Showing posts from January, 2019


I adore ferns, and I have always wanted to grow my own.  I have divided them before and whilst an effective way of filling a space, this doesn't provide me with the satisfaction I crave, that feeling of achievement, that sense of pride.   I am now attempting to grow some from spores.  Spores are essentially like seeds but really tiny and pollen-like.  They can be found on the underside of a ferns foliage, like brown Limpets  at the beach, clinging on for dear life.  Remove a leaf, dry it and voilĂ ! spores-a-plenty.    The difference between seeds and spores is that the latter grow differently, going through a prescribed natural cycle prior to becoming full ferns that can be planted out.  First comes a mat of green filaments over the soil surface, next gametophyte appear and as they increase in size and develop fronds they become sporophyte, the gametophyte foliage dies back, more fronds appear and these sporophyte eventually become ferns.   I realise from the process of co

Happy New Year

I've blogged about Birmingham Botanical Gardens before, its close and we really should visit more often.  New Years Day is an odd one, i'm usually in mental limbo between Christmas and an impending return to work.  My head is mushy and I just need to get out and be active to aid a return to the normal 8-4 working day.  Foregoing the usual new-years-day run (Doctors orders), we opted instead for a less demanding jaunt around the gardens. I've been spending most of the Christmas break being really poorly, planning a green and white border at home.  I have pretty much planned it all out.  I have chosen some of the plants by picking those that thrive in semi-shade.  R odgersia podophylla will provide the main structure.  I was happy to find a little black marker next to a a mound of growth indicating the existence of this dramatic plant on this visit.   The Melianthus major will be an addition to our own space in 2019, the flower spikes are an interesting characteri