Would you like to take a tour of the New England Wild Flower Society’s Garden In The Woods with me? It is a wonderful place to visit for education about how to build your own native plant garden.
I visited last week when the trilliums and other spring blooming plants were approaching their peak. As I arrived I was trying to remember the last time I had been to this place. And I realized that my memory of the place was distinctly tied to being pregnant with my son. So, I could easy place my last visit to 12 years ago.
As with any garden, things evolve and change significantly in 12 years. Mostly I think I noticed how it has all come together a bit more. It is a wonderful place to gather plant inspiration for a woodland style garden or a garden that features New England native plants.
If you have a shady garden or one that needs to be woodsy, it can be hard to find design inspiration that highlights the existing characteristics of your land.
This garden was created on the site of an old stone quarry and it highlights the glacier carved ridges, steep hillsides, valleys filled with bogs and meandering streams with native and naturalistic woodland planting throughout.
If you go in May, you can probably still the trilliums (the collection is huge!). As well as redbud trees, woodland poppies, and bluebells. They will soon give way to columbine and early summer plants.
I have to admit that even though I enjoyed everything that was in bloom, my favorite part of the garden is the “Hidden Valley”. What a lovely way to keep fallen trees onsite but weave them into something so visually appealing.
The hidden valley installation was created in 2007 by landscape architect W. Gary Smith as part of an exhibit called ‘Art Goes Wild’.
As I came upon it, I had a bit of a de ja vu moment – had I seen it before?
I think perhaps I saw it under construction?
Or maybe pregnancy brain led me to forget about it completely? Whatever, It is a piece of land art that I found so inspiring and lovely.
How to Visit:
Garden in the Woods is in Framingham, MA and can be visited daily. There is also an onsite shop that sells many of the native woodland plants that are featured in the gardens (including a huge variety of Trillium).
images by Rochelle Greayer