Saturday, May 23, 2009

Back to Nature Part 1

Don't get me wrong! I love colour and I love flowers, but over the years I have become interested in returning back to the way things were, especially when it comes to my plants. I have been putting plants into my garden which may have grown in this area centuries ago.

The area we live in used to be part of the Carolinian Rain Forest - a huge forest which covered a vast area from the Carolina's to just north of here. Most of the forest has been cut back to make way for people and progress. Some organizations are becoming involved in preserving whatever is left of the original forests. Our Rouge Valley is one of these areas. Conservationists want to keep this forest alive. Many of the original species have died out and there is not much that can be done if we keep cutting down trees and building new homes. But the interesting thing is that a lot of the flora and fauna are returning to our area.

I am helping things along a bit by planting some of the native species in my garden. This first one is called Solomon's Seal. I bought one small plant about 7 years ago at a local plant sale. I planted it under my apple tree because I was told it liked a sort of shady woodland setting. I guess it is really happy here because there are now about twenty plants! They multiply by a travelling root system, but they are not invasive.

Solomon's Seal has graceful, arching stems with long oval shaped leaves which are borne on the stems symmetrically. I love the rows of tiny white flowers that dangle in pairs like little white bells under the stems. They look like a string of pearls to me. (Sorry about the photo. These are growing way back in my garden and I can't get close enough in my wheelchair to take a good photo.)

Family: Ruscaceae. Genus: Polygonatum Species: P. biflorium

Common name: Solomon's Seal

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