News from Churchtown Fernery, Southport

It has been an eventful couple of weeks at the Fernery – we have cleared more planting pockets, put in some new plants, coped with heating pump failure, become ‘Dementia Friends’, and hosted a party of BPS members seeing the Fernery for the first time.
We were lucky that the weather has so far been quite mild for November, as the pumps on both of the heating boilers were found not to be working. Electric greenhouse heaters provided by the Botanic Gardens Community Association (BGCA) helped to keep the minimum temperature at 8 degrees C or above, and the pumps were replaced last Friday.
Clive has been hard at work clearing out the Cyperus from the pocket at the North East end of the Fernery, and Joan has finished clearing the pockets around the wishing well. Michael has donated several Davallias and Selaginellas that seem to be settling in well.

A gift of two Paphiopedilum insigne plants from Henry Folkard has expanded our small orchid collection. On Sunday we were pleased to add two plants of the giant horsetail Equisetum myriochaetum to the collection.

Last Wednesday there was an extremely useful ‘Dementia awareness’session in the cafe, and several of us became ‘Dementia Friends’. The Community Association is well placed to help improve the lives of people living with dementia by helping them to access and enjoy the park. The Fernery is a wonderful tranquil space, and many Southport residents have fond memories of it from their childhood. Sandra is putting together a ‘Memory Box’ of objects that will also help people remember their younger days and provide talking points.

On Sunday morning, BPS members from Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, and London visited the Fernery. Alison and Michael were taken by surprise when David Cobham, Chair of BGCA, made a speech and presented gifts as a thank-you for help in the Fernery. Very much appreciated! After that we gathered in the cafe for hot drinks and biscuits, and a good natter.

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