Monday, May 19, 2014

Woodland Wildflowers at Olbrich

I took a stroll through Olbrich Botanical Gardens today and the spring-blooming woodland wildflowers were in full bloom. (It was a rather overcast day, so the lighting is a bit gloomy in these shots I'm afraid.)

Ferns with Virginia Bluebells and Canada Wild Ginger

Trillium lutea - I personally like this subtly-colored trillium more than the more typical glaring white one. It is quite a sizeable plant as well.

Trillium lutea with ferns and wild ginger

Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells) here with Stylophorum diphyllum (Celandine Poppy), planted in great sweeps under white birch.

Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells) and Stylophorum diphyllum (Celandine Poppy)
Wildflowers look best when planted in broad swathes, and Olbrich has the space to do just that. Here is an underplanting of Celandine Poppy, tousled by the spring breeze. I do not have it in my garden, but am given to understand that it is a major spreader (by seed), although perhaps not too difficult to manage.

Stylophorum diphyllum (Celandine Poppy)

Primula veris (Cowslip primrose) looking cute at the foot of a tree, with a hellebore peeking over its shoulder. I like any kind of primrose, but the little wildlings are especially elegant.

Primula veris (Cowslip primrose)

They had several large fields planted up with little species tulips, grape hyacinths, and daffodils, interspersed with grass. The effect was just lovely - fields of bulbs as far as the eye can see.

Field of bulbs

This old Downy Hawthorne (whose gnarled, twisted branches are being supported in places by wooden posts) is underplanted with what looks like "regular" green brunnera, as well as silver-leaved cultivars. A fine effect as they bloom together.

Crataegus mollis (Downy Hawthorne) and Brunnera

OK, so these are not exactly "wildflowers" but a fabulous woodland planting nonetheless: epimediums, hostas, daffodils, and astilbe under mature trees.

Epimediums, daffodils, hostas, astilbe, allium

As usual, Olbrich does not disappoint!


  1. This is my favourite sort of garden. I love woodland plants and ferns. I have the Celandine Poppy and it is a bit of a nuisance. It readily self-seeds, but it is easy enough to yank out thank goodness.

  2. I have some woodland plants in my garden, have no idea how they did get here. I try to not weed them, remembering that they maybe the last and need protection.


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