In late-May, when the morning air is crisp and fragrant, I like to sip my coffee while strolling the paths of the Woodland Garden. Would you like to see what’s growing beneath the dappled shade there? Sip and stroll with me.
Our coffee, by the way, is cold-brewed. Here’s the recipe.
Honk if you’d like some cream, sugar, and/or Kahlua in your brew. Your wish is my command.
The woodland is located at the northernmost edge of Clover Hill. The garden’s entrance is marked by the iron arbor you see pictured above. Do pass through.
Here’s the first of many log-framed beds. This one is planted with Dicentra “Bleeding Hearts,” Jacob’s Ladder, and native ferns. As you can see, some volunteer ferns have emerged in the curved path outside the bed. I’ll dig up these youngsters a little later today, and then plant them elsewhere in the garden. You can never have too many ferns in a woodland setting.
Do you grow Dicentra in your own garden? I love how this springtime ephemeral dangles heart-shaped flowers from its long, graceful stems.
And here is an intimate look at Jacob’s Ladder. From mid-May through early June, this Polemonium pulcherrimum covers itself in pale-blue flowers. What a dazzling plant.
Between the Jacob’s Ladder bed and a pair of Adirondack-style chairs is a small frog pond. A pond’s circulating pump provides the garden — and you and me — with calming water music.
Continuing northward, we find ourselves at the edge of the woodland. Here, in a bed of pachysandra (I know, not a woodland plant) are some PJM rhododendrons. The wide stream in the background is a Hudson River tributary.
Now put your hands on your hips, swing to the right, and check out the Virginia bluebells! I started out with just a few of these Mertensia virginica. My, how they have spread over the course of five years. I adore them.
In the center of the garden is a big wooden table with four benches. The woodland is a fun place for brunch during hot summer days. The garden’s big tree canopy — mostly maples and oaks — keeps the garden shaded, and therefore cool.
Before the table is a group of wayward Sweet Woodruff. Wayward, because the little groundcover has escaped its planting quarters. Such behavior doesn’t bother me because…
I love the sweet white stars that light the tips Sweet Woodruff in May!
Opposite the woodruff grove is a long border of hosta, with ferns behind them. The hosta variety in the foreground is ‘Paul’s Glory.’ In the background is some common green and white hosta that I hope the deer will eventually eat.
I do not like common green and white hosta.
Near the garden’s exit is a slatted wood swing. Please take a seat there, and then tell me something about your own garden. Is it all sun? All shade? Something betwixt and between the two? Talk to me in the comments section below.
And thank you for spending some time with me today. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your company.
P.S. Want to know how — and why — I designed the Woodland Garden? Check out this ancient post.