A few months ago I put the word out amongst my gardening friends that I wanted to create a fernery at the back of the house, around the coin d'apéro. I asked if they had any little ferns that were surplus to requirements that I could use to augment the half dozen ferns I currently had dotted about the front courtyard. Thanks to Jill, Louisa and an unknown client of our professional gardener friend Nicole (whose husband Alex made the terrace) I received a lovely selection of hardy native ferns, and they've been settling in for a while now. To my surprise my friend Jean-Pierre, the retired director of the Parc Floral de Paris and an acknowledged fern fancier, said he didn't have any ferns in his garden. However, he had ordered one of each variety supplied by a nurseryman mate, and they were a gift!
Much of the garden at the back of the house gets no sun, or very little. The ferns should thrive here, and watering them should not be a problem. The next big challenge is planting out the section of the garden that does get sun, and where the soil is mostly clay. In the summer it is baking hot and dry, and in the winter, cold and wet. Nothing I've planted so far has been a great success. Ideas please?!