Thanks to all the lovely older trees and fencing at our house, a lot of our little garden is in deep, deep shade. I'm embracing this, and planting native ferns, and other shade-lovers. These plants are supposed to provide good habitat for wildlife. At the moment, they're providing a hang-out spot for the local feral cats, so I doubt we'll see a lot of birds moving in to our would-be fern grottoes.
I really enjoy the forms of the uncurling fiddleheads. I know that certain Eastern ferns' fiddleheads are edible. I ate fiddleheads from the local grocery stores, when I worked in Central New York. They were a fleeting springtime treat, coming at about the same time as garlic scapes.
I planted a few ferns last fall, and when they weren't devoured by slugs (like the Western Columbine -- alas), I planted some more last weekend. I'm trying to replace the invasive oxalis plants with more suitable -- and tough -- natives.
For most of this past year, I've been feeling terribly shy. It's time to unfurl. I've got to take a lesson from the ferns. Open up. Be tough. And flourish.