Native woodland gardens
I've been working on a species list for plants to add in the understory of our ravine forest in the mountains. It's much more moist than our created Piedmont woodland because of the slope and deep shade. We've also added LOTS of leaves and mulch, to add to the existing fairly rich soil.
In the Piedmont, we started from lawn, so our incipient forest (on the slope in the front of the house) is just now starting to be a multi-layer canopy of taller oaks (white and chestnut in addition to the red oaks already here), with tulip poplars, maples, beech, and sassafras, black gum and sourwood on the woodland margin.
With an mixed understory of redbuds, dogwood, rhododendron (deciduous and evergreen), fothergilla, paw-paw, and bottlebrush buckeye, it's an eclectic representation of an Eastern woodland forest habitat.
The mulching has now gone on for over 15 years, so the soil is built up quite nicely, but it still isn't quite suitable for moisture-loving forest herbs, at least without supplemental summer watering.
So I'm hopeful that our mountain habitat will be hospitable for many of our native woodland wildflowers (plus the understory shrubs such as Rhododendron calendulaceum, Flame Azalea and trees such as Fraser's Magnolia, Magnolia fraseri).
|Piedmont front yard, 1993|
|Through the front gate, Fall 2008|
|Out the front door in the Piedmont, 2009|
|Mountain ravine in winter|