Edward Cooke created the first sumpery at Biddulph Grange in Staffordshire, England, sometime around 1856. Cooker created his stumpery after being inspired by the rooteries created in previous years. Rooteries were piles of roots and soil in which plants were grown. Cooke took the idea of rooteries to the next level when he created a ten-foot wall of stumps, roots, and stems on either side of a path within the garden.
For our stumpery in the new Hardy Fern Garden we took uprooted tree stumps and used them to form a seated arbor along with a few free standing sculptural pieces. These stumps provide the perfect woodsy setting for the main feature in the garden, which is the hardy fern planting. The garden, which was planted Spring 2006, features over 30 different kinds of ferns that are hardy in the Delaware Valley Region.