Volunteers from the Botanic Gardens Community Association and garden staff met in the Southport Fernery yesterday morning for a question and answer session with Louise Galloway and Andy Ensoll of the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. They gave us invaluable advice on watering, feeding, weeding, planting, and pest control, to help us to restore this historic fernery to its former glory. John Wilkinson of Plant Heritage was also able to join us to advise on how to go about establishing a National Collection of plants in the Fernery.
Over two days, Louise and Andy looked in detail at the current planting, and were able to make specific suggestions about which plants will best tolerate the conditions in the different areas of the fernery. They also gave us practical information on the best composts, feeds, and pest control agents. We are hugely grateful to them for their time and for sharing their expertise – we are now in a position to make a detailed action plan for the coming weeks and months. There is a lot of work to do – I will be documenting progress on this blog, and also on our ‘Fern World’ Facebook page.