If you follow my blog, you’ll be aware of my weakness for shade plants. I don’t mind at all that their flowers are rarely flashy: demure beauty is fine by me.
I’m from a part of the world (Lancashire, England) where wandering in the woods – I was going to say ‘is a commonplace experience’, but nature rarely offers that, so far as I’m concerned, so I’ll make myself clearer. At home, we walk in the woods for pleasure, exercise, fresh air, to enjoy the season: it doesn’t normally involve risking many dangers.
I’m scared of snakes, flying insects eat me up, and I’m not one of the lucky few who remain relatively unscathed after tangling with a little poison ivy, so American woods are more daunting. There are treasures in them, that’s for sure, but they come at a price.
This means I need a very good incentive to venture far into an American wood, and remain on a raised state of alert even when enjoying a beautiful woodland garden. It all makes for a very different experience than I’d have meandering through Sunnyhurst Woods, Rode Hall or Dunham Massey back at home!
My pictures have already given away my main incentive – the chance to see spring ephemerals in bloom, including these fine trilliums, which I think are Trillium recurvatum, a variable form. I love their mottled, wavy leaves, held aloft to catch what sunlight is available.
I suppose it does make it more exciting to be able to see these familiar plants in something much closer to their natural setting, rather than in the comparatively tame confines of an English garden – especially afterwards, when I can look back at my leisure at the pictures I’ve snatched and feel a little satisfaction that I dared to face my demons.
These pictures were taken in a wonderful private New Albany woodland garden lovingly created – and accessorised – by Sherra Owen, with help from her family and friends. More later!