Ostry virginiana that was being smothered by a wisteria vine, there was absolutely no understory.
I loved the canopy and the beautiful fall colors, but, I didn't want a lawn with big trees towering above. What I really wanted were more flowers like the ones I saw on the edges of my new yard that first day in mid-October after we closed on the house. They were a beautiful blue and were covered with bumble bees.
It was my first sighting of the ex-asters and I was in love.
|Amelanchier fall 2015 with offspring of the ex-asters I fell for 30 years ago.|
I had always wanted to garden, so the following spring I planted more flowers. Most of them died. Lavenders, hostas and other exotic plants that I found at a local nursery just didn't belong in this garden.
|Cercis canadensis and Cotinus 'Grace'|
It took a while and a lot of research, but, once I figured out that the conditions in my garden, (soil, sun and moisture) resembled the woodlands that are adjacent to cedar glades, I began to plant native plants, including an appropriate understory of small trees and shrubs to create a healthy and diverse ecosystem. By then, I was head over heals in love with wildflowers and gardening for wildlife had become my passion.
|The Dancing Tree, Ostrya virginiana|
|Hamamelis vernalis and Itea virginica (2014)|
Hydrangea arborecens sps and cultivars 'Ryan Gainey', 'White 'Dome'
|Intense fall color on Hypericum frondosum 2015|
Rhododendron periclymenoides (Pinxterbloom Azalea)
Juniperus virginica 'Grey Owl'
|Lindera benzoin with Hydrangea arborescens and Mr I's maple.|
Illicium parviflorum 'Florida Sunshine'
Amelancer laevis (just one)
Magnolia 'Little Gem'
Dirca palustris (just one)
All across America families and friends are making plans to gather for Thanksgiving dinner. It's our annual celebration of the "First Thanksgiving" when colonists celebrated arriving safely in the New World. In my house, before the feasting begins, we all take turns sharing our feelings of gratitude. This year, I am especially grateful for the health and well being of my family; for our first grandchild, Ever Mae; for loving and supportive friends; for fall weather that finally appeared; and, for wildflowers that bloomed no matter how horrid the weather has been.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all,
Welcome to Wildflower Wednesday and thank you for stopping by to help me celebrate the many supporting players in my garden. This has been a challenging year and there isn't anywhere near the foliage color display that one expects in a Middle Tennessee garden in November, thus, many of the photos shared are from previous years. There's rain in the forecast and all of us in Tennessee are keeping our fingers crossed that it happens. Too often this summer and fall rain has skipped past us. We need a good rain to put out the wildfires that are ravaging the forests in the southeastern states.
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.
rain for mountain fires - we need that too!ReplyDelete
We got a whole millimetre overnight.
You remain a source of great inspiration as neighbours either accept brown summer lawns or insist on life support!!
Your garden is always an inspiration.ReplyDelete
Lovely photos. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Gail, all is lovely there in your autumn garden!ReplyDelete
Your garden is lovely and the photos divine. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. There is nothing so wonderful as the hug of a grandchild. Enjoy!ReplyDelete
I wouldn't know what to think if your garden wasn't filled with beautiful natives. It's nice to think that understory plants even have their moment in the spotlight, even though brief. Happy WW Gail.~~DeeReplyDelete
Thank you for the inspirational post, Gail. I love being able to virtually visit your beautiful habitat garden. I lack the canopy (especially after losing my 40 year old ash to the Emerald Ash Borer), so my growing plan is just the reverse. I am planting all 3 layers, but the flower layer grows fastest, then understory, and hopefully one day my little native saplings become big beautiful trees. Next year I am saying goodbye to my useless front lawn! Happy Thanksgiving!ReplyDelete
Gail your garden is in beautiful fall glory! It makes me what to move out to the country. Your photographs are stunning. I enjoy your garden story. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! xoReplyDelete
Beautiful autumn colors!ReplyDelete
Well, I'm at the beginning of my journey and so can very much relate to your early experiences in the garden as that's what I'm going through right now. It will be a long process but I'm looking forward to getting to the stage where I "know" what works and what doesn't.ReplyDelete
So many wonderful Fall colors. A great time of year - even though we know what is coming - and it is all WHITE! JackReplyDelete
What a wonderful post. Beautiful photographs, but such a good story about how we all come to learn what our garden needs and wants. If we are lucky that learning never ends.ReplyDelete
Gardening is the best thing one can do. Some people don't go on vacations because they have to water the plant. Such is the connection between the people and plants. Thanks for the article.ReplyDelete