We have a rather dark damp corner to the house on the North-East facing side. In high summer, such as we get here, the place gets well lit, and that's when I took the pictures, but it's generally a bit dark for most plants. We decided therefore to plonk in a few ferns and make a virtue of neccessity. The rocks were just lying around, being left over from the rockery and the odd tree stump from my large scale weeding.
    The ferns die back quite a bit over winter but grow bigger each summer. Various frogs and newts have made the patch their seasonal home and there has been some sign of hedgehogs wandering over, in search of slugs and snails, from the nearby woodpile where they have been known to hang out. I haven't seen any recently, apparently there is something of a national decline.
    The picture directly below are is from near the fern garden rather than in it, but looked nice so I included it anyway. Believe it or not there's a pond in there somewhere, but life tends to get a bit enthusiastic in summer. Fiona will know the names of the colourful stuff in the other picture, and if I remember to ask her I'll add that later. Iris and Acer Palmatum apparently.
    Being of an idle nature I feel that letting plants do what they want is the best policy, and don't trim or tidy any of the garden much. (if at all) Certainly no mowing of lawns. A quick bit of strimming where there are nominal paths for humans and the occasional tree felling when they get too big. Fiona of course, does most of the real work, including weeding, but I try to make it maintenance free where possible. 
    The wildlife seems to approve and most of the year, especially spring of course, it is positively echoing with chitter and squeak as nature impells each life form to threaten, kill eat, or impregnate everything else. The downside, if there is one, is that if we stop doing anything, nature would take about a month to make the place look pleasant, full of wildlife, but long abandoned. The upside is the same. 
The Fern Garden