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.