Answer: There are many different ferns you could use in a shady area, this sounds like a perfect planting site for ferns. Where they are happy, ferns will spread naturally so you may want to experiment a little at first to see which ones do the best in different spots and then add more of those. Most ferns prefer evenly moist but not flooded soil. In a wetter area you might use the cinnamon fern and royal fern (both types of Osmunda) which are both vigorous spreaders where soil moisture is abundant. Here are more suggestions from the National Arboretum. You may need to cut and paste the complete url into your browser to make it work correctly.
Enjoy your new fern garden!
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