This is a record of planting in the Fernery since 2016 – the list is presented against the backdrop of the Draft Planting List agreed in February 2018
This is the first draft planting list for the Fernery, produced by Sarah Marsh and approved by the Borough Council. It is planned that these will be purchased and planted in April 2018 – but some bare-rooted specimens will be purchased in February 2018 for earlier planting.
Overall Design Objectives
Perennials for the centre of the fernery which are in keeping with the Victorian era that the garden was created for and then leaching out with small shrubs i.e. Sarcoccoca, hypericum etc to the edges of the fernery with the larger shrubs and 2 or 3 small trees with a view to cutting down the wind but leaving various vistas open for the views
Violet odora. Purple
Denis canis. Dog tooth violet pink
Pulmonaria angustifolia azurea Lung wort
Erathroniums. Winter aconitie yellow
Crocus tomansianus. Delicate pale blue crocus
Hellebores orientalist. Lent rose evergreen
Libertia grandiflora evergreen
Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ evergreen
Nepeta racemise ‘Walkers Low’
Rosmarinus officinalis. Rosemary trailing and bush
Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’
Hostas large tough varieties
Geraniums various flowering varieties
Liriope muscari evergreen
Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’
Fushias hardy varieties
Asplenium scolopendrium Evergreen. Dry shade
Polypodium vulgare. Dry shade
Dryopteris felix mas. Dry shade
Matteuccia struthiopteris. Shuttle cock fern
Polystichum aculeatum Evergreen
Polystichum ‘Herrenhausen’. Dry shade
Trachycarpus fortunii. A Victorian must have !
Araucaria Araucanian. Monkey puzzle and another!
Ilex aquifolium Holly
Malus ‘John Downie’. Crab apple
Crataegus laevigata ‘Rosea Flore Pleno. Double hawthorn pink
Prunus Adium. Spring flowering
Euonymus Alatus. autumn colour
Cotoneaster frigidus ‘Cornubia’ Evergreen red berries
Viburnum x burkwoodii scented flower Spring
Viburnum Davidii Evergreen
Sambucas nigra ‘Instant Karma’ variegated elder
Hypericum ‘Hidcote’ yellow summer flower
Hypericum x moserianum
Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’ orange blossom flowing in May
Elaegnus x ebbingei. Evergreen
Ribes sanguinium ‘King Edward’. Spring flowering
Olearia x haastii. Evergreen
Scuba japonica ‘Roseanne’. Evergreen
Osmanthus x burkwoodii evergreen
Sarcococca confusa. Evergreen
Prunus Lusitania angustifolia. Evergreen
Viburnum Tinus. Evergreen
Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’. Red stem dog wood
Cornus stolonifrta ‘Flaviramea’ Green stem dog wood
Corylus aveliana Beech
Prunus Spinosa Black thorn
Viburnum oculus. Guelder Rose
Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’
Rosa canina. Single dog rose
Ligustrum ovalifolium. Privet
Taxis baccata. Yew
The Garden Designer
We are delighted to announce that Sarah Marsh has volunteered to be our Fernery Garden Designer.
Sarah has also agreed to be our Fernery Gardening Group leader and we will now more confidently build a Gardening Group membership who will work under her direction to achieve our goals. It is planned to promote a Saturday Gardening Group, but there will also be ad hoc mid-week meetings that Sarah will announce. (See the Calendar)
The Garden Plans
Sarah has received a brief from the Borough Council on those areas of the Fernery garden which should initially be developed and improved. These will be the beds associated with the dropping well, the bed under the hawthorn tree and the smaller bed below the lime.
Sarah will now work to produce the planting design for these beds, and draw up a list of the plants she would like to include. We will buy stock direct from WHBC’s main supplier for those plants, but Sarah will be free to source any of her choices that are not carried as stock items – and we might presume that this would include specialist growers.
Based on this exhilarating Management step, the WHBC have reiterated their intention to fund the purchase of the plants that are needed, ready for planting in April and May 2018.
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.