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Flowers for North facing woodland clearing?

 
Ga Shaw
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Hi all,
This is my first post on what looks like the perfect forum!

A few friends and I are planning a remembrance garden for a couple of our friends.
We found a lovely little spot in a small clearing.

It is quite shaded and has some tree cover.
There is a rocky outcrop, which look like it may have some water streaming down in really wet weather. There is a trough at the bottom which was pretty damp, but not waterlogged.
I can only add three pics here it seems, so I'll add more replies to get more in.

Basically, we are going to put a concrete Buddha statue somewhere and some seating (hopefully as. Atrial as possible), and then a load of flowers, edible plants, hanging baskets, maybe some solar fairy lights if I can find some with long enough lead to place the solar panel up a tree for enough light.

I've ordered some seeds which apparently like shady, damp spaces.
*some forget me nots, which I was hoping to climb up the rocks.
*flowering tobacco
*Sweet Violet.
*Woodland Tobacco.
*Peach Leaved Bellflower.

This is just the start.
I'd like to get it looking beautiful in a few
months if possible.

Any ideas or tips would be so appreciated.
Thanks

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Ga Shaw
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Here is the tree cover. Obviously going to be a lot less light when the leaves come back, but there is some gaps still
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Ga Shaw
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Trying to show the size of the place...
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Ga Shaw
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It was full of leaves and brambles and undergrowth before we cleared it today.
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Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
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Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
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For some reason those photos resonate deeply with me - I think they remind me of some of my favourite childhood haunts back in Wales.

Here are a few ideas that spring to mind, mostly wild ones because that's the way I tend to think.

Celandines
Snowdrops
Small (welsh?) daffodils
Ferns
Bluebells
foxgloves
snakes head fritillary
wild garlic
sweet cicely

I also love some of the willows, if you have room for them. 

Many woodland flowers are bulbs, which can use their stored energy to grow quickly in the spring before the canopy of leaves creates too much shade.

This page has a few tips - http://www.perrywood.co.uk/gardening-tips/creating-a-woodland-garden/

And a favourite quote...

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
with sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.

 
Ga Shaw
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Burra Maluca wrote:For some reason those photos resonate deeply with me - I think they remind me of some of my favourite childhood haunts back in Wales.

Here are a few ideas that spring to mind, mostly wild ones because that's the way I tend to think.

Celandines
Snowdrops
Small (welsh?) daffodils
Ferns
Bluebells
foxgloves
snakes head fritillary
wild garlic
sweet cicely

I also love some of the willows, if you have room for them. 

Many woodland flowers are bulbs, which can use their stored energy to grow quickly in the spring before the canopy of leaves creates too much shade.

This page has a few tips - http://www.perrywood.co.uk/gardening-tips/creating-a-woodland-garden/

And a favourite quote...

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
with sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.




I am in Wales!!! How did you know?

Thanks for the tips.
I've been looking at a few of those:
Snowdrops - I think are too late. I think I have to buy ones that have already flowered if I want them for this year, but they aren't cheap. I'll have a scout around.
Small (welsh?) daffodils - The same with Daffodils. I think it's a bit late to plant bulbs. I have some which are just flowering in my garden, but I've read that you shouldn't transplant them until the flowers are gone. Plus they need full sun apparently?
Ferns - There are plenty of ferns around the place already, but they really tall ones and don't look very nice. Any nice ones you could recommend?
Bluebells - I'd love a carpet of bluebells! Not sure much about them. Could I plant the bulbs now, or is it too late?

Thanks
 
Nicole Alderman
pollinator
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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duck forest garden hugelkultur
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I'm across the world, but I think the northwest part of the US has a similar climate to yours...they're both drizzly at least! I don't know if you can find these over there, though...

Some woodland plants I see growing and blooming are trillium (http://www.finegardening.com/how-grow-trilliums). They have gorgeous large 4+ inch blooms



another is fringecup http://www.gardenershq.com/Tellima-Fringe-cups.php



A very pretty, rare, and delicate plant is our native orchid, Lady's Slippers https://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/how-to-grow-cypripedium



Bleeding heart is another one http://homeguides.sfgate.com/life-cycle-bleeding-heart-plant-69907.html
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Another flower that likes the shade is Hellebore : https://www.plantdelights.com/blogs/articles/hellebores-winter-hardy-shade-perennials-for-the-woodland-garden


And crocuses will also grow in the shade: http://www.almanac.com/plant/crocuses



Edibles that grow in the damp shade are:

Ground covers: bunchberry, woodland strawberry, Siberian miners lettuce and miner's lettuce. Mint will grow, too, but might take over!

Herbaceous plants
: Hostas are edible and like the shade. Nettles should grow there, too,  and they're really yummy cooked, but I don't know if that's what you're looking for in a remembrance garden! Licorice fern might also grow for you (they like growing in the moss under and on our maple trees), and has edible roots.

Shrubs
: red hucklberry, salmonberry, thimbleberry, trailing blackbery (Rubus ursinus), red elderberry, blackcap raspberry, service berry, and some currants. Other wild hucklberries (in the blueberry family Vaccinium) would probably do well, too.

I hope this helps!
 
D Cotterill
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This is my first post on what looks like the perfect forum! 
Not a perfect forum. Interesting certainly. But the lack of UK participation makes it pretty much moot. You be better off at www.thegreenlivingforum.net for UK based advice.

Nicole's suggestions definitely apply to the US. A couple of those are considered invasive here in the UK and wouldn't be allowed. Burra's suggestion however are spot on the mark. Daffs and Crocuses are definites that would work well. Wild Garlic as they like gloomy moist environments.

RHS has some very good suggestions which should work well in your clearing. https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=100
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
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Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
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Ga Shaw wrote:I am in Wales!!! How did you know?


Haha - I didn't know, at least not consciously.  I think my inner child might have figured it out though - she was busy jumping up and down wanting to go and squish her toes into that mud! 

I've been looking at a few of those:
Snowdrops - I think are too late. I think I have to buy ones that have already flowered if I want them for this year, but they aren't cheap. I'll have a scout around.
Small (welsh?) daffodils - The same with Daffodils. I think it's a bit late to plant bulbs. I have some which are just flowering in my garden, but I've read that you shouldn't transplant them until the flowers are gone. Plus they need full sun apparently?
Ferns - There are plenty of ferns around the place already, but they really tall ones and don't look very nice. Any nice ones you could recommend?
Bluebells - I'd love a carpet of bluebells! Not sure much about them. Could I plant the bulbs now, or is it too late?


Snowdrops are different from most bulbs when it comes to planting as they are usually planted 'in the green', just after flowering but while there are still plenty of leaves.  In the UK that usually means April or May, so there's still time to plant, but you won't see flowers until next year.  Here's a link you might useful - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=703 ; The old farmhouse I lived in as a kid had a bank between the lane and the vegetable garden that was a solid mass of snowdrops.  When I bought my first land, many years later, I had a patch that was very, very similar to your photos and I raided that bank, taking little clumps about three or four inches in diameter from the densest patches on that bank and using them to inoculate my 'new' land.  I loved it - it took a few years for them to really get established, but it was a very strong link to my childhood and gave the place a very deep, spiritual feel. 

Here's a link to a page about the welsh/tenby daffodils I was thinking of - tenby daffodils   I love these, they are much smaller and less showy than the usual ones you can buy.  I was fascinated when I moved to Portugal that we have a similar sized one growing wild here, but the petals are very different - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissus_bulbocodium

As for ferns, if they are tall, they might be bracken, which isn't so good.  I prefer the more delicate ones, and have a special fondness for hart's tongue http://www.wtwales.org/species/harts-tongue-fern

I would *love* to see photos of the development of this garden and wish you every joy and success bringing your dreams to reality. 

 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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