This summer I've been enjoying two foliage plants that have a similar look and feel but come from different families. Vacouveria hexandra, known as the "Vancouver fern (below)," makes a great groundcover in dry shade. This swath is growing next to an Arborvita hedge in a grove of River Birch trees so you know there is a lot of competition for moisture.
I love Adiantum pedatum aka Maidenhair fern. Years ago a neighbor gave me a clump and I've been a fan ever since. Two years ago I planted Adiantum Venustum (pictured below), the Himalayan Maindenhair fern. Though it has the same lacy quality, Venustum lacks the spiral shape of the tall fronds in the straight species. It grows instead in airy clumps that slowly spread out like a lacy groundcover. These are growing in a richer, more moist environment that the Vancoveria. I am quite pleased with it given the fact that its first two summers in the garden have both been hotter and drier than normal.
To find out what kinds of foliage appeals to other gardeners, visit Pam Penick at Digging for Foliage Follow-Up Day.