Williamstown Garden Club April meeting

John Cooke and Wayne Richard repotting a fern.

John Cooke and Wayne Richard repotting a fern.

For our April meeting members visited Wayne and Jill Richard’s home in Willaston to see their large collection of ferns.

The fern houses have only been established for three years, but are full of many different types including elkhorns, staghorns and natives from Queensland and NSW.

Wayne has recently been elected president of the Fern Society of SA.

He advised members the best way to look after ferns is a well draining compost, comprising premium potting mix, cow manure and some orchid mix.

Water plants with seasol, soak and drain well, but only water when the soil is dry.

When it is time to repot, only repot to the next size up.

He advised now is the time to give a last liquid fertiliser for the season, then recommence fortnightly in September.

Ferns are slow growing and enjoy morning sunshine.

Plant of the month: Baby’s Tears – soleirolia soleirolii – belongs to the nettle family.

It is also called Angels Tears, Polly Prim, and Corsican Curse.

It is a delicate looking herb with many tiny white flowers.

It grows close to the ground in a thick mat of bright green leaves and grows well with ferns and other moisture loving plants.

It is named after Joseph Francois Soleirol an amateur botanist who originally collected the plant from Corsica.

Birthdays: Dennis Gilbert, John, Pat.

Next meeting: May 1, a guided walk in Adelaide Botanic Gardens.