I have RAMPS!

If everyone got this excited over one little plant just think how much joy we could all feel.

RenEE D. Kitt

A full year has passed and I have not written a blog sharing all the excitement occurring in Ahimsa Garden. Reason? Life. It’s full of activities that one must prioritize. Yes, that means Ahimsa Garden Blog was not on my list of priorities. It happens to all of us, and then the world shifts and changes and voila we MAKE time for what is important to each of us. For me, that is sharing my knowledge with y’all. Please enjoy this “up close” tour of the garden, learn who is just coming to life and what they look like in early spring.

And I enjoy hearing from you, so please comment or send me an email via the contact me page to carry on the conversation.

How do I know all scientific names you ask … well I look it up in the Flora of Virginia App. Remember life long learning not perfection. If you want the sciencey stuff check out Flora of Virginia Project.

Allium tricoccum commonly know as Ramps. Are a sought after culinary delicacy. These Ramps were planted as part of the installation in 2020 and this is the first time I have seen them since!! Yes, I danced a happy dance in the yard.

Sambucus canadensis or Common Elderberry is very well known because of the homeopathic remedy elderberry syrup, or just a pancake topper. This large shrub is a great addition to an open space where it has room to spread. And you can make your own elderberry syrup!!

Lonicera sempervirens is our native honeysuckle, common name is Trumpet or Coral honeysuckle. This beauty blooms just in time for the arrival of the Ruby-throated hummingbird as it migrates north to its breeding grounds.

Osmundastrum cinnamomeum, the Cinnamon Fern. Here you see what fern fronds look like as they peek out of the ground to unfurl. Fiddlehead greens are just fern fronds. Next time you see them on the menu give them a try!

Tiarella cordifolia, Heart-leaved Foamflower. This low growing, mounding shade tolerant plant is a gardeners dream. It spreads nicely but not aggressive. And it stays green into the fall. Wait until you see its white spire of flowers in just a few weeks! Outstanding!

Polygonatum biflorum know commonly as Solomon’s-seal. I planted this back in 2018ish and it disappeared for a season or two and then reappeared in the same spot. I was trying to get a dense grouping of this plant but I’m not quite there yet .. any tips?

Actaea racemosa known as Black Cohosh is a very fun plant. It grows about 3 ft tall and full. However, the flower can rise 6 feet off the forest floor. My cats Tigger and Nox loved sitting here drinking from the pond. I think of them fondly every time this plant emerges.


Mertensia virginica

Asarum canadense or Wild Ginger is one of my favorite plants because it has a little secret. The flower is located on the forest floor just under the leaf, you have to know where to look to see this blossom. They are also pollinated by early spring flies and the seeds are spread by ants.

Lindera benzoin is the host plant of the Spicebush swallowtail butterfly, can you guess the common name? This is another great understory bush that is easy to add to any yard. I highly recommend this plant.

Packera aurea or Golden Ragwort with its heart shaped leaves is a workhorse of ground covers. One of my goals at Ahimsa Garden is to build back the layers and this plant is helping me do that by providing a quick spreading ground cover with beautiful deep yellow flowers.

Zizia aurea is another powerhouse of ground cover with a more vibrant yellow flower. Golder Alexander can be a little aggressive but I have lots of space to fill and am happy for it scatter its seeds, leaving me with a blanket of this beautiful plant. As you see a early bloomer and it will have blooms in the fall too.

Hypericum prolificum Shrubby St. John’s-wort. Well I wasn’t expecting a shrub to readily spread via its seeds but boy does this one! And I am very pleased. I will be digging up the sprouts and potting them. Anyone interested?

There are many more species just emerging from their period of rest. Focusing on their root growth and building strength for the coming year. We should all take advice from a plant, don’t you think?

If you are interested in reading in more detail about the species listed here check out Plant Virginia Natives, and if you want to know where to buy plants native to Virginia NOW is the time to check out community plant sales. Here is good resource for upcoming sales, Virginia Native Plant Society plant-sales list.

Now get out there! It is spring ephemeral season, you have a new plant to find!

Shelby Lee Kitt – Sky Meadows State Park – 03/20/22 Spring Equinox – In loving memory of Leotie Blue Turtle Kitt – I won’t pass through the pearly gates. I will run across the Rainbow Bridge!

Published by Ahimsa Native Plants & Design LLC

Creating habitat in the home landscape.

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