Monday, April 25, 2011

Native Flower garden

For the last few years i have been trying to establish a native wildflower garden on the edge of our property. There has always been a half circle trail /path that looped into the woods and came back into the yard. Even though we are surrounded by woods and nature, i have always loved the idea of making a nature path here. So over the years i have worked to clean out the weeds/thistle/grasses and transplant native woodland flowers/plants into the area. It has been a slow process, bringing up a new plant here and there. i've never done any real excavation of the area, and truth is once summer hits the area will be knee high with weeds and will have absolutely no resemblance to a woodland garden anymore. i have a vision though and so it's never stopped me from getting excited each spring, digging out weeds and planting more native flowers in hopes that one day i will actually have that woodland garden.
The area has changed quite a bit in the last year. In the center of the loop is where the kids play fort is. It was built around a large apple tree. The woods to one side of the trail are now gone. This is where we cleared the area for goat pasture and an orchard. So it is no longer surrounded by woods, or quite as shaded as it was before. Our focus has shifted to turning the area into a natural play yard for the kids, and a bit less of a focus on the nature trail. Then a surprising thing happened. i began to notice the wildflowers. Plants that i have been transplanting for years, but never seemed to 'take' were popping up all over the area. Not only had the ones i'd transplanted come up, but they had spread on their own.


i counted over 16 trillium. i have a crimson and a white in bloom, and i believe i also have a yellow planted. i found about a dozen lily of the valley, several may-apples, spotted wintergreen, bell wort, Blood root, bluets, wood violets in purple, yellow and white, rue anemone, Solomon's seal, columbine, and jack in the pulpit.

jack-in-the-pulpit

i was extremely pleased to also find signs of dwarf crested iris, although it is not yet flowering...so i'm just guessing as to what it actually is.

While down at the creek releasing frogs, i stumbled upon a patch of showy orchids. i have never seen these on our property before, and was beyond thrilled. i dug up just one little orchid to transplant in my woodland garden. It had a nice bulb attached so i think it will transplant nicely.


It is always interesting how different plants appear according to weather and other factors. i started keeping track of all the wildflowers i came across several years ago, and each year it is different. There is always one or two flowers that will appear one year, then not return again..or something totally new will pop up in a place where i've never seen them before.
i have been told that yellow lady slippers used to grow on my side of the creek, but i have never seen them. i came across trout lily once, but have not seen it again.



Trillium


Bloodroot. Several of these popped up and flowered, and now they are going to seed. So i think they will spread more next year.

May apple just coming up.

and another surprise! i found this beautiful morel coming up right smack in the middle of the wildflower garden. :) This garden is connected to the kids play area. We bordered it in dead apple tree logs, in hopes that when they decompose it will create a good environment for more morels to grow. i will post pictures of it once i finish getting it weeded out and looking a bit better. The kids area is actually coming along really well....that will be another blog post though. We have been spending a ton of time outside, so i apologize for not posting as often. i have another doll in the works which i'm quite excited about and i'm starting another this week. One day i'll actually finish them. :)

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this. What a lovely "garden" I have adore when people keep the native plants of their area. Simply beautiful. : )

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  2. Beautiful!!!! We have all those coming up here, but we've just started. The bloodroot has bloomed, but the trillium are just budding- we have tons!!!!

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