Let an ostrich into your plot; TOP 10 Hardy ferns.
Byline: Gardening, with Adrienne Wild
THE wonderful shuttlecock or ostrich fern is beautiful in spring, when the large, green, lacy fronds unfurl and filter the sunlight.
It is one of the best foliage plants for areas of moist, dappled shade. It works particularly well planted in groups next to water or in a woodland garden in between deciduous trees.
In among the plumes of pale green leaves - which can grow to a height of 90cm or more - the plants produce spore-bearing fronds. They are also quite distinctive, being stiffer and rather brush-like.
They persist over winter but those green, sterile fronds die right back.