Silver’ in this article, and here is a comparison of the different Heuchera foliage.