Insects underpin the entire ecosystem and provide food for a myriad of animals including birds, frogs, skinks, echidnas, lace monitors, water dragons, snakes and many many more.
A stumpery is a garden feature which originated in Victorian England. It is designed to create a visual impact, use up garden wood and provide habitat for our ecosystem stars. It is created from stumps, logs, pieces of bark or even worked timber such as railway sleepers or floorboards. The pieces are arranged artistically and plants, typically ferns, mosses and lichens are encouraged to grow around or on them.
Ideally a hardwood is chosen for its ability to withstand the normal decomposition of deadwood. The stumpery becomes habitat for fungi and the insects associated with that species of fungi. The insects attract birds, frogs and other wildlife. Dense shrubbery nearby increases the protection for small birds.
The first stumpery was built in 1856 at Biddulph Grange and HM King Charles III has created an amazing stumpery at Highgrove gardens called The Stumpery.
Creating your own Stumpery
- Select a shady location.
- Then select a stump or wood feature preferably hardwood which is longer lasting. Hard wood is really hard to dig out a bowl so try and get one that already has the beginning of a hole. Our stump already had a hole through to the bottom and we gouged out more using a drill.
- We then filled the hole with soil and added the Birds nest fern Asplenium australasicum.
- We attached an Elkhorn Fern Platycerium bifurcatum to the side on top of some sphagnum moss with string and eventually will remove the string when it is no longer needed.
- We planted native orchids Dendrobiun kingianum and Kangaroo ferns Microsorum diversifolium around the rocks at the base.