The Forest Garden was begun in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which ripped out a swath of our hemlock forest near the cabin. This created enough of an opening to enable us to enlarge the area protected by the deer fence and to create a much larger shade garden.
This clump of double-blooming bloodroot makes a stunning accent in a shade garden, but they are sterile, so don’t forget to plant some single bloodroots alongside for the pollinators.
Goatsbeard, Aruncus dioica, catches the last rays of evening light.
Asclepias exaltata, poke milkweed, provides habitat for Mother Monarch, even in a woodland garden.
This bloodroot was selected for the soft pink buds that open to a slightly blushing flower.
Traditionally, it is the Hepatica that is first to bloom in spring
A pink form of bloodroot nestles in among the mosses.
The lovely striped leaves of the rattlesnake plantain orchid are evergreen and rival the flowers for beauty.
Autumn colors the leaves of perennials like this woodland meadow rue, Thalictrum coriaceum.
Kentucky ladyslippers bring long-lasting bloom to the forest edge.
The seed capsule on this trillium looks good enough to eat, but please don’t; leave it for the ants to take.
This forest opening, created by Hurricane Sandy, encouraged the lovely Red elder, Sambucus racemosa, to volunteer in the Forest Garden.
This interesting trillium is almost a bicolor, with the base of the flower flushed purple.
Sanguinaria canadensis, bloodroot
Mr. Toad comes to the Forest Garden
Trillium luteum is not only lemon colored, but has a faint lemony perfume.
This lovely moth is still unidentified. Any suggestions?
Polemonium reptans and Tiarella cordifolia cover the ground.
The fruit of Aralia racemosa, spikenard, is showier than the flowers and lasts longer.
Polemonium van bruntii, Marsh Jacob’s ladder
A deep purple variety of dwarf crested iris, Iris cristata ‘Merle’s Ruby,’ blooms in the Forest Garden.
Cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis, blooms in front of the deer fence. Trees felled by Hurricane Sandy can be seen in the background.
Hepatica nobilis, pink form
Trillium grandiflorum blossoms turn pink as they age.
Trilliums are a good early nectar source for bees.
If trilliums are happy, they will produce more flowering stems, forming good-sized clumps over time.
The tiny rosebuds of double blooming Anemonella thalictroides ‘Shoaf’s Double Pink would make a fairy’s bouquet, but the sterile flowers offer no pollen or nectar for insects passing by.
Anemonella thalictroides ‘Lloyd’s Big Bloomers’
Yellow ladyslippers are not difficult to grow in moist shady gardens.
Trillium flexipes can make a large, showy clump in a very short time, compared with other species.
Look but don’t eat. The stunning berries of the Red Elder, Sambucus racenosa, enliven the deep hemlock shade, but are not edible for humans.
The contrast in foliage form and color between Anemone canadensis (in bloom) and Actaea pachypoda ‘Misty Blue’ provides season-long interest, even when the plants are not in bloom.
Blooming alonside our true spring ephemerals, bloodroot’s petals are short-lived, but the lovely leaves will last most of the season.