Benmore Botanic Garden: The Fernery

When we visited Benmore Botanical Garden, within the grounds they had a beautiful Fernery. A Fernery is similar to conservatories, just specifically designed to house ferns and mosses. Ferns became extremely popular during the Victorian era, and are now making a comeback. Benmore has a collection of 142 different species of ferns from all over the world.

Outside the Fernery, 35mm scanned photograph.
Moss and fern wall inside. Digital image, Google Pixel

I find ferns fascinating, the way the fronds unravel and the detail of the leaves are intriguing. The images below are a mixture of 35mm scanned photographs and digital photographs taken on a Google Pixel. All photographs are unedited as I prefer to keep them untouched, unless I feel like they need it.

Polypodium giycyrrhiza frond unravelling, 35mm scanned photograph.
Lophosonia quadripinnata frond coiled, 35mm scanned photograph.

Commissioned to be build by James Duncan at the height of the Victorian fern craze (or pteridomania), the fernery has been standing since the early 1870. The Fernery has changed a lot since it was first built. In the early 20th Century the Fernery fell into disrepair and was left to rot.

Inside the Fernery. Digital image, Google Pixel.
Towering Ferns, 35mm scanned photograph.

Today the Fernery stands in the cliff-side, blending into the beautiful scenery surrounding it. A Century after it was left to decay, it was resurrected by the curators and members of the Young Benmore Trust.

35mm scanned photograph.
Digital image, Google Pixel.

Due to lack of detail on the original plans, they decided to add some modern twists to the building. All the stone used to build the Fernery stayed untouched with the curators adding the beautiful glass roof to provide natural light and to keep the warmth and humidity in.

Fernery Glass Roof. Digital image, Google Pixel.

The Fernery is built of three levels including a grotto with a pool and an elevated viewing platform. And I think you’ll agree with how stunning the interior is.

Digital image, Google Pixel.
35mm scanned photograph.

 

If you’d like to see more of Robi’s photographs, why not follow her Instagram @robiclm!