Fans of Fern Britton’s novels will know the writer is hugely inspired by the Cornish landscape. All of Fern’s books are set in Cornwall, a place she’s visited on holiday since she was a child and now calls home.
“In my mind’s eye, Cornwall is very much a character in it’s own right,” Fern told us from her garden on the north Coast of Cornwall, speaking as part of our Good Housekeeping Big Summer Book Day.
“It’s somewhere I truly feel at home,” she added.
As well as the county’s beautiful beaches, Fern finds inspiration in her garden. She told us she misses her larger garden in her previous London home, but enjoys her Cornish garden as she can use it in new ways due to the different plants that enjoy being in Cornwall.
Fern took us on a tour of what she’s growing, from Agapanthus in various colours to Marguerites and Sweet Peas to Lavender.
A firm favourite of Fern's is the Erigeron, which is part of the Daisy family.
“Those of you who know it will be in love with it. It just grows everywhere and self-seeds. Down here everyone has it foaming out of their walls,” she said, before showing a section of paving stones adorned with the pretty flowers.
“I put them in the cracks and let them grow. I’m hoping they’ll keep coming.”
Fern’s garden is home to a large Bramley apple tree and the presenter proudly revealed her apples won first prize at her local village show last year. She recommends making apple crumble using a recipe from Phil Vickery’s Proof Of the Pudding cookbook.
Elsewhere, there’s a herb garden with mint, chives, rosemary and oregano, looked after by Fern’s daughter, Winnie Vickery.
Fern’s garden wouldn’t be complete without her namesake plant, and she’s created an area dedicated to ferns, inspired by royalty.
“You know Prince Charles at Highgrove has a fernery and a stumpery where he puts all the fallen logs that they don’t need, builds it up high, lets all the insects in there… and on top of it he’s grown lots of ferns,” she explained, showing her ferns sitting on garden furniture.
“It’s my fernery/ chairery,” she joked.
Fern said she hasn’t got the design of her garden exactly how she ultimately wants it, but scattered around there are pine cones and fishing accessories, a bird bath, and painted bricks by the shed.
Watch Fern’s full garden tour in the video above and via this link.
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