The Woodland In January. EOMV.

For my End of Month View this year, I have decided to show the woodland which will soon be flowering with all the spring bulbs that like to be under the tree canopy while the leaves are off the trees. It looks nice in the spring , but could do with more bulbs being added,  plus more perennials for the summer because it goes very quiet then and I feel it needs more interest. Bulbs could also be added for the autumn and a few more shrubs for more autumn tints. At the moment it has just two seasons of interest and I feel more could be done.

Each month  I will be showing the following 5 views, which I took in the woodland yesterday morning, plus any others which might show any work that I have been doing.

View of woodland

The snowdrops are now starting to grow, lots more are coming through each day, Daphne bholua Jaqueline Postill is perfuming the air as soon as you cross the bridge over the ditch. She is on the right behind Narcissus Rijnfeld’s Early Sensation. Cyclamen coum are flowering throughout the woodland, I hope you appreciate that I had to stand in the ditch to get this shot from the right hand end of the woodland!

View of woodland

Standing at the far right hand side of the woodland, this is the view looking back towards the bridge and the back garden. The large snowdrop at the front is one that has lost its label, but it is an elwesii hybrid, I think maybe Little John. The bush in the background is a Rhododendron which was fantastic last year but there aren’t many buds on it this year.

View of woodland

This view is from the left hand end from the corner nearest to the back garden. This end of the woodland is always wetter than the other half and at the very front of the photo is a shallow side ditch which runs into the main ditch from when this was farmland and all the water drained into it. The main clump of snowdrops that is in the centre is a clump of G. Magnet and the clump behind that is G.Atkinsii. The shrub on the right is Camellia Jury’ Yellow and is covered in buds so that will hopefully be flowering  for next months EOMV.

View of woodland

Still at the right hand end of the woodland, this time at the far side, looking back to the bridge and archway. You might be wondering why I haven’t any snowdrops in the foreground, its because this area is quite wet all the time and is where I  planted my Fritillaria meleagris bulbs, my snakeshead fritillaries. They have been spreading by seed for the last 10 yrs or so and now fill quite an area – that is if the pheasant doesn’t get them first. I’ve read that it is just the buds that they like so it may be worth it to make a fence of wire around them until the flowers open up. At the moment the leaves are just starting to come through, but usually they are flowering in March.

View of woodland

Right at the left hand end of the woodland, the ground rises slightly and slopes up to eventually form a Devon bank which forms the boundary of the property. I feel that special snowdrops should have better drainage here, so my more recent “specials” have found a home here. The snowdrop at the front is G. Lapwing, the one slightly behind and to the left is Wendy’s Gold, not showing her gold yet and the single one to the right is Gloria which I bought at East Lambrook Manor last year.

There are lots of other little bulbs planted in the woodland as well as Hellebores and perennials. Over the next few months they will take their turn to flower, making sure that I come to this part of the garden nearly every day to see what has opened up. By photographing the woodland each month, maybe I will get the work done to bring summer interest to this area that I have been meaning to do for some time now.

Thanks must go to Helen at The Patient Gardener for hosting the End of Month  View, do pay her a visit and see what other gardeners are focusing on.

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30 Responses to The Woodland In January. EOMV.

  1. Can’t wait to see the woodland when it’s in full bloom. Thanks for the preview. Blessings, Natalie 🙂

  2. Pauline, you have made me a very happy woman – I was already looking forward to seeing your woodland in spring again, but being able to chart it’s prgress through the year will be wonderful – and quite relevant to my own attempts to add more year round colour to my shady back border!

    • Pauline says:

      Janet, I’m so glad to have made you happy! Summer is really when it needs sorting, I think more hostas, heucheras, ferns, astilbe etc would improve it, more texture, as it is quite dark when the leaves are on the trees. I have been growing white foxgloves from seed and some candelabra primulas, so I can see some of those being planted there.

  3. Helen says:

    I am so jealous of your woodland and looking forward to seeing it through the year. You could add some acres for autumn colour, hostas and ferns and kirengshoma palmata is a wonderful late summer perennial which buttery yellow flowers

    • Pauline says:

      Having chosen this area Helen, it will make me concentrate on improving it for summer. We have 3 acers there already, but there might be room for some seedlings that I’m growing on. I think I will add to the hostas and ferns that I already have and maybe I will move the Kirengeshoma koreana that is near the bog garden as I think it needs a bit more room.

  4. Helen says:

    That should have said acers but iPad spellcheck often outwits me

  5. wellywoman says:

    I really look forward to following the progress of your woodland over the coming year. I think summer is the hardest time for a space like this. I have a shady border which is meant to have a woodland feeling. Spring and autumn work well but trying to get plants which will work in a shady spot in summer is a real challenge. I look forward to picking up some tips. 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      I have quite a lot of shady areas WW in the garden which have a tapestry feel in the summer so I suppose that will be the way to go, splitting some of the plants that I already have. The area for planting is quite large and I think this is the problem, I should buy 10 or 20 of each plant to cover the ground, so I think it will be sowing seeds and splitting to keep the cost down. I also don’t want to lose the natural feel of a British woodland.

  6. Christina says:

    I think your comment above about keeping the feel of a British woodland is crucial. Although some added foliage plants will add interest in summer I don’t actually think there is a problem of having some area that are interesting in only one or two seasons. If the garden is very small them everyone wants all of it to perform all year but in a larger garden I think it is more exciting to have different areas peaking at different times. I’m actually trying to achieve this in my garden.

    • Pauline says:

      At the moment Christina, it is so boring in the summer, so I hardly ever visit it then and if we have visitors I tell them to imagine it covered in snowdrops and other spring bulbs. I have seen woodlands planted up with brightly coloured coleus and heucheras, and know that that isn’t what I want at all, just a tapestry effect from mainly hostas and ferns with a few other plants in between. Early spring will always be its main season, the bog garden takes over, then the bee and butterfly border in the front, followed by the late summer border by the field, finishing off with the woodland again in autumn with the lovely colours from the acers. Really I just need a reason to visit the woodland in the summer!

  7. rusty duck says:

    Oh that’s great Pauline, so looking forward to following this. As you know, most of my garden is woodland, as yet mainly untouched. Do so agree with your comment about wanting it to look natural. As to the pheasant, now it’s interesting to read that they prefer the buds. I covered my Fritillaries with wire mesh after the first attack, which didn’t exactly add to the aesthetic appeal. I will try removing it earlier this year.

    • Pauline says:

      Do you have a path through your trees Jessica? There was one here when we moved here so it made sense to plant along the pathway, and then work further back,apparently young girls on their ponies used to ride through about 60 yrs ago!
      I hope the article I read is correct about the pheasants preferring the buds, thinking back to last year, they left the fritillaries alone once the flowers were open.

  8. Cathy says:

    You know I will love these series of posts, Pauline (and could you change your name to Pauiline, please, as that’s what my fingers type every time!!!) and I look forward to having a regular dose of your woodland. Even though I don’t walk through my tiny woodland often in the summer it is still lovely to pass by what I have tried to make a fairly natural British woodland. The woodland edge border is not actually at the edge of the woodland, but is more open and less shady and does have a longer season of interest with geraniums and persicaria. Whatever you do in your own woodland will be lovely, I am sure 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      I usually don’t mention the woodland during the summer Cathy, but if the planting was more interesting I would be tempted to go there. I have a few plants that I can split, Solomon’s Seal and Geranium phaeum to name but two, plus some seedlings I have been growing, so I shouldn’t need to buy too much. Beth Chatto has a large white persicaria, so I must investigate that. I think any flowers will show up better if they are white as it does get a bit dark once the leaves are back on the trees.

  9. Anna says:

    I hope that you were wearing your wellies when you stood in that ditch Pauline 🙂 Your woodland area looks so full of promise and how cheering it must be in all this gloom to see those early daffodils.

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Anna, I was wearing my wellies, I need them just to walk around the garden, never mind the ditch! We can see the first daffodils from the house and they entice me out, no matter what the weather.There are lots of flowers to come so by the next EOMV it will hopefully look very different.

  10. Angie says:

    Pauline, it’s all looking great and like all those above will so look forward to this posting every month.
    Those foxgloves and candelabra primulas will look stunning in those surrounding. Have you consider planting some Geranium sylvaticum Album? They flower in May/June time and a second flush later if you manage to give them a wee chop back.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Angie,I’m going to look forward to it too.I have some Geranium sylvaticum album already planted there, I wish it seeded around like my purple one does in the main garden, but it has stayed as a small clump, maybe it needs splitting.

  11. Cathy says:

    The woodland looks like a little oasis – is it actually attached to the garden? I love the path running through it. I shall also look forward to seeing all the bulbs appearing in spring.

    • Pauline says:

      It is an oasis to me Cathy, I love that part of the garden. Yes, it is attached to the garden, we just have to cross a small bridge over the ditch to get to it. At the far side is the road through the village, so it isn’t very deep, maybe I should call it a copse rather than a woodland, but its the biggest bit of woodland we will ever own!

  12. Wendy says:

    What a terrific idea to show us the same views of your woodland throughout the year. It is already starting to hint at how lovely it will look in the spring. Although it will look quieter in the summer, it will also be interesting to see how you’ll plant for shade while still maintaining the natural look of an English woodland. I didn’t know about pheasants prefering the bulbs of snakeshead fritillaries to the flower. I’ve planted some for the first time this year and I’m waiting to see if any passing pheasant discovers them (or the resident geese, for that matter!)

    • Pauline says:

      I found out the hard way Wendy, about the pheasants taste for fritillary buds (not bulbs!). One day, everything looked fine, then the next day half the flower heads had been attacked. I think a barrier will be necessary this year.
      I think I will be re-reading Beth Chatto’s book on Woodland Gardening. Hers woodland still manages to look natural by not using brightly coloured flowers, just white, yellow and a bit of blue, all plants that are found in woodland and shady places, with lots of lovely foliage.

  13. rusty duck says:

    There’s one path through the woodland Pauline, but I would want to make more as we work through it, and even that one has now been blocked off by a fallen tree!

    • Pauline says:

      Jessica, I think our bit of woodland is smaller than yours, we only have room for one path, made many years ago by little girls, who are now older than me, riding their ponies. When we started clearing , we were removing nettles and brambles and that was about it, but working from the path made it so much easier. The ground was full of old tree roots so in areas we put down more soil and leafmould to give the new planting something to root into before the tree roots started invading. Planting in woodland is so rewarding because even the smallest bulb will make a difference, no waiting for it to grow to its full height!

  14. Hi Pauline, I like the idea of following the progress of a particular area of the garden through the seasons. Following the progression of blooms would be quite interesting. It seems to me that woodland flowers are largely spring flowering. I look forward to seeing what you add to get more summer color.

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Jennifer, yes, I agree, most of the flowers in the woodland appear in the spring, but there are some that can cope with the shade in the summer, like foxgloves, solomons seal etc as long as they get a bit of sun during the day. also, I think colour, shape and texture of leaves as ground cover could be improved!

  15. debsgarden says:

    Your snowdrops are lovely and will become ever more beautiful as they spread. Your woodland will be a fairyland when everything is in bloom. I know you will eagerly look forward to new discoveries as each day awakens. I always look forward to my own woodland walks. I must plant more bulbs and add a little color beside my paths.

    • Pauline says:

      My wild snowdrops Deb, get split every few years, as soon as each clump gets quite large, this year though I have a few clumps of specials that really must be split too. The woodland is a very special place, much smaller than your woodland though, but a walk each day brings new delights from now on.

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