What’s up in the woodland garden

The last few days of glorious March sunshine have boosted the growth in the woodland garden. This is in a corner of the land always the last to be reached by the winter sunshine to warm the soil. It is thickly planted, mainly with alder whose love of water help to drain the boggy soil, with the help of a stand of willow and dogwood.

A small stream now winds through the trees, an ancient mill feed that I was allowed to divert to improve the biodiversity of the land. Along its banks the survivors of woodland plants I brought from Rumbling Bridge are starting to appear.

Wild garlic is establishing a nice little colony and meadowsweet, with it’s Savlon tasting leaves, is suddenly a few inches high. The marsh marigold and lesser celandines provide sudden splashes of yellow. The acorus is starting to poke its shoots above the water level to provide somewhere for the young tadpoles to cling too. I saw newts here last year.

On the western bank I also spot the skunk cabbage forming flower buds but there is no sign of the blue flag yet.

Under the trees, emerging from their protective moss, suddenly white windflowers (wood anemones) are nodding in the breeze. Unwittingly transplanted with them I notice, is dog mercury which later I’ll move to my planned poison garden!

Around the stream head there is also a plant I have failed to identify – it has attributes of both butterbur and hemp nettle – I’ll have to wait and see how it grows and flowers.


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