Today I went for my first serious walk in months around Buriton This particular place is very good for Asplenium scolopendrium, which looks at its most spectacular when all the other vegetation around it has died down
Also in this area is one patch of Asplenium adiantum-nigrum. This fern is common growing in walls in Hampshire but is rare growing in the ground. It also looks its best in winter
In my last post on this subject in December 2019, I noticed that repairs had been made to the railway bridge and seemed to have wiped out the Adiantum capillus-veneris However today when I looked at the wall it seems that several new colonies have appeared
This post is about how I sow the spores I have received from the BPS Spore Exchange using a method decribed to me by Steve Munyard To this end I bought 50 small square pots from ebay . They are rugged and microwave proof
I fill 20 of these with cheap compost from Wilkinsons and place them in a large propagator I fill the propagator with water to about 1cm I replace the lid and and leave for 24 hours for the compost to become fully wet
After 24 hours I put each pot singly into my (dirty) microwave and cook on full power for 2 minutes I take the pot out and cover with cardboard and replace in the propagator Again I replace the lid and leave for 24 hours to cool down
The spore packets that arrive from the BPS are beautifully wrapped in aluminium foil I unpack them carefully using a scalpel
Eventually you will find the spores inside
I keep the propagator in my conservatory and I take one pot, one at time, into the kitchen where I unwrap a spore package and place it carefully into the pot and then replace the cardboard and replace it in the propagator
Eventually the propgator has all 20 pots and the lid is replaced
Both the cardboard and the aluminium can be removed in 24-48 hours
Steve tells me that the only additional thing he does is to have artificial LED light on top of the propagator as this seems to speed things up. The lights are on for 10 to 12 hours a day My propogator is in my conservatory which has quite a lot of light
This table shows all the countries in Europe (and surrounding area) It is sorted by default in the order of the number of ferns in each country but it can be sorted in any order you like by clciking on the title of the column you are interested in The data for the fern count comes from Hassler, Michael (2004 – 2020): World Plants. Synonymic Checklist and Distribution of the World Flora. Version 11.1; www.worldplants.de
Progress has continued at the Fernery, despite the difficulties caused by Covid and lock-down. Sandra and Gary have kept up the watering and weeding, and recently a broken-down planting pocket has been re-built, using lime mortar. Michael has added many more plants to the wall pockets, when regulations permitted him to return to the Fernery. The Cyatheas that were colliding with the roof have been removed, and new tree ferns have put on good growth. The park and BGCA were successful in their bid for the ‘Community Green Flag’ award, at the first attempt – very well done! The park remains open, and a new stumpery is being established not far from the Fernery. The Fernery was briefly open to the public in the Summer with a limit of six people inside at any one time. The doors at the north end have been repaired so that a one-way system can operate – the hope being that the Fernery will be able to open to the public again from Easter.
The Fernery is also home to flowering plants, with orchids, epiphyllums, Christmas cactus, clivias, and passion flowers to name a few. The established ferns are thriving too!