Inspired by Carole’s hunt for yellow lady slippers last week, I went on my own walk in the woods, to one of my most “happy places”, Garden in the Woods in Framingham, MA. My timing was perfect because the spring ephemerals were in their full glory, and the woodland gardens were positively glowing with the yellows and whites of blooming Golden Star, Celandine Poppy, Wood Anemone and Trillium:
These 40+ acres of woodlands, slopes and streams planted with thousands of American native plants is a cool, quiet oasis in Boston’s Metrowest area, and inspiration for anybody looking for ideas for a beautiful and sustainable gardens.
Not just a sanctuary for people and plants, in recent years the garden staff have installed a number of wildlife habitat structures, including nesting boxes for beneficial insects, birds and bumble bees:
The pond garden even has several nesting “islands” popular with ducks and other aquatic visitors:
These “islands” are made of recycled plastic, and planted with aquatic plants such as Swamp Marigold (Caltha palustris) and Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea) that root themselves in the shallow pond. Look carefully and you’ll see turtles here, basking in the sun alongside a “habitat box” containing various sized empty glass jars. I assume these are habitat for some form of wildlife but I’m not sure exactly what. Any ideas who would use those?
I always leave Garden in the Woods filled with new ideas for how to improve my own wildlife gardens, and usually a few plants too. Their nursery sells many rare eastern US native perennials, shrubs and trees, all of them nursery propagated or sourced from sustainable growers. If you’re ever in the Boston area, take time to visit this beautiful garden, home of New England Wild Flower Society, and be amazed at the biodiversity that can exist right smack in the middle of suburbia…
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