This week I was again lucky enough to be invited out to the native plants nursery Wildthings Rescue Nursery. I was bowled over by the resourcefulness, creativity and innovation of the owner. She has a herd of 18 deer living on her property, and the prolific deer population has devastated her Trillium supply over the past 9 months.
In early winter Dawn had the stroke of genius to cover the Trillium beds with a wire frame. I don’t imagine it was easy work to bury the fencing surrounding the yards and yards of woodland gardens. There has been no further Trillium browsing this winter, and Dawn mentioned it was very satisfying to observe markings where some frustrated deer had been scratching unsatified around the outside of the fencing.
So, this preserves the base Trillium population for the future: in 2014 the browsing damage will be restored. However, spring 2013 is now, and Dawn has a steady stream of woodland native plant enthusiasts to satisfy. (They are almost as hungry as the deer, and the forest edge ecosystem is strengthened by their wonderful habitat building practices and specialized interest in protected plants.) In another delightful inspiration, Dawn realized that growing Trillium from seed in her basement was in her wheelhouse. Her brilliant, muscular, eco-warrior wheelhouse.
So she turned her basement into a productive Trillium lab. Many folks struggle to keep Trillium alive in the great outdoors. Once the Trillium had germinated in the lab, Dawn added some other native plants, such as the Anemonella in the top photo, and the Red Baneberry (Actaea rubrum) shown here.
The Twinleaf (Jeffersonia diphylla) shown below is just about to bloom, putting on a woodland spectacle that will only be witnessed by other lucky visitors to the native plants nursery’s basement’s Trillium lab. The entire operation exudes a spring ephemeral mist; in under one month’s time the lab will be quiet and vacated again. Everything will relocate to the greenhouse or new homes of capital district woodland garden native plant fanatics- very reminiscent of nature herself in cycles of motion and quiet.