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A Woodland Wildflowers

A Woodland Wildflowers

Woodland Wildflowers

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April is the month of spring flowers, and the woods are adding their own wildflowers this month to the mix. It’s time to get out and before you know it summer will be upon us.Virginia Bluebell’s gorgeous flowers start out as lovely, pastel pink buds and open up into vivid, true blue blooms. A perfect addition to part and full-shade woodland gardens, plant Virginia Bluebells to see early spring blooms and frequent visits from pollinators. This native plant increases in size each year and will form a beautiful colony over time with almost no care from the gardener. (Mertensia virginica) White Trillium opens exquisite white blooms up to 4 inches across in mid-spring. Flowers fade to a pretty pale pink. This woodland wildflower requires patience but is well worth the wait. Seeds produced by the plants and underground roots and will spread slowly into drifts of trillium that look like a white blanket covering the ground. (Trillium grandiflorum)

PLANT

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A close relative to Lily of the Valley, Solomon's Seal is a delicate, bell-shaped flowers that drip gracefully from arching 18" stems. Set against broad green leaves, the tiny flowers seem to glow each evening at dusk and emit a sweet fragrance. Most at home in moist, rich soils, this woodland plant will excel in any shady spot as long as you amend the planitng site with compost and mulch the whole area to help retain moisture. Will spread and naturalize, slowly but surely. (Polygonatum multiflorum) When Chy and Ray Allen, the original founders of American Meadows, first moved to Vermont, they were delighted to find botanical treasures in their woods. Trilliums, violets, cardinal flowers, and many more lit up the woodland, so they built gravel paths and placed benches to make the woodland more inviting, and added even more plants to the wooded gardens.

Soil Type: For a woodland garden, your soil type is critical. A little work at the beginning to find out if you soil is acid or alkaline will pay big dividends for years once your garden is planted. For example, a White Trillium cannot survive in very acid soil under some pine trees. Conversely, Mayflower (Trailing Arbutus) cannot survive without heavily acidic soil. Testing your soil for acidity/alkalinity before you begin is absolutely necessary. There are large groups of these plants that enjoy various soil types. For example, the Red Trillium doesn't care if it's in neutral/alkaline woods or a pine thicket that has heavily acid soil. You can buy a soil test kit at any garden center, and if you need help, your local Extension Service always has an expert ready to help you, free of charge. Test your soil type, and then proceed with plants that thrive in your soil.Once you've chosen the site, there will probably be some plants there you'll want to remove—unimportant young tree saplings, for example. This brings us to the usually solid mat of old roots that are present in most woodland. When you begin your garden, get out your pick and shovel, and be sure to remove enough unwanted root mass to give your incoming plants plenty of good free soil in which to grow. This can be a lot of work, but it's important, as young, new plants cannot compete with a mass of old roots that have been there for years. (Source: www.americanmeadows.com)

 

 

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