Thursday, May 15, 2008

Blooms In The Forest

It is hard to think of this eleven and a half acres as just one garden. The ridges and valleys break it into distinct areas. There are cultivated parts and sections left to the wild. Some sections have full sun. The forest generated shade goes from light shade to the dank, dark underbelly of the dying Hemlocks.

Other gardens live and bloom as if we were not here.

The Iris cristata is a native that was introduced to the cultivated parts of these particular folds in the earths crust. I can imagine that bits of it could be flung into the wild sections and it would prosper and multiply.

The tiny Sedum ternatum spends much of the year hiding. When it blooms it is quite showy and the immense quantities of it in the forest reveal themselves.

Tiarella cordifolia is abundant in the moist seeps and along the stream that are the valley floors. The dense white showy racemes light up the shaded ground in groups large and small.

A Jack of all Shades. First black, then green, now brown, Arisaema triphyllum pop up through the leaf litter by the thousands.

Diphylleia cymosa is listed as infrequent to rare in the westernmost mountain counties of NC. It isn't rare here. The flower is small compared to the huge leaf. The bright blue fruits on red stems in the fall are much showier and more interesting than the flower.

The feathery appearance of the bloom identifies this as a Thalictrum, maybe T. revolutum. There are seven other Meadow Rues in NC and several other species in the Ranunculaceae family with very similar leaf patterns. Flowers are most helpful in the forest for identifying things.

Out in the sunny meadow, a garden that is only half tamed, a completely different world of blooms awaits.


Unknown said...

Those little woodland flowers are beautiful... and every time you mention them, I marvel that Bulbarella and The Contractor managed to know all of this land so well that they tucked all of these plants in exactly the right places.

Can't wait to see the sunny garden, too.

Christopher C. NC said...

Kim the native wildflowers grow here on there own and were not planted by Bulbarella and the Contractor. In the wild forest parts of the land, the bulk of the property, all we do is look. Nature does all the planting. The Iris is the only one in the post that was brought here and planted.

Frances, said...

Hi Christopher, can't wait to see the next installment, you have whetted our appetite.

Gail said...

There is nothing like the forest for beauty, thank you for a lovely and loving tour of your gardens.


Anonymous said...

Christopher, you are truly living in paradise, even though some may say that of Hawaii instead. An undisturbed forest such as you describe is a real treasure.
Question; how much sun do your iris cristata receive? I have read that they won't bloom in full forest shade. I have some I would like to divide and try in a shadier spot. Do yours receive any sun?

Thanks, bev

Christopher C. NC said...

The forest does indeed have a lot of beautiful flowers and plants in pretty dense shade once the trees leaf out. I still want to tidy it up though. There is an amazing amount of deadfall, that makes walking hazardous and is unsightly to the gardeners eye. That job is next to impossible though because it could be a full time job.

Bev the Iris cristata is growing and blooming in the same shade as Hosta, Astilbe and Pulmonaria. I would call it a deep dappled shade. It is blooming as the trees come into full leaf. I was told the opposite, that the Iris wouldn't like full sun. Did I listen? No. I planted it in full sun and it is doing great.

Annie in Austin said...

Nature may have planted them but we humans have a need to appreciate and recognize them, so thank you, Christopher.

I'd forgotten about Sedum ternatum...I'd ordered it long ago when Nancy Goodwin had Montrose Nursery in Hillsborough, NC. It was growing beautifully in the Illinois shady border back in the 90's... maybe it's still there. It's sure lovely in your forest.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

lisa said...

Man, your forest looks like a nursery without pots! I don't do enough walking in the woods around there's a lot I haven't discovered.