University of Birmingham Botanic Garden 2008

BPS Fern Display


Ray Smith and Matt Busby were invited to put on a fern display at the University of Birmingham Botanic Garden Open Day which took place on Sunday 15th June, 2008. Unfortunately, since Ray and Matt have stopped exhibiting at flower shows, they no longer have such a good selection of potted ferns for such events; however, they decided to have a go and take the opportunity to publicise the BPS and hand out our application forms.

During 1991, local BPS members donated lots of ferns to this garden and it was designated the BPS Centenary Collection of Ferns. It was reported in the Bulletin of that year. Sadly in the late 1990s, a storm washed away the entire contents of the Centenary Garden. Happily, the present Head Gardener, Lee Hales, is keen to have a major collection of ferns again for the visiting public to see. Matt has supplied them with a large quantity of BPS application forms which are available to the public in the entrance foyer and garden shop.

For the display, Ray and Matt were going to restrict ourselves to using only hardy ferns but could only muster some 16 potted ferns and quickly realised that they would have to utilise several indoor ferns to furnish the stand to a reasonable standard.

Matt managed to find Athyrium nipponicum 'Silver Falls', Athyrium nipponicum ' Red Beauty', Osmunda regalis 'Purpurascens',Polystichum setiferum 'Divisilobum' and Onychium contiguum.

Ray did even better and managed to find good examples of Adiantum raddianum 'Auntie Betty', Adiantum raddianum 'Kensington Gem' , Adiantum raddianum 'Supreme', Adiantum raddianum 'Micropinnulum', Adiantum matthewsii, Adiantum subpumilum, Athyrium filix-femina 'Axminster', Athyrium filix-femina 'Cristata multifidum', Blechnum penna-marina, Cheilanthes argentea, Gymnocarpium dryopteris, Polystichum setiferum 'Ray Smith' and Humata tyermanii, the latter draped over the front of the table attracting many comments from the visitors.

(Editors note: Matt Busby and Ray & Brenda Smith have been stalwarts of the BPS for well over thirty years.)

Report and photographs by A R (Matt) Busby.


Winterbourne Botanic Garden at the University of Birmingham
is a six acre Edwardian Arts and Crafts style garden on the university's Edgbaston Campus. The garden is a haven of peace and tranquillity only 15 minutes from the city centre.

They hold three National Collections and have lots of interesting features to see including colour themed borders, a pergola, Japanese bridge and unusual sandstone rock garden. Winterbourne Botanic Garden displays plants from all around the world with collections of plants from Madeira, China, North and South America and the Alpine areas of the world.



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