A woodland garden is one of the easiest and loveliest flower gardens of all to grow and quite popular in the southern landscape. The basic philosophy behind a woodland garden is if it grows on its own, leave it alone. But as a Master Gardener, I’m often asked how to prompt a little more color from a woodland garden while still keeping with a free-flowing, natural garden design. I suggest you plant some of these spring blooming plants that thrive in a woodland garden setting and shimmer under the dappled sunlight that streams through the still-bare tree limbs, and will add a splash of color.
* Azaleas (Rhododendron) come in a wide variety of shrub sizes and bloom colors, all of which thrive in the acidic soil naturally found in woodland gardens. Hardy in most growing zones.
* Bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis) produces 2- to 3-foot tall wands from which rows of tiny heart-shaped blooms hang. Bleeding heart is a self-seeder and usually goes dormant during the heat of summer. Hardy in zones 3-8.
* Daffodils (Narcissus) are the sunny yellow spring bloomers that populate many landscapes during early spring. Daffodils thrive in the dappled spring sunlight of a woodland garden and are hardy in most growing zones.
* Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) produces an unusual-looking spring bloom and red berries in the fall. The woodland plant will reach a mature height of 3 feet and is hardy in zones 4-9.
* Great White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) produces single white blooms in the spring and will ever-so-slowly spread to create a pocket of spring color. Hardy in zones 4-9.
* Rue anemone (Anemonella thalictroides) is a low-growing ground cover that spreads quickly and produces a multitude of white spring blooms, Hardy in zones 3-8.
* Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum) is another spreading ground cover that produces white blooms in the spring. Hardy in zones 4-8.
* Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica) produces the coveted shade of blue blooms on top of plants that reach a mature height of 2 feet. Hardy in zones 3-8, Virginia bluebells usually go dormant during mid-summer.
* Hostas (Hosta x. tardiana) are large-leafed mounding plants that will send up 3-foot tall spikes of tiny purple flowers in late spring. Hardy in zone 4-9.
* Hellebores (Helleborus) are evergreen plants that will produce green or greenish-purple blooms in spring. Hardy in zones 3-9.