Planting a Woodland Garden was one of our first intentions when we started reclaiming the soil from the grass on our property.
We started tentatively, before we bought the house, but since then we have been working consistently on enlarging the area on the north --which coincidentally faces Woodland Avenue-- adding a few more plants each year. Though we didn't follow any defined plan (such as this one), but rather, let our inclinations run wild to reproduce a slice of woodland landscape with what native (and non) plants would fit the growing conditions we have at our disposition.
Ferns, of course, were a necessity, along with the various specimens of Dicentra (Bleeding Heart), Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum), Coral Bells (Heuchera sp.), Ragwort (Ligularia sp.), and of course Maidenhair Ferns, which have figured prominently here of late.
This is also the area where we have three Hollies (Ilex sp.) planted nearby, and though they were slow to get started, they have now reached a good size, despite one of them having lost an entire branch during one of the late winter ice storms we had in late February and early March. Those were the original plantings we started with, and since our expansion of the area in 2004, we've added a lot more plants, such as Hellebores, several Tricyrtis (Toad lily), more ferns and most recently, Trillium (planted in 2006). The whole area is bordered on the sidewalk with Daffodils, Tulips, Indian Hyacinth, Alliums and Alpine Blue Columbines. It's also the home of the currently featured Mystery Plant, which is on its way to blooming soon, but just taking its time since I posted a picture of it last week.
We've already purchased several new specimens to add to this area this year, though we haven't gotten them into the ground just yet, but they will be within the next week or so ... we got a new species of Ligularia, commonly referred to as "The Rocket," another Toad Lily, Lungwort, and if we're very lucky (the supplier has ordered five more of them for us), several more Trillium, a species I have yet to post here, but will be doing so in the near future. I expect there will be a few more ferns to call this area home this year, as well as some other new additions. We're already so taken with "The Rocket" that we want to get another one to work into the general area ....
A few notes on the photos ... the top shot is of course Maidenhair Ferns and primarily Bleeding Hearts in the area behind the two female Hollies.
The second is pretty much more of the same, though if you look carefully to the right, you'll see the red-leafed Ligularia in the background.
And finally, the third shot has a lot going on in it ... Maidenhairs, Ligularia, Polygonatum, Heuchera, and of course, just a bit of one of the female hollies. The center area (original planting) is, at this point, pretty much filled in and maturing nicely. What remains is to fill in the adjoining areas ... a work in progress, but one progressing quite nicely we think!