North American woodlands provide plenty of fern species and many of them are suitable for garden use. Ferns easily create the backbone of your shady flower bed or woodland garden. Their decorative leaves contrast wonderfully and they also accompany other woodland perennials. It may take a while until they establish, but when they do, ferns will become reliable and long living perennials. Some can be considered ground covering plants, and yes, some will tolerate a small amount of sunshine if enough soil moisture is provided.