Plants used in woodland gardens are …
those one might find naturally occurring. It has to do with specialized soils for these plants, spring ephemerals thrive on the floor of rich, undisturbed woodlands. They require well-drained acidic soil in dappled sunlight.
One thing about looking for wildflowers, many times they are like finding a hidden treasure, like the Lady Slipper above.
Sometimes they are found in patches, like these native Trout Lilies.
What many don’t realize, these species have limited time of sunshine between when the snow leaves and the time to leaf-out in which to grow, flower, be pollinated, and produce seeds. Trees start to leaf out and shade the forest floor, and the spring ephemerals will disappear back underground in the approaching heat of summer until next spring.
Many of these type of woodland plants have their seed dispersed by ants. Because of this method, a single ant may collect a thousand seeds, but only disperse them in a limited area, maybe only a few yards from the parent plant. This is why habitat fragmentation is a threat to spring ephemerals.
Wild Tulips in great numbers.
There is a place in Canada I hope to explore this season. Along with the coming wildflowers will also be the spring bird migrants, so it is a busy time for me.
I will be adding more spring plants hopefully when I return from the nature hikes. Where we are going has an abundance of spring ephemeral plants.
From our early childhood we have been drawn to meadows and wooded trails lined with spring ephemerals. The public’s increased interest and awareness in native plants has resulted in nurseries selling these plants for gardeners to grow.
Unfortunatly, the State Park’s Departments are finding that there is an increase in the poaching of native wildflowers.
There really is quite interesting plants found in the eastern woodlands, but most are so specialized and adapted to their habitat that bringing them home for gardens is not only ethically improper, but likely to kill the plants being relocated.
Other plants found in natural wooded areas and a few that peak at different times of year.
- Kousa Dogwood
- Mountain Laurel
- Witch Hazel
- Foam Flower
- Lady fern
- Red Osier Dogwood
Some other early plants can be found in the sunny spots of the woodland too.
Next post, a very interesting, yet odd way to replace a lawn. It will get a lot of gardeners thinking.
It has to do with flowers you might find in amongst your turf grass and those perennials you might think to use differently.