Spring in Portsmouth 2021

I had a look in my polytunnel on the allotment on Sunday 12 April and noticed my Ophioglossum vulgatum was just coming up. Although not heated this is a rather protected environment, so I decide to check if I could find any plants at Hilsea. Here I found this patch

Also growing in the polytunnel is an Osmunda regalis, which I got from Portugal, along the river Duro. I am not sure if it comes up early because of its ancestry or because of being in the polytunnel. I have grown Microsorum diversifolium for many years both in the polytunnel and in my shade tunnels. It seems to prefer the polytunnel. This is the first time I have noticed it climbing off the ground

Southport Fernery news

Everything is growing very well in the Fernery, thanks to the constant attention from Gary and Sandra, and the heating system not failing last Winter. Michael and I went in on 7th April for the first time since last December, and were quite overwhelmed by the fantastic lush growth all around!

The weeds are growing well too – Gary tackled the south-west corner at the top of the wall by removing all the weeds, and the spent, dusty soil from the pockets. Then new compost and a Woodwardia in the deep pocket, transformation complete! Before and after photos below.


We are hoping to re-open the Fernery to the public from 17th May. BPS members – if you are thinking of travelling to see the Fernery, please let me know on President@ebps.org.uk so that we can make sure it is open and there is someone there to greet you.


Some better weather this Easter week-end, time to enjoy the spring blossom, and fern croziers beginning to expand. Some of them will need protection if the forecasted frost and snow returns later this week – I will be fleecing the Matteuccia orientalis for certain. Last year the first and second flush of croziers on this plant were frosted off, so I’m pleased it has survived.

Some BPS reminders – voting is open on our Photographic Competition page, and results will be announced at the virtual AGM on April 24th. If you would like to attend the AGM and the talks afterwards, please contact David Hill, Secretary@ebps.org.uk

Hope that we will be able to resume our face-to-face meetings later this year – look forward to seeing you!