I can imagine the perfectly imperfect woodland garden in spring.
For an understory it would have bluebells and forget-me-nots, daffs and species tulips, hellebores, trilliums, woodland poppies, primroses, may apples, wild ginger, ferns, barrenworts, money plants and plants I do not yet know the names of.
The midstory would be azaleas, rhodos, fothergillas, dogwoods, serviceberries and magnolias.
All this would be under ancient trees, with an modest farmhouse and a few well-used outbuildings sharing the plot.
And, of course, this bucolic kingdom (too small, comfortable and unpolished to be an estate,) would be somewhere near a convenient village center, but hidden away, maybe reached by a dirt road winding off a rarely-used street.
Could such a place exist? Yes. of course it could. In fact it does, tended by a retired geneticist who still comes out and digs up a primrose here and there to gift a worthy up-coming plant sale. May we all have her vigor, intelligence, generosity, humor, busy life and green thumb at 92! Hmmm, and would we had and have such virtues at an younger age too.
While few of us live in such natural splendor, many of us garden yards that are at least partially shaded by big trees. This expanse of spring loveliness is an inspiration of what can be done under such conditions.
All these plants spread on their own and grow well between tree roots.
Do you need some of the plants listed and pictured above? if so, you are in luck. It is almost time for the Ned Wolf Park plant sale.
"Ned Wolf Park is located at the corner of Ellet St. and McCallum St. in the beautiful Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. This year we've scheduled our annual sale of perennials, shrubs, annuals & miscellaneous garden stuff for Saturday, May 11th from 10 am to 1 pm. "