Saturday, April 22, 2017

Squirrel Corn & Bloodroot

Two ephemeral native wildflowers are thriving under the cherry trees near the McCallum Street entrance walk into the park. No one is sure where they came from, since they were not intentionally planted. We suspect they may have been dormant tag-alongs with other plants donated to the park.

The upper photo shows a spreading patch of Dicentra canadensis. Its deep green, finely cut foliage, accented by clean white flowers, grows from yellow tubers that give it its quirky common name, Squirrel Corn. It is spreading more quickly each year into an area planted by chartreuse Japanese Forest Grass which will lengthen to fully conceal it as it goes dormant by summer.

The lower photo shows the unusual leaves of Sanguineria canadensis, which has delicate white flowers that last only a few days in early April. Curiously, it too gets its common name, Bloodroot, from its underground structure, a rhizome that bleeds red (toxic) juice.

2017 Plant Sale

The Friends of Ned Wolf Park
will host our annual fund-raising
Saturday, May 6th
10am to 1pm

If anyone would like to donate plants
please bring them to the park on Friday evening or as early on Saturday morning as you can 
so plants can be priced and organized
before the 10 am start

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


For the second year in a row,
Spring has come with a new patch of tulips that has sprouted unbeknownst to the Friends of Ned Wolf Park Design Group that has planted the gardens since 2007.

This patch appeared in the island bed in an area where low-growing Sedum and Pennisetum are planted.

Last year, a group of tulips appeared near McCallum Street, planted amongst the June-blooming Astilbe.
Our gardeners are happy to include anyone interested in contributing to the plantings, but we do think it best to work together.

Will the real Tulip Fairy please stand up and introduce yourself to the team?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Celebrating 2016

This year was a challenging one for many of us in Mt. Airy, including garden-makers dealing with a season that denied us our typical annual rainfall.  But the gardens at Ned Wolf Park were designed with an eye toward sustainability without intensive pampering. And they have matured so that even a bit of neglect does not take away the Park's aura as a special oasis of beauty and calm in our verdant neighborhood.

We can celebrate in 2016 the completion of a four year effort and capital campaign to replace creosoted timber with natural stone, much of it reclaimed.  
Of course, the work was done incrementally and in such a subtle way that it feels NOT like a transformation.  Instead, the park feels as if it has always been thus - an emblem of our community pride. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Late bloomers

November is here and there are still some special sights to see in the gardens if you take your time and look past the waning deciduous foliage. 
In the shade, you'll see two purple-speckled varieties of Tricyrtis, aka Toad Lilies. Look behind the benches nearest McCallum Street and near the big tree trunk at the central terrace.
In the sun, you'll find:
Peach Drift shrub roses
airy pink seedheads of Muhlenbergia capillaris, aka Pink Muhly Grass
subtle blue flowers on a chartreuse-leafed Caryopteris shrub 
Chrysanthemum 'Rhumba'

Monday, September 26, 2016

Autumn Crocus

We have finally put our too hot and too dry summer behind us. And although the plantings at the park have suffered, today's visit offered a cheerful surprise of beauty in the form of the blooms of Autumn Crocus, a.k.a. Colchicum.  These look similar to early spring flowering crocus bulbs, but the blooms are a bit larger. Unlike crocus grassy foliage, Colchicum puts up broad strappy leaves in spring which go dormant by summer. And, the naked flower buds reemerge in September. They won't last too long but enjoy them if you visit soon. There are two patches: one along the McCallum St sidewalk, the other left of the shed below the Beautyberry shrub. Be sure to notice the handsome purple berries on that shrub, another early fall highlight!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Pokemon anyone?

Is Ned Wolf Park a Pokemon Go Gym site? We need some players to let us know if the rumors are true.