The Borough Council have provided a mains water supply to the Fernery.
We are waiting for the big ‘switch on day’ to arrive, but that will not happen until we have installed a secure steel cabinet that will hide the stand-pipe and hose-reel.
As soon as that happens (hopefully within a week or so) we will no longer have to fill watering cans from our temporary 1000 litre agricultural water tank and perilously carry them around the site.
The hose reel will allow us to spray the ferns we have already planted, which will be a bonus for those on the rock face which are otherwise quite difficult to reach.
Specimen ferns which have been planted on the Grotto and the rockwork were purchased from Rochford Nurseries earlier this year, with funds generously provided by the Welwyn Wailers. We have also planted some 60 more ferns provided by members of the Welwyn & District Garden Club, who at their 2017 AGM were encouraged to split their own plants and donate them – which they did.
We will not plan to plant any more ferns until later in the year when it there will be more appropriate growing conditions.
It is also expected that as we understand which ferns prefer which position in the Fernery, then we will need to re-site them. We know that Anthony Parsons, the Danesbury Gardener who designed the Fernery with James Pulham II in 1859/60, spent as long as 4 years moving some plants around the site until he was satisfied.