Making Space

This week Dale decided it was time to remove one of our two Fascicularia bicolour plants which we have growing in the Tropical Fernery. As part of the ongoing improvements we make to the gardens every year, Dale has bought several new ferns to enhance the existing collection. However to make space for these new additions for Jen, our dedicated fern-loving volunteer, we have had to remove one of the Fascicularia bicolour so she can add them in.

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As you can see from the before and after photos above quite a lot of space has been made. The Fascicularia bicolour is a clump forming plant and we filled four wheel barrows with what came out.

We then split some of it up into individual plants and have potted these up into an extra sandy, free draining John Innes compost and will grow these on inside until they start to establish.

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We also used a couple of smaller clumps to fill up some space on the rockery at the top of the garden which sits above but adjacent to the Temperate Fernery. This is another area we will be improving over the next few months.

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It may not look exciting at the moment but the Fascicularia bicolour starts to shine in autumn when the normally olive-green, spiky leaves of the mature plants (generally from about two year old) turn a vibrant red and an amazing pale blue flower emerges from the centre. With age, the leaves will start to take on a silvery sheen.

Belonging to the Bromeliaceae family it originates from the coastal forests of Chile. It needs to be kept in well drained soil and in a sunny or part shaded position. It is hardy to around -15C as long as the soil is not too wet. Plant in a border or in a pot and enjoy.

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