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February 2018 - Starting work at Glashnaacre

After a really hearty full Irish breakfast we are all ready to get planting tree ferns at a garden in Glashnaacre, Ireland.

Once again the weather is great and we even have an enthusiastic local with a digger to help. Having quickly looked round the garden this is going to be a fascinating project.

This part of Ireland has a very mild and wet climate which means that a whole range of plants flourish here including a spectacular number of Dicksonia antarctica - which have grown by spore and flourished in great numbers.

The mild Atlantic coast of Ireland is perhaps the only place in the British Isles where tree ferns have established themselves and are now reproducing.  Given the size of some of the ferns they have clearly been doing this for many years.

The tree ferns are not the only exotics thriving.  There are great stands of Gunnera manicata everywhere.  When these are in leaf in the summer they must be quite spectacular.

Gunnera manicata has run wild here in the mild, damp conditions.  While it is still too cold for growth to properly get going there are already signs of the new leaves developing.

Some of these Gunnera crowns are 2-3 foot high.  This makes the average attempt to grow this in the garden look a little bit feeble!

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