• susankavanagh

Fernery

I have a lot of shade in my garden and it's tricky to find plants to grow there.


About a year ago I bought a couple of ferns from Catisfield Garden Club's annual auction and decided to use them as the basis of a fernery, adding one other fern from a garden centre. Unfortunately, the location I initially chose was used as a shortcut between different parts of my garden and the ferns kept getting trodden on, in addition to which it was next to my "wild" area so had a tendency to become overrun with ivy and brambles. Believe it or not there are 3 ferns in the photo below: an Asplenium scolopendrium (Hart's Tongue Fern), a Polystichum setiferum (Divisilobum Group) 'Herrenhausen' and a Dryopteris atrata cycadina (Shield Fern).


A few yards away was a more suitable area, but as you can see it needed clearing:

6 hours of heavy digging later, the original area had turned into a neat path while the new area was clear and ready for planting:


I moved the three mature ferns and added three more from a garden centre: Asplenium trichomanes, Athyrium felix-femina Frizelliae (Tatting Fern) and Dryopteris erythrosora. Then about a week later I visited the Solent Gardeners' Fayre and purchased 3 more ferns from speciality company Palms-Exotics Ltd: Pteris umbrosa fern (Jungle Brake, the least hardy fern in my collection but it's in a sheltered position so I'm keeping my fingers crossed), Athyrium niponicum var. pictum 'Red Beauty' and Dryopteris Sieboldii. Here's the end result:


Hopefully over the next few months these ferns will establish a spread to make a great display.


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