Harry has drawn our attention to a very interesting piece named Frond Memories published by The Guardian on Sunday 1st September 2002, written by Monty Don, which is worth a read, even though written 15 years ago.
The theme of the article is that Monty Don has not always been terribly ‘lit up’ by ferns, but that he is ‘joining the fern fan club’.
Monty observes that ferns seem to be making a comeback, but he is adamant that ferns, particularly Tree Ferns, should not just be ‘plonked down’ but that they should be placed ‘in context’. In terms of our work to restore the Danesbury Fernery we should clearly be able to respond to that advice because if we are careful and responsible, our ferns should be able to be presented in the Victorian and Pulhamite context without too much trouble.
A few weeks ago Andrew drew our attention to the Gardeners World TV programme on ferns, (presented by Monty Don) and it seems that Monty Don, like all ‘fern amateurs’ has been drawn to Martin Rickards Plantfinders Guide to Garden Ferns (£13,99 David & Charles) and we are all encouraged to visit Rickard’s Hardy Ferns now named Bowdens Ferns.
It is no coincidence that as a result of Andrew’s recent quest involving the British Pteridological Society, Martin Rickard, has written personally to him about Danesbury, and he is complimentary about our recovery work. Martin Rickard advises that as soon as possible we need to get some ‘shading’ on the site as it is rather exposed as a result of our (essential) clearance work. Oddly he also advises against planting in Pulham’s fern pockets; advice which contradicts what we have previously been told.
But before you go out and buy Martin Rickard’s book, have a read of Monty Dons Guardian article.
At this rate we might all find ourselves becoming experts, in an amateurish sort of way.