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Brett Westwood and Verity Sharp explore our fascination with ferns, which reached its peak in Victorian Britain when Pteridomania or ‘fern madness’ seized the nation.

For a plant that we generally associate with shady, damp places, a plant that has no flowers or scent, the Fern has drawn us into her fronds and driven an obsession that is quite like any other. Pteridomania or Fern Madness swept through Victorian Britain in part thanks to the availability of plate glass from which manufacturers could build glass cases for growing ferns. The trade in ferns all but wiped out some species from parts of the UK and fern hawkers sold specimens on street corners in London. Brett Westwood and Verity Sharp trace our relationship with the fern on a journey from their complicated lifecycle, to the art of Nature Printing via a garden fernery and discover that the fern is still weaving its magic spell over us.

This episode is a shortened revised repeat of the 2019 episode

Original Producer Sarah Blunt
Archive Producer Andrew Dawes

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Sun 14 Jun 2020 06:35

Broadcasts

  • Fri 15 Nov 2019 11:00
  • Sun 14 Jun 2020 06:35

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