The nursery as we know it today was started in 2000 when a visitor centre called 'The Fernery' was opened on the farm to accommodate the growing number of people wanting to see the Forest Ferns foliage harvesting and packing operation. Initially it was only a small concern growing plants for sale to visitors to the Fernery.
This changed In 2005 when two shade houses that had previously been used for the production of cut foliage became available for nursery use. resulting in a decision to expand the plant cultivation side of the business so that it could also provide plants to retail nurseries and landscapers. This set in motion a period of planning and construction to re-furbish the shade-houses and to install a water treatment facility that would provide clean water for the nursery drip irrigation system. When completed the new facilities were able to hold up to 22,000 restio plants, 25,000 ferns and 45,000 ground covers. Concurrent with the construction work, staff were given horticultural training in order to enable them to mix growing media, test water quality and propagate plants from seed and spores.
Forest Ferns Nursery specialises in the growing of ferns and restios, but also produces other shade and sun plants that are considered to be good companions to these two groups of plants. We deliver to retail nurseries and landscapers between Port Elizabeth and George on a weekly basis. Negotiations are under way to establish an agency in Cape Town, in order to service the nursery and landscaping trade in the Western Cape as well. The agency is expected to be in operation by Feb/March 2009 - more details will be made available once arrangements have been finalised. The public can buy directly from the Fernery retail nursery on the farm.