The black walnut tree is the last tree to have leaf buds in the spring and is usually to first to drop its leaves in the fall. An often maligned tree for its tendency to inhibit the growth of many plants, including its own seedlings, I have found that planting woodland plants native to the area grow well in its proximity. I grow Phlox stolonifera and Rubus odoratus (flowering raspberry) and Sambucus canadensis (American elderberry) under this tree.
|leafless black walnut|
Not far from the walnut and certainly under its canopy you will find the following spring flowering woodland plants. Some are ephemeral like the Hepatica americana and H. acutiloba and the trout lily in the yellow form.
|Unfurling leaves of H. acutiloba|
|flowers of H. americana|
|yellow trout lily|
|bloodroots magnificent foliage|
Then, there are the stalwarts of the spring woodland garden. These are plants that like to make themselves at home by slowly spreading outwards. No garden should be without wild ginger (Asaram canadense), or solmon's seal (Polygonatum), false solomons's seal (Maianthemum racemosum), merrybells (Uvularia grandiflora)
|wild ginger with its flowers|
|false solomon's seal|
|the trilliums are just beginning to open|
|amazing stalks of Jack in the pulpit|
There are plenty of wonderful reasons to grow a woodland garden. Having a walnut tree, or three, should not deter you at all for the choices are vast.