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  • David Leavitt

Chelom: The Walled Garden

There is nothing more magical to me then a walled garden. We have discovered the remnants of Knockderry’s walled garden! Some of the walls still standing are 8 feet tall and some are lying in heaps on the ground. We also see what must have been a lovely orchard of (maybe) cherry, apple, pear, and plum trees. There is a walkway with short metal fences leading to the orchard that is overgrown with decades of overgrowth. Here is where the ruble of the fernery remains. A fernery (if you’re like me I had no idea what a fernery was) is a greenhouse for ferns.

Here is what the The Fernery Devon website says about these outbuildings during the time Knockderry was built, “A great Victorian craze, pteridomania (pterido being Latin for ferns) was the huge love affair for ferns and all things fern-like in Britain between 1840s and 1890s. The term 'pteridomania' was coined in 1855 by Charles Kingsley, author of 'The Water Babies', in his book 'Glaucus, or the Wonders of the Shore'. The Victorian era was the heyday of the amateur naturalist. However, ferns were not just the obsession of a few professional botanists, nor even of the thousands of amateur gardeners and naturalists but held a popular fascination for much of society. If you decorated and furnished your house, went to the seaside, strolled in pleasure gardens, patronized the theatre and concerts, visited exhibitions, read novels, played music, or spent time in a hospital, you encountered ferns and ferneries. Pteridomania is generally considered a British eccentricity, but while it lasted, fern madness invaded all aspects of Victorian life. Ferns and fern motifs appeared everywhere, in homes, gardens, art and literature.”


We are delighted that at some point we will be able to restore the fernery in the walled garden. Although it is not temperature controlled like the orangery, it will be a beautiful place for plants and a quiet place to sit and visit or read. The walled garden may be one of the most important outside features as it reveals so much of valued during this time period.

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2 comentarios

23 jul 2023

It will be so interesting to see the results eventually…..

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16 jul 2023

Oh how I love your details in everything! A Magical garden it is! And it's new proud owner's couldn't be more perfect!

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