|Amsonia and asters|
Once upon a time, many years before Clay and Limestone, this sloped land was a rocky forest of native trees, shrubs, perennials and ephemerals.
|Slippery Elm/Ulmas rubra in bloom|
Fifty years ago a developer's bulldozers cut streets through the woodland. They built brick houses that had deep backyards and grassy front yards. They left a few trees, but took out the understory and planted grass, so that boys and girls could play baseball, kickball and reach for the sky on their backyard swings.
|Shagbark Hickory ablaze|
Grass wouldn't grow, but, shagbark hickories, elms, oaks, junipers and rough leaved dogwoods kicked butt and thrived.
Twenty five years ago a new home owner surveyed the property and dreamed big dreams. She envisioned a Cottage Garden filled with the palest blues, pinks and whites just like she saw in every book and magazine.
|Aronia arbutifolia 'Brilliantissima'|
That young woman would be shocked were she to time travel to this garden.
|A cacophony of fall colored natives|
Today, in place of lawn, there's a garden filled with yellow flowers, golden grasses, burgundy shrubs, pops of red, rich blues, purples of every shade and a little lawn.
|'Little Henry' Itea and 'Northwind' panicum|
The canopy trees are taller. The yard is shadier and it resembles the woodland that was once here.
|Ostrya virginiana, the beloved Dancing Tree was here all along.|
An understory of cercis, dogwoods, and cherry laurels has been added.
Juniperus virginiana 'Grey Owl', Hamamelis virginiana and H vernalis, Viburnum rufidulum and Cornus drummondii have replaced the invasive bush honeysuckles at the shrub layer.
|Hearts-A-Bustin/Eunymous americanus a favorite deer food in the woods|
Itea, aronias and native eonymous add color and interest year round. Many native perennials, grasses and ephemerals have returned.
|Bottlebrush Grass/Elymus hystrix planted itself!|
She would be shocked, but, not disappointed. That long ago gardener would resonate with the prairie plants, smile in recognition at the cedar glade natives she saw here years ago,
|Hypericum frondosum native to cedar glades|
and celebrate that she had grown as much as the garden.
Really, has much changed for her? She loved beautiful flowers then and she still does now.
|Gulf Fritilary on fading baptisia|
Welcome to Clay and Limestone's Wildflower Wednesday celebration. WW is about sharing and celebrating wildflowers from all over this great big, beautiful world. Join us on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Please add your url to Mr Linky and leave a comment.
Have a wonderful day.