Hi all my gardening friends.
I just had to tell you about my absolute favourite plant at the moment, my gorgeous Tree Fern or Dicksonia Antarctica as it’s often called.
Tania bought it for me on my 50th birthday when it was about 18 inches high. Now, 7 years later it’s grown into this wonderful specimen!
What I love so much about tree ferns is the wonderful contrast between the rich almost lime green leaves and the hairy, almost weird looking trunk! Tucked away in a slightly humid (when the sun shines) shady part of the garden, next to the stream, it just seems to love it.
It’s taken me a while to find the perfect growing conditions. Originally planted in a big clay pot I think it didn’t like the occasional dry conditions.
If you’re thinking about growing your own Dicksonia, my advice is take your time and find a spot with the perfect growing conditions. At upwards of £100 a go for a medium sized tree it can be an expensive mistake if you get it wrong.
I prepared the ground really well with loads of organic matter and removed as much as the chalky soil as I could. (One of the challenges of gardening in this part of Hampshire)
I keep it well watered, especially the crown of the plant where the fronds grow. I remove a few dead fronds each summer and it’s none the worse for it.
I don’t overfeed … every 2-3 weeks it gets a watering can of regular soluble plant food and apart from watering in dry conditions it pretty much looks after itself. What a plant!
For the last 2 winters it’s lived outside with little protection, other than what it gets from the hedge that is.
It really is the most wonderful addition to the garden. Oh, and make sure you buy from a reputable garden center as they have to be certified for sale in the UK.
It never ceases to amaze me how nature just seems to know what it’s doing. Give a plant the right growing conditions and it will give back many times over.
I feel sure you’ll agree the Tree Fern is a wonderful addition to the garden. Now all I need to do is save up for another one! 🙂
Hope you enjoy these pictures I took earlier today.