Thursday, December 6, 2012

An interesting understory

The trees create Roland's Wood, of course, but another wonderful element is the "interesting understory" of planting -  the well-known bluebells spreading prolifically, but also great swathes now of orange clivias, snowy renga renga lilies, hellebores, dietes with their white intricate flowers hovering like butterflies over the spiky foliage, and more being planted all the time...

In November, John with Bruce and Judith Birling planted well over 1,000 more renga renga lilies.  Judith raised the plants herself and donated them to Roland's Wood.  This photo shows plants which are not quite 9 months old - they had a few flowers this year already, and plants which were just a year old in November made a great show.

As well as being beautiful under the canopy of the trees, they are effective in keeping down weeds, controlling soil moisture and en masse, will prevent soil run-off in heavy rain.

John says, "What we are trying to achieve is a three story environment, with ground covers, then shrubs and small trees, under a smaller number of large woodland trees.  This gives plant diversity, dappled light, year-round interest, and variety of habitats for birds and wildlife."

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