Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring Natives In My Woodland Gardens

Native plants are blooming at every turn in my gardens. One of my newest natives is Senecio aureaus (below), commonly known as Golden Groundsel or Squaw Weed. I purchased this plant least weekend while visiting Carolyn's Shade Gardens in PA. It is my intent to write a post about that lovely visit in the future, but in the meantime you can read about it from the perspectives of my cohorts, Jean (Jean's Garden) and Carolyn (Carolyn's Shade Garden). The three of us met up and had a wonderful day as we toured Carolyn's gardens, and subsequently visited Chanticleer.

North American native Golden Groundsel, Squaw Weed (Senecio aureaus)
Meanwhile, I want to post just a few of my native plants to add to Gail's Wildflower Wednesday at Clay and Limestone. Thank goodness she has deemed it 'Wildflower Week' - otherwise I would be late to the party! Below is beautiful Sweet William, with two bumblebees drinking nectar on the bottom right photo in the collage.

North American native Woodland Phlox, Sweet William (Phlox divaricata) *see the bees on the bottom right?!
Last year I added a few varieties of native Columbine (below), including Rocky Mountain Blue, Wild Red, a dwarf variety--'Little Lanterns'--and a cream colored variety, 'Corbett'.  When visiting Carolyn's Shade Gardens I purchased another 'Little Lanterns' and 'Corbett' to add to my growing collection!

North American native Columbine varieties - Top/Bottom Left:  Rocky Mountain Blue Columbine (Aquilegia caerulea);
Top Right: Wild Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadense); Bottom Right: Aquilegia canadense 'Corbett';
Bottom Middle: 'Corbett' with Aquilegia canadense 'Little Lanterns'.
I've been admiring my lone Celandine Poppy and watching as it has put out bloom after bloom this spring. I added this native last year, as well.

North American native Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)

Wild Ginger was planted both last year and I added another plant this year. The blooms are hidden underneath the leaves. The one on the upper right of the collage is just about ready to open.

North American native Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)

Epimediums were added to my garden two years ago but didn't bloom much last year, so this is actually their first year with decent-looking blooms. I have several E. rubrums, sometimes called Red Barronwort, while the E.niveum's (white) have not yet bloomed. While at Carolyn's Shade Gardens I purchased two more, E. x. warleyense (below) and E. Pinnatum colchicum (yellow) (not pictured).

North American native Epimediums:  Top - E. rubrum "Red Barronwort";
Bottom -  x. warleyense "Orange Queen"
2012 NOTE: I've recently learned that Barronwort (Epimedium) is not native to North America. It makes a great woodland plant, however!

My Wild Geranium plant was given to me last year when I visited Janet, The Queen of Seaford, one of several plants she shared from her garden. I love seeing it this year as it not only reminds me of her (along with the Spiderwort that is beginning to bud), but also because it's beautiful in bloom! (We'll see about the Spiderwort...there's an inside joke going on about this one! Perhaps I will share it with you later!

North American native Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

The Variegated Solomon's Seal was planted two springs ago. I don't recall that it did anything much last year, but this year there are some cute little white bells and it looks pretty good and is a nice addition to my shade garden.  The Jacob's Ladder was planted last year, as well...but I couldn't help myself, and added a second plant to the garden after visiting Carolyn's last week.

North American natives - Top:  Variegated Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum')
Bottom: Jacob's Ladder (Polymonium reptans)
*2012 NOTE: P. Odoratum is NOT a north american native either. I'm always learning! It is P. biflorum that is native.
...And there are more natives, but those will need to wait for another post! If you are a blogger, you have some idea of the time involved in creating blog posts. It can be extremely time-consuming and for some reason, I seem to be getting slower at it when I would think my speed should have improved since I've been doing this for a couple of years now!  Oh well...!

In other news, our pondless waterfall/stream is a wonderful addition to our backyard and we really love having it. We had just the right spot for it and are happy with the results. I've spent a few minutes on a couple of different days, sitting in various locations around it, trying to determine where I would like to place a bench to get the best view and/or to hear the waterfall most clearly.  I may need two benches. (Or three!).

Our new pondless, re-circulating waterfall/stream
This is a busy time in the garden, as things are blooming continuously and it's hard to keep up with posting photos! I really would like to keep a record and post things as they bloom but I often have to lump them all together in one larger post. My eventual 'goal' is to try to write individual posts about each of my plants, particularly the native plants, and list pertinent information along with photos. I would consider my blogging a success if I could get that detailed about each plant...but it's hard for me to find the time to do that. The good thing about blogging, for me, is that it isn't a job and I can do it as I find the time, with no pressure.  (Truth be told, though, I still do feel a great deal of self-imposed pressure to do these posts in a somewhat 'decent' manner and it sometimes feels like a little more 'work' than I'd started out thinking it would be). But, I do hope you enjoyed this one:-)  I will try to get around and visit more of your blogs soon.

Happy Wildflower Week (as deemed by Gail!) to everyone out there in garden-blog land;-) I hope you're all surviving the wild weather that's been popping up across the country and are safe.

Words and photos ©Thanks for today.™, by Jan Huston Doble @
Not to be reproduced or re-blogged without express permission of the author.


  1. Beautiful!!!! I love the phlox. Great pictures. Thanks

  2. I love your wild things!

  3. Lovely natives Jan. Spiderwort? what Spiderwort? :-D Your stream/waterfalls are just wonderful.

  4. forgot to check the email comments..oops

  5. Wonderful wildflowers Jan! If you let the celandine poppies go to seed, you'll soon have many more. I love all your columbines - they're definitely one my favorites.

    We've had woodland phlox here for about six years now, and it's only bloomed once, I think three years ago - don't see any buds yet this year either - humph! You have a very nice collection of spring natives!

  6. What a treat! Lots and lots of photos of some of my favorite perennials. I love columbines, geraniums, and epimediums. The wild ginger is great too, I hope it spreads for you. I had Celandine poppy in the past, it does tend to self-sow a bit more than you might want, but you should be able to pull it if it starts growing in the wrong place. Or deadhead it, or save the seed (I seem to remember bean-like seed pods.)

    I completely understand how you feel about blogging being work, I often feel the same way. It does take a while to put a good post together, if you want to do it up right, and not just throw it together. I'd like to keep records with my blog too, of what time things bloom to compare to subsequent years.

    The stream is looking so good!

    Thanks for the great post!

  7. Jan,
    The waterfall is awesome! I think at least two benches. Enjoyed your wildflowers.

  8. You have some very lovely natives in your garden. We have woods on one part of our backyard and some of these natives would go great in those shady areas. I'll have to try that.

  9. What a wonderful post for Wildflower Week! I'm really enjoying seeing all the posts this week. There's something about Epimediums...I must plant some one of these years!

  10. Wild Ginger is a beauty and looks unique.

  11. So many lovely natives, Jan! We are not as far along as you, so I am hoping I'll have some blooms on my columbines soon, too; I also have some 'Rocky Mountain Blue' that I started from seed last year. They've taken a long time to grow, it seems. I don't have wild ginger, though, but after seeing it on several wildflower posts, I've decided it's the perfect groundcover for a difficult spot I have. Love your waterfall! A bench would be the perfect addition to be able to just sit and enjoy those soothing sights and sounds.

    I agree this is a busy time of year, and it's hard to keep up with blogging. I've been thinking if I don't have time to post all my spring bloomers now, I might save them for the winter when I have more time--they would certainly be more cheerful than my usual pictures of snow:)

  12. Jan, you'll never be late for a party because no party could really ever start without you!

    I was especially interested in your Columbine photos. There's a small area in my yard where I have 3 Columbines planted....'Songbird Cardinal', 'Aquilegia Ruby Port' and one unidentified purple one that I bought at a neighborhood sale.

    We are lucky to have Variegated Solomon's Seal growing all over in the natural areas of our yard. Good luck with yours.

    Happy weekend to you, Jan. donna

  13. Hi Jan,

    So nice to see the natives flowering in your yard. You're so much farther ahead, it's like watching a movie trailer of my own yard.
    Have a great spring weekend.

  14. You have some wonderful natives in your garden blooming right now Jan. I love the collages you put together, so pretty. :)

  15. Jan you have so many lovely native flowers in your garden. Maybe you can identify the one I posted and was not sure about. Your waterfalls is so wonderful. It is going to bring you so much pleasure.Have a great weekend in the garden.

  16. At first glance I keep mistaking your phlox for our plumbago, and your Epimedium for my bulbinella.

    We get slower at posting on our blogs, because we get pickier. Remember - when it was an achievement to get a picture up! Then it had to be just the right picture, trimmed and squashed and labelled and ...

  17. You have a lovely collection of natives.

    I'm glad that Gail is having a Wildflower Week too, and yet I may still be late to the party. Ah well ~ gardening, taking pictures and blogging all together take a lot of time. I am continually amazed at the quality of posts that I see being published when I visit blogs. Your posts are always a delight to read.

  18. Loving all the blue.
    That pond is to kill's beautiful.

    Glad you kept saying
    "North American native ".
    The reason is because I have a list of plants from a local yearly native plant sale and I could'nt figure out why so many common plants were native to other states and here in NJ. Am I making sense?

  19. Your pond is beautiful. It must be so relaxing on a warm summer's day. Your natives are really pretty in the garden, I bet this year there will be loads of insects visiting too. Your camera will be busy.

  20. Jan, All the hard work that you put into your posts really shows because they are a delight to read. Of course, I love this one because my plants are so prominently featured :). Lovely photos of your native plants. When are you coming back? Carolyn

  21. Hey Jan, I like Wildflower Week~and may continue this celebration monthly~We'll see! Great plants~Some of my favorites and I am drooling over your waterfall! It's fantastic. I want one! Glad you joined the celebration! gail

  22. wow...what beautiful photos!!! I love them all...such glorious colors and scenery!

  23. Everything looks wonderful! I planted epimediums a few years ago and now they are so full, they're squeezing out my purple euphorbia! Bowman's root and thalictrum would be beautiful along the waterfall.

  24. Hi Jan,
    I enjoyed your post, the photos, and the words. I did not know the celandine poppies were native or wild. I have one of them that a gardening friend with a huge garden gave me. She has enough room for a number of spreaders I don't attempt to start. She tries to give me clumps. I'm trying to remember which one I planted that she had given me, then took out when I read it's invasive.

    The lady who gave me the trillium did not say what kind it was, but I can ask her. I looked up the one(s) you mentioned, and the blooms look a little different. Mine don't seem to have the separation of the petals the others do.

  25. Hi Jan~~ I especially love the Phlox divaricata. Your waterfall is lovely and I bet it will really be cool and inviting when the weather gets hot.

  26. Great post! I definitely want to add Senecio aureaus-(I think Squaw Weed will be easier for me to remember!) I planted my first Celandine Poppy last year also and it's quickly become on of my favorites!

  27. So that's what it is. I've seen Golden Groundsel around, but never knew its name. I would be interested to find what it looks like the rest of the year. Keep us posted.

  28. Jan sorry I am a bit late commenting but the natives are lovely and

  29. You really have a nice selection of natives. I was at the farm trying to find native flowers are there is not much blooming yet. Many of your natives were in PA when I lived there. Not as many up here in WNY.

  30. I've seen that celandine poppy everywhere this week. They're gorgeous. I'm also newly in love with solomon's seal. Must have it. Beautiful columbine!

  31. Lovely flowers! I have never seen these flowers in real; thanks for sharing the pics.

  32. Dear Jan, Your woodland garden looks amazing. You have inspired me to plant some of those natives in mine. Unfortunately, the deer live in there and ravage everything. I love your waterfall and stream! A very enjoyable posting. P x

  33. Jan - I am SO in love with your water feature!! ...deep sigh.... :D

  34. oh, and btw, I just did a post thanking you for the AWESOME keter compost mixer. :) Thanks again!!

  35. Those are beautiful wildflowers and woodland plants. Your Phlox divaricata has a beautiful pure blue. I grow these in a shady area, and only wish that it lasted longer. Your columbines are sweet, and I like them under the tree, with the rocks around. I like the foliage of Asarum , and it is fun to look under the leaves for the unusual flowers. Epimedium are naother favourite of mine, such noce leaves and pretty dancing flowers.

    Wow, your little waterfall is great. I like the natural rocks around it and the little steps the water takes down, very pretty.

  36. Hi Jan~~ I love how you grouped the wildflowers by color. Love the Epimediums too!!

    In response to your query about the Euphorbia: It's called 'Helene.' Thank you for visiting. Sorry I'm not getting around as much as I usually do. Your blog is always a pleasure.

  37. Beautiful photos - I just growing natives. There is something so wholesome in it!


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