Growing hundreds of varieties of ferns from around the world in rural Suffolk could be a challenge for even the most enthusiastic pteridologist (fern expert). That’s why Steven Fletcher of Fernatix, the UK’s largest ferns specialist, chose a Keder greenhouse system to nurture and protect his amazing collection.
Fernatix supplies retail customers throughout the UK with interesting and unusual fern varieties, often hosting visits from horticultural clubs. The business regularly displays at gardening shows around the country, including Hampton Court, Chelsea and Malvern, and recently won its 60th consecutive gold medal from the RHS at the Malvern Autumn Show. It was at one of these shows that Steven saw the Keder greenhouse system, and thought it might work well for his growing operation.
Double layer protection
“I had seen them at gardening shows over several years, and liked the double layer of the material. A Cotswold wholesaler we know also recommended the Keder greenhouse system. I made the decision to buy a 22 x 18 metre structure, about 6 years ago. We were so pleased with the flexibility and protection the Keder greenhouse provided, we added a taller version to accommodate our larger display tree ferns.”
“We are in open agricultural land here, and have had temperatures down to -14 degrees. The double skin protects the ferns. In a normal polytunnel, if the fronds touched the sides on a cold night, they would freeze, and that would spoil the look completely. With the Keder greenhouse system, that just can’t happen.”
Fernatix grows ferns all year round, so installed back-up heating for winter, to ensure a minimum temperature of around 6 degrees.
Ventilation is important, too. “Our Keder has doors at each end, so we can walk right through, or leave them open for ventilation. We invested in the automatic side ventilation system, so when we are busy, or away at shows, we don’t have to worry- our ferns are getting the air they need.”
“Would I recommend Keder greenhouses? Yes, I already have. They provide a good reliable environment to protect our plants, and have stood up to the recent gale force winds.”