Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Tree Fern or telegraph pole ?

The Exotic Gardener (aka my partner) is celebrating his birthday today with a very apt present, which he chose himself a couple of days ago. He is partial to the exotics - palms, Tree Ferns, cordylines  etc - and wanted a new edition to his sub tropical garden

Across the great divide of the River Humber is a nursery which sells just what his heart desires, so we went along and he chose a whopper of a Tree Fern. When I asked if it would fit in our hearse-like estate car, his affirmative reply was not delivered with confidence, but with a bit of a squeak!

We made an interesting addition to the queue for the till -  him, me, a strong assistant and a horizontal tree fern on a trolley ! A couple standing behind us prodded it gingerly with their fingers, and enquired if it was alive or dead. Then I heard the man say, under his breath, that it looked more like a telegraph pole than a tree. I see just where he is coming from !

I then became intensely interested in a stand of birthday cards, until I saw from the relieved expression on the strong lad's face that the Tree Fern had actually fitted into the car. It may have fitted into the car, but I did not. I spent an uncomfortable journey home being sandpapered by the trunk every time the car braked, and squeezed into a ridiculously small space every time we cornered. Finally we arrived home and that is where the fun really began!

Yes, this is how we transported it , with one pushing whilst the other steadied ... and, yes, it is heavy !

I had a stroke of genius and positioned the little wheeled pot-stand for it to travel on, to its temporary destination. The idea was good, the pot stand was weak, and it collapsed straight away under the weight .

Also note, photo- bombing by dog number 1, while dog number 2 was hovering about behind us, hoping we would step backwards and trip over him.

At last, here it is in its temporary position, as, when all risk of frost has gone, we somehow have to get it all the way down the garden .

But, just look at the fronds on that ...

And just look at the Tree Fern dust in that ...

Take it from me, the birthday boy had to give the car an extra long birthday hoover ...

Still think a telegraph pole would have been easier !


  1. Oh, my gosh! I was laughing at the thought of you being squeezed while riding in the car with that thing! I think at some point we have all bought a little more than what is safe to travel home with. And then the dog being in a position to trip anyone that steps backwards. Why do they do that?!! But I absolutely love the tree fern! I don't think I've ever seen one of those. SOOO interesting, and beautiful. But - does it have roots?

  2. Hi HG, thanks for your comments.Our dogs plot together to trip us up, I am sure, as it is all synchronised ! The TreeFern has roots but the root system is, very weirdly, are in the trunk. It can be transplanted very easily, as you just dig a hole to place it in, to support it. The trunk has to be kept moist. They are very beautiful but not hardy in the UK and need protection from low temperatures.

  3. I was a little confused about the "Exotic Gardener", wondering just how exotic he was, but I understand now :)
    I love our tree fern, which is tucked away in a corner behind our small pond. Looking forward to seeing pics of the subtropical garden in summer!

    1. Lol ! It does make him sound a lot more exotic than he really is ! I will be posting photos of it in situ when it is warmer, and would love to see how yours is flourishing in a climate it will be at home in,rather than in ours. We have to work hard to overwinter them, stuffing the crown with straw, wrapping in fleece, then bringing them into an unheated greenhouse.

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