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Flowers for North facing woodland clearing?  RSS feed

 
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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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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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. 

 
Hilary Lonsdale
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Location: Northants, United Kingdom
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Hi, a long time lurker living in the Midlands here! Couple of things to add to the suggestions:

Primroses could do well where you are, and they clump up and seed around after a couple of years.  And related to tellima there's heuchera which are readily available, both from seed and as plugs/plants. 

Thinking about snowdrops some of the UK bulb producers sell trays of a hundred and five hundred at about £8 a hundred, I've found them by looking in the classified sections of gardening magazines. Alternatively (what I did), find a friend of neighbour with established clumps of snowdrops and ask if you can divide the clumps, this rejuvenates the remaining bulbs so it's a win win.

If you have space then cherries and apples and plums have beautiful blossom besides the fruit, you could try starting them from seed too.

All the best with your project!
 
Abbey Battle
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I am in Wales!!! How did you know?

Because it's wet! ha ha ha.

Think that covers most of my ideas. I love meadow sweet. Elders seem to do well in similar conditions - there are some lovely red ones and the scent from the flower is amazing. Dog rose if you want something to climb through the trees, also clematis and honeysuckle though the latter can get carried away.

Of course willows love the wet and some are very pretty.
Bluebells - I have some bulbs - I have moved them around all times of the year - usually by accident - it appears you can't stop them.  I find that if I move any of the sand from my wood, bluebells come up even if I've removed all the bulbs.
 
Abbey Battle
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Oh - I have hellebores growing under my corkscrew hazel - it looks amazing in winter. (hazel will be ok in a wood but the nuts will be small).
Pieris - we kept ours in deep shade because they hate the sun.
 
Lorivie Reyes
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IT helps me about my plan. thanks to this thread
 
Hester Winterbourne
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Location: West Midlands UK (zone 8b)
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How is it looking now? I would have been interested to see what native plants there were.  If it is ancient woodland, I wouldn't want to see non-natives introduced, especially bluebells unless you can be sure they are pure English with no Spanish genes.  I know this is a permaculture forum and all about increasing the benefits and productivity we can get out of plants, but in our land with so little of anything like wilderness left, we need to preserve what we have. So... if you have wood sorrel, dog's mercury, bluebells, wood anemone coming up and other things which indicate this is ancient woodland, I would be very restrained in keeping to native species.  They will fit so much better especially if you ever move on and leave this place to go back to nature.
 
Alexandra Clark
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Best of luck with the creation of your special place in remembrance of your friend.

You did a great job of clearing the land, but if you want it to stay clear, my suggestion would be to cut the invasive ivy off those trees or it will spread back to your clearing. Simply take some shears and snip off the leads if they are thin and then leave the climbers in place, pull the roots around the trees out of the ground and they shouldn't come back. The ones on the trees will die and release from the trees usually in a season or so.

I too would suggest using native plants from your region that will support the natural ecosystem, including the insect and animal population. 
 
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