In 1991, the beautiful Woodland Garden was born. After many years, established trees, shrubs and perenials now create a woodland atmosphere. In 2013, a plant design make-over began and is on-going. The progress continues to be amazing and beautifies the garden. Future plans will extend this garden leading you to the Conifer Garden.
The Woodland Garden lies just below the colorful Perennial Garden and south of the intriguing Bog Garden. Located in the hollow of Mission Oaks, the serene setting of this garden will make you feel as through you have truly entered a tranquil woodland environment. Giving you color from March to October, the design is naturally composed with over sixty shade-loving plant varieties that neighbor a stone-bed creek running parallel to the woodland path.
Plant varieties range from the common woodland fern you may find in your own backyard, to unique bulbs/plants that are also native to our area. Due to the soil consisting of mainly clay with silty areas, native woodland plants inhabit seventy percent of this garden. Although we continue to experiment with new native plants, some of the varieties established in the Woodland Garden include:
- Poke milkweed (Axclepias exalta)
- Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)
- Virginia spring beauty (Claytonia virginica)
- Orchid lady slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum)
- Crispa cristata fern ( Dryopteris filix)
- Rattlesnake plantain ( Goodyera rubescens)
- Smooth phlox ( phlox glaberrima)
- Bloodroot ( Sanguinaria canadensis)
- Eastern skunk cabbage ( Symplocarpus foetidus)
The most treasured plant in the Woodland Garden also inhabits the endangered plant species list. Shortia galacifolia (Oconee bells) was discovered in 1788 by Andre' Michaux and not seen again until 1877. In fact, the search for this plant was named the "Holy Grail of the 19th century botany." This evergreen herbaceous plant was nearly driven to extinction by both glacial activities and its restrictive germination requirements. Its natural existence is limited to only a few locations in the United States. We are proud to say it has been with us for two years and we continue to monitor it regularly to ensure its longevity here at Mission Oaks.
During the Fall of 2015, an orchid bed was added to the Woodland Garden. The orchid bed consists of Cypripedium varieties that are all hardy, and three that are actually natives to the Ohio region. We look forward to this addition as it matures.
Mission Oaks Garden
Hunter Ave., Zanesville, OH 43701