THE WILDFLOWER COLLECTION - RETURN TO NATURE

THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME, YOU REMEMBER VISITING A LOCATION AND HAVE MEMORIES OF NATIVE WILDFLOWERS AND OPEN GREEN SPACES. THEN RETURN YEARS LATER TO FIND IT IS ALL GONE AND YOU ONLY HAVE YOUR MEMORIES. HABITAT DESTRUCTION HAS RABIDLY CHANGED THE LANDSCAPE REDUCING POPULATIONS OF INSECTS AND ANIMALS TO STAGGERINGLY LOW NUMBERS. FOR OVER TWO DECADES WE HAVE RESCUED NATIVE PLANTS FROM CONSTRUCTION SITES. BRINGING THEM HOME TO OUR JUST UNDER AN ACRE PROPERTY IN NORTHERN NEW JERSEY WHICH ITSELF WAS NOTHING BUT IVY AND PACHYSANDRA. THE ADDITION OF NATIVE PLANTS TO THE LANDSCAPE NOT ONLY SAVES THE POPULATION THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN LOST TO THE BLADE OF THE BULLDOZER BUT REPLACES LOST HABITAT. OUR YARD NOW IS THE HOME TO THOUSANDS OF RESCUED PLANTS, ALL OF THEM COMBINING TO CREATE A HABITAT FAVORED BY LOCAL WILDLIFE SPECIES. WHERE THERE WAS NOTHING, NOW AN ENTIRE ECOSYSTEM RESTORED THRIVES. THE GARDEN ARE ON A HILL SO THERE ARE TIERED PATHS WITH NEW DISCOVERIES AROUND EACH CURVE. WALK ALONG WITH US AND DISCOVER THE JOY OF NATIVE WILDFLOWERS. ...


WALK AROUND, TAKE A STROLL DOWN THE BLOCK. I AM GUESSING YOU WILL SEE WELL MANICURED LAWNS. THEY ARE SURROUNDED BY SHRUBS AND OTHER LANDSCAPING THAT REQUIRES LITTLE OR NO CARE. THE NICE GREEN LAWNS ARE ALSO MOST LIKELY  FERTILIZED, RUNOFF GOING STRAIGHT INTO THE STORM DRAIN. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS OTHER THAN BEING EXTREMELY BORING? IT PROVIDES LITTLE OR NO VALUE TO LOCAL SPECIES. VAST HOUSING AREAS ARE CREATING WASTELANDS IN STATE AFTER STATE. HOWEVER, REPLACING LAWNS OR AT LEAST REDUCING THEIR SIZE AND ADDING BEDS COMPRISED OF NATIVE PLANTS CHANGES EVERYTHING. NATIVE PLANTS ONCE ESTABLISHED OFTEN REQUIRE LESS CARE AND EVEN WATER. THEIR INTRODUCTION INTO THE YARD RE-ESTABLISHES A LITTLE OF THE LOST HABITAT THAT ONCE STOOD WHERE HOUSES NOW STAND. YOU CAN HAVE  A NICE EASY TO CARE FOR YARD, BUT AT THE SAME TIME PROVIDE FOOD AND SHELTER TO YOUR LOCAL WILDLIFE BY ADDING NATIVE PLANTS TO YOUR YARD.


north american
native orchids

WE HAVE A FEW NATIVE ORCHIDS IN OUR GARDEN, THE YELLOW LADY SLIPPER TO THE LEFT, THE ORANGE FRINGED ORCHID TO THE RIGHT AND A FEW OTHERS.

BUT THERE ARE MANY MANY MORE NATIVES OUT THERE. MOST ARE RARE AND ENDANGERED. ALL SHOULD BE LEFT ALONE. MOST OF US NEVER SEE THEM. WE WOULD LIKE TO SHARE SOME PHOTOS OF THESE AMAZING PLANTS.


"saving a little of our wild side"

Woods Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)

Many years ago, on a trip to the Catskills we stayed at a cabin. On a short walk one day I came along a road being stripped down and new asphalt laid. On the side of the road was a small plant with yellow flowers half covered on asphalt. We pulled the pant up before it was completely smashed and covered in asphalt. It was a Wood's Poppy or Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum).

It survived the trip home and was planted on a slope in one of our woodland gardens. The plant doubled in size in a week or so, then multiple flowers followed by large fuzzy seed pods. The following year around three dozen seedlings came up and thus the cycle started. There were a few years where deer decimated the new bed and a drought here and there, but over the last few years we have spread them from one side of the yard to the other and now they are on their own, thriving in all locations of the woodland gardens.

The Woods Poppy goes dormant as Summer heats up, disappearing all together to await the next Spring. However in their all too brief time in the garden, they supply a large supply of early blooms for pollinators coming out of hibernation. They are a favored addition to our garden and should be on the list for any native garden that includes a woodland setting. This plant should not be confused with Chelidonium majus, Greater Celandine, a Eurasian semi-weedy biennial. They are similar but the seed pods give it away, Greater Celandine have elongated seed pods.