Wessex Meeting July 23rd 2016

Saturday 23rd July 2016

Those attending the meeting were:-
Jo and Ashley Basil, Tim Pyner, Julian Reed, Peter Tindley, Steven and Karen Munyard, Gert Jan van der Kolk, Roger Golding and Jane Markovic

We were welcomed with a drink at on arrival at 11.00.

The morning was spent in the garden at Waterlooville. I did not know that one could grow so many ferns in one garden and still have space for banana plants ( in fruit!!), as well as lawn to walk on to see the many, many fern species and some cultivars. The garden was beautiful and functional designed with enough space to socialise as well.

Give or take about one hundred different fern species that are planted to make the garden a real show piece, rather than just a collection. Many great ferns where grown here like many Polypodiums and Polystichums with good specimens of all the Woodwardias. These Ferns were inter planted with almost any other hardy species from around the world you can think of, even the very choice natural hybrids where present amongst these the extremely rare Dryopteris x picoense and Polysichum x maderense as well as superb specimen of our native Polystichum x bicknellii. Andrew must have one of the largest collections of ferns species in the country and I consider there on the day very lucky to see such a great collection of hardy ferns. It was even better to see them all looking superb looked after and in such a wonderful display!

Florida laid on a superb buffet lunch. It was one of the most complete lunch buffets I have seen in a long, long time. Different sorts of bread with meat and different salads, fruit, home made cakes, you name it! Thank you again for providing us with such fantastic lunch.

After lunch Andrew went around the garden with a spade and bags, and many of the visitors went away with big smiles on their faces and lots of new ferns to try and grow in their own gardens.

Gert-Jan van der Kolk

After lunch we drove in convoy to Andrew’s allotment in Portsmouth.

It is a few years since I had last visited and the whole area with tunnels and surrounding areas well matured with large palm trees, Arundo donax and Euphorbia stygiana. All of the fern species were growing well and enjoying the weather this year.

We were given a tour of the shade and poly tunnels seeing more than a hundred fern species. Some particularly noteworthy are Adiantum formosum, Blechnum appendiculatum, Blechnum australe, Blechnum cordatum, Cystopteris diaphina, Dryopteris crispifolia, Hypolepis rugulosa, Ophioglossum vulgatum, Paesia scaberula (2 forms), Polystichum drepanum and Trichomanes speciosum (growing under a dome).

This was followed by Andrew showing his well known generosity sending members away with bags and pots of ferns to add to their collections.

Some of us then continued to Southsea sea front to examine the ferns growing epiphtically on the Phoenix canariensis palms. We noted six species: Dryopteris dilitata, Dropteris filix-mas, Asplenium scolopendrium, Asplenium adiantum-nigrum, Polypodium interjectum and Polystichum setiferum.

We then returned to Waterlooville for refreshments and then headed for home.

A wonderful day for all who took part.

Steve Munyard

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