Sunday, May 26, 2013

Woodland Gardening

I have a lovely little home in SE Iowa that I visit several times a year. The property has historical value with stories dating back to before Iowa became a state in 1843 - the original settlements in that area. There is a dirt road that passes along the east border and along a portion of that fence is a tree line. Actually there was a long section of trees lining both sides of the overgrown dirt road creating a canopy and a deep undergrowth of native plants beneath. I loved that area. Unfortunately this natural habitat of undergrowth has since been cleared by a helpful new neighbor with the best intentions. It looks lovely now but the wild mystery is lost.

However, remaining untouched in my yard under a canopy of trees  is a beautiful section of woodland vegetation. Wild flowers, low growing plant life exists creating a moist cool environment for birds, rabbits, butterflies and whatever else passes through on a hot Midwestern day. I love this little corner of my yard best of all. It is magical to me.

Woodland gardening like the English country garden is a seemingly unstructured paradise which is in fact their inherent natural beauty. The internet is filled with resources on creating these environments but does take time to organize and pull your favorites together. I thought this blog would be a good place to gather some of those tips and videos to share. Of course there are lots of resources out there but these are some of my favorites.

This video is a good foundation on layering, sunlight and the natural order of forest growth, followed by a video on the exquisite Garvan Woodland Gardens in Arkansas, USA.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day One

Today is day one of this blog called Woodland Themes. Woodlands conjures up images of hidden pockets of undergrowth teaming with life - mother nature in best form. Wild plants hidden from the sun, wildlife relishing the cool earth freckled by beams of warm sunlight. Wild violets & curling fern fonts, munching snails, misplaced dragonflys, rabbits nests, traveling centipedes, moss covered stones, small pools of water, a nurturing blanket of last years mulch and pine cones. A veritable secret garden - a respite from a world of predator/prey, a precious ecosystem, a fantasy land - mysterious mythical under world of fairies.

I'm not sure what I will do with this blog - where it will go - what the purpose will be. However, I'm sure it will take on a life of its own - growing like a wild vine - sharing bits of gardening, photography, art. So fellow nature lovers please do return and maybe we can enjoy the journey together. 
RESOURCE NOTE: unless noted otherwise the following images are free stock photos from