Grumpy Old Man

By Maurice1948

The lonely tree fern

I often wonder if my tree fern is the only one growing outdoors in Oban! I asked this question on a local Facebook page last year and someone suggested that if I wanted to know about tree ferns I should ask the Head Gardener at Arduaine as there were lots there! I had to confess that I had planted them! They are Dicksonia antarctica, from SE Australia and Tasmania. They don't need any protection here.

My late lamented friend Nigel Price, who was at one time Head Gardener at Brodick Castle Garden on the Isle of Arran, gave me a couple of nice tree ferns which were self-sown from their mature tree ferns. I potted one of them and used it several times at Gardening Scotland shows, but decided to bring it with me when I retired and moved to Oban. 

The removals man very kindly lifted it up the steps to the position which I had chosen for it, down beside my garage. Unfortunately when I came to dig a hole for it there was only some 6-7 inches of soil there so I had to sit it on the bedrock and pile soil around the rootball. It doesn't seem to mind and has put out a nice new set of fronds every year.

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