Southport Fernery Progress

Following the visit from Louise Galloway and Andy Ensoll in March, there has been quite a bit of progress. An action plan has been drawn up and approved, and work has started on clearing weeds and invasive perennials. Where possible we are using biological controls for pests, so nematodes to combat vine weevil have been watered in over the entire soil area – most of a day’s work. One of the main challenges is to keep the fernery adequately watered, and a new lance acquired by the Botanic Gardens Community Association makes it possible to target the watering, so that the roots are watered but the crowns are not left soggy.
Invasive perennials have taken over large areas – for example, the Angiopteris evecta was almost obscured by Asparagus, now mostly removed by Sandra – thank you! Many planting pockets were occupied by umbrella grass – Michael and Sandra have made a good start on weeding this out, not an easy task. When we could see some pockets at last, we couldn’t resist transplanting a small Pteris that had been hidden behind other plants – and recording the first new planting. Aluminium plant has also grown out of control, so bit by bit we are reducing this too.

Lots more weeding to be done, before we can refresh the compost in the planting areas and start replanting in earnest. If you live near to Southport, and think you would be able to help, please email so that we can keep you informed of future working days in the Fernery.

Victorian Fernery in London

This house is owned by Lo Declercq and her husband Nick Bryant
Lo is the gardener and BPS members are welcome to view by appointment
The house was built as a gate-house in 1835 by the developer Thomas Cubitt, who developed Clapham Park as well as large parts of Belgravia and Queen Victoria’s Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. He was also responsible for the enlargement of Buckingham Palace
The Fernery was added in the 1880’s by an Austrian botanist and fern enthusiast, and was enclosed in a greenhouse
Through the arch is an outdoor fernery.
As you can see by the pictures there are still planting pockets in the wall and it is a listed site
There are a number of Dryopteris filix-mas and an unusual form, also a Polypodium vulgare has appeared in the rocks on the outdoor fernery
When the new houses were built it appears the greenhouse may have been removed

Fernatix gets Gold at Chelsea

This is the first time in ages that Fernatix have shown at Chelsea but they are regulars at Malvern, Hampton Court and Birmingham shows
They grow a lot of plants themselves and some of the plumosum Athyrium are worthy of a class of their own, perhaps “Plumosum Fernatix group”?
The guys deserve this gold, the stand is beautifully put together and different angles give you yet another vista framing different plants and the water feature in the middle adds yet another dimension
Well worth seeing if you get a chance

NGS Open Garden: North London May Bank Holiday Weekend

I’d like to inform fellow BPS members of my garden opening for NGS charities over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

Ferns form the backbone of plantings in the garden. I have around 60-70 different species & cultivars, displayed and used in a variety of ways.
Members may be particularly interested in seeing the vertical fern panels I have been developing over the past 4 years to increase the available space for exhibiting smaller ferns. These are home-made from 2inch fencing mesh lined with carpet felt. You’ll also be able to see the extraordinary explosion of native ferns & hart’s tongue cultivars that have appeared since I began daily misting of a tufa rockery two years ago. I need someone more knowledgeable than I to help me correctly identify them all
And have I mentioned the extraordinary profusion of home-made cakes that you can sit and scoff in the garden, (or indoors in our pop-up tearoom, if wet)?

The garden is open between 2 & 6 pm on Sunday 27th and Monday 28th
You can find us at:
36 Ashley Road
Crouch Hill
N19 3AF

All proceeds from the opening go to charities supported by the National Gardens scheme. Last year we raised nearly £2,000. Your visit could help us better that.
Feel free to bring along family and any friends who may be interested.

I look forward to welcoming you
Directions on how to get to us are on the NGS website.

Alan Swann