While strolling the woodland paths of Sleepy Cat Farm, it is apparent to me now the importance of creating an understory layer to further enhance the experience of the garden.
About the time the Daffodils (narcissus) reach their peak of bloom (mid April), the subtle layer of wildflowers beneath the leaves begin to emerge. They offer a whole different way of looking at the garden, because rather than seeing a landscape, one can focus on individual plants close up.
Each wildflower is an individual with a story, and their emergence and ensuing quick disappearance into dormancy is what makes them special. These photos represent a few of the denizens of the woods that I was able to capture before their flowering ceased.
Beauty is not always in the flowers, the foliage of emerging Mayapple is like a wonderful tiny umbrella opening, before its subtle white flower drops down and later a small green fruit forms which entices Box Turtles. Yesterday I finally procured two very rare Himalayan Mayapple plants, which like their North American relative , perform the same Spring feats only their foliage is dotted with red spots. This cultivar is called “Spotty Dotty” and we will be planting it near the Prayer Wheels.
If you would like further information regarding these plants, check out a book by William Cullina called “Growing and Propagating Wildflowers”. Stay tuned for more later blooming wildflowers.