Black Walnut

Going With The Flow

In gardening, one often finds that good design is often dictated too by adaption.

The grand old Black Walnut outside my stoop, and all its juglone seeping, creates adversity to many plants. It oozes out this toxin, and all but a few of the woodlanders thrive – so for me this hindrance for some, is a boon.


I am a woodland gardener. I love the shady nooks, the wild, yet graceful fronds of ferns, and broadleafiness of Hostas. Give me Dicentra Bleeding Heart, and Galium odoratum Sweet Woodruff, Ascarum Wild Ginger adrift underfoot. Give me moss, and the smell of moist earth, with a hint of a Hobbit’s shire about it.

Thus, this is how my garden grows…maybe even a few cockleshells.

Now, the gift of the Black Walnut is that its toxin keeps away many weeds that would otherwise become a nuisance. Therefore it creates an oasis of low maintenance charm…a perfect combination for any woodland garden.

Adapting to the features you’re presented with can often lead to a uniqueness, and keeps the landscape honest. Even in a garden, working with the grain is good advice.

In time, these characteristics become the very fabric that defines your design. To work against these “flaws” will often make for more hard work then is necessary, cost more, and in the end often create a particular dishonesty to the landscape.

A gardens purpose is pleasure, and as with the flow of a breeze, a river, or blood through our veins, to go with the flow is upon the road to happiness.

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