Landscape plantings, whether for large public grounds, home properties or nursery, are most satisfying when a clear pattern is apparent to people using the space. Serenity and simplicity are important for outdoor design. Select and use the fewest possible varieties of evergreen plants for an obvious purpose.
Woody plants, by definition, are plants that have hard stems, thus the name ‘woody’, and that have buds which survive above ground in winter. They are typically perennial plants having their stems and larger roots reinforced with wood produced adjacent to the vascular tissues.
Wood is an adaptation that permits woody plants to grow from above ground stems year after year, thus making some woody plants the tallest and largest plants. For example, trees, which are further broken down into the evergreen and deciduous categories, are woody plants.
Trees block out part of the sky, defining the sky’s border, besides contributing structure to the garden. Branches and trunks act as beams and posts to bring the sky down to a more human scale. For this sky management, trees have a purpose in every landscape.
By providing the shade, they are able to filter sunlight and cool the air via transpiration, thus leaves can reduce the temperature by nearly 10 degrees Fahrenheit on a hot summer day. Every garden should have a shady nook, as shade also protects from excess sun that can be dangerous for your skin and harm your eyes. Some trees are known as ‘shade trees ‘, which are normally taller trees with a broad crown.
Woody landscape plants represent a natural resource of considerable economic, cultural and strategic importance. Woody plants come in all shapes and sizes, from tall and erect to low and creeping. Woody plants are evergreen and deciduous shrubs, basically any plant that does not die back to the ground is considered a woody plant, thus trees and shrubs would be considered woody plants.
Woody plants are available from low-growing ground cover type plants to 100-foot towering trees. Woody plants are a permanent, year long presence in the landscape which helps determine their major uses.
They can provide a canopy for outdoor rooms, create a backdrop for ornamental herbaceous plants, provide shade from the hot summer sun or shelter from winter winds, help conserve energy in our homes, screen undesirable views, provide edible food for us, provide food and shelter for wildlife, create striking seasonal interest with flowers, fruit, twigs and barks, and fill the air with fragrance, and visually balance buildings in the landscape.
Virginia Blue Bells is a favorite woodland wildflower, and they prefer light shade to partial sun in most wooded areas with rich soil. The foliage generally dies down by mid-summer. Each Virginia Blue Bell blossom consists of five fused petals that form their tubular shape.
Their buds begin with a pinkish shade that transforms into a blue-violet color as they age. The flowers are about one inch long with five stamens surrounding one central pistil. Butterflies are the most common pollinators, as they can easily perch on the edges and enjoy the nectar. The flowers die rather quickly, and the plants are usually dormant by early June.
They should be planted near ferns like, the Christmas Fern and other native wildflowers that bloom later in the year to provide your garden with color for the remaining summer season.
Christmas Fern is found mostly in woodlands, and should be placed in a garden in masses, or added to shade beds for year round color and contrasts with other perennials.
Christmas Ferns are popular as they are one of the few ferns that will stay green all winter long, and being an evergreen fern, it adds color to a garden all year through. Christmas Fern occur in moist and dry wooded areas, ravines and moist banks.
These asymmetrical ferns have a fine texture and a dense crown, which will sprout new fiddleheads in the springtime, and they prefer partial shade. Christmas Ferns have 12 to 18 inches fountain like clumps of fronds with leathery, lance-shaped, dark green leaflets and the fronds of these ferns vary in length from 2 to 3 feet. They can be planted in pots, on the ground and are widely used for floral arrangements.
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