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Mike's Blog - Day 252

One of the best ferns for autumn colour for you today, the “Royal Fern”, Osmunda regalis, in the woodland garden just below the spring outlet.

It grows in the wet stream sides next to the shuttlecock fern we had on Day 57, another favourite of mine. The Gunnera is getting ready to be put into its winter mode, but while the ground is dry we are trying to finish off the cornfield border. We must finish the handrail above the spring too, we started that in August!

The photos don’t do the Royal Fern justice. It has a lovely warm glow and a range of tints from lime green, yellow, orange and bronze.

I’m guessing it’s so called as it’s a big majestic plant, growing up to 8ft, one of the biggest ferns to grow, other than tree ferns of course. It does well in the damp sides of the stream but will grow in a moist or heavy garden soil. It’s good for shade too. These are native, mostly on the western side of the UK with higher rainfall where they naturally grow in damp places.

The Victorians commonly used their fibrous roots as a medium for growing orchids.