Tuesday, August 10, 2010

More things happening in the woods.

Deer are native, but as a species they are out of balance - they are doing too well. This is fine for the deer, but deer happen to eat the same native plants that are already under so much stress from habitat loss. Forest-floor plants are particularly vulnerable to deer.

Deer must find the Solomon's seal genus, Polygonatum, to be particularly yummy, because they all get eaten so quickly from my yard. Surprisingly, a couple of the munched plants succeeded in making berries this time. I wonder if the additional plants I put around them helped hide them just enough.

Next summer I think I will begin more serious gardening work on my woods, with the aim of establishing more natives which aren't present, or which, like the Solomon's seal, are present only in small, vulnerable populations.

Ecosystem gardening isn't about feeding all of the animals all of the time. It's about establishing balance between the animal and plants.


UrsulaV said...

I've hardly done more than gaze into the woods around the property...plunked in some jewelweed and some Jacob's ladder, but that's as far as I've gone. (The wild ginger wanted much deeper shade than it got, and fried nicely.) I'd love to get a proper woodland garden going, but there is only so much money and labor available. Perhaps in a few years!

If you find any really good woodland plants, I'd love to hear about them!

Michelle said...

So sad about your ginger, Ursula! That's one I've been wanting, myself. I keep having to smack my own hands away from the shade plants. I did splurge on mayapple this year, but in my neglect I think I may have killed it. The two of us should form a lusting-after-shade cub. :D