Nestled down in a natural gulley is the restored Victorian fernery. A stone face of immense proportion forms the south wall of the building. To the side can be seen the original boiler house, now the tool shed. As you walk up the pathway to this magnificent building imagine hauling with you a supply of coke to fire the boiler as the fernery was heated in the late 1800’s.
Through the support of many organisations and charitable trusts this restoration project was made possible. It will be open to the public after the official opening on the 8th September.
Now an unheated house it is home to a newly planted collection of ferns. Some rising from the elevated sections of natural rock to the light of the glass domed roof. Others forming the ground canopy. One, Doodia media ssp. australis, was collected in Tasmania. This hard, rasping leaf when grown in full sun sends out pink fronds. This pigmentation acts as a form of protection for the new growth diffusing the bright light and preventing the foliage from shrivelling up.
Make a visit to Benmore Garden before 31st October to marvel at the restored Fernery and appreciate the planting within.
If you can’t make it across to Benmore, there is always the Fern & Fossils Glasshouse in Edinburgh.