It seems hard to believe that I'm starting a fern thread; I'm a total fern newbie! I love ferns, it's just that I know almost nothing about them, and until the last few years with some trees gaining size and shading effect, my sun-scorched hillside location was not very fern-friendly.
When I extended my deck, I wondered if ferns could be grown at the foot of the east-facing deck, getting full sun all morning but shaded from early afternoon and after. I worried because from 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM, it still gets blazing hot there. So I chose two ferns as guinea pigs, a hopeful guess on my part that ferns could survive this particular man-made position with only partial shade, but most importantly, shaded from the hottest afternoon sun. In 4 years hence, it seems to have worked out rather well; I'm prepared to put more ferns in a "decks edge fern row".
The two ferns chosen were Athyrium filix-femina 'Lady in Red', a showy selection from the New England Wildflower Society, and Dryopteris filix-mas 'Grandiceps Wills', a Male Fern selection with small pinnae crests and larger terminal crests. Both have done very well, although 'Lady in Red' can show some frond burn in the hottest weather... in fact I'm showing a photo of some burn, taken recently after a few days approaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but it's really minimal and does not seem to harm the overall vigor and beauty of the fern.
Please tell me about your favorite shade-loving ferns! And someone, please start a thread on sun-loving or xeric ferns.