The forest area is on the west side of the house. The coolest area of the yard, it consists of a long narrow deck that parallels a long narrow stone walk with long narrow plant areas on both sides. Half the deck is covered with a wooden trellis and more shade is provided by a Bradford pear, the perimeter fence that is covered with clematis as well as the mulberry tree. The decks get filtered sun while the ground is always in shade. House type plants hung from the eaves of the house and the trellis do very well here. The area actually creates a wind tunnel and chimes are hung from the eaves of the house, creating a melody that never fails to lull us to sleep. Rhododendrons die here because of the wind.
A pink jasmine planted at the southwestern corner of the trellis shades the steps. Lilac and a flowering maple are planted in the southern area and they peek over the front fence. Hummers are attracted to the forest by the flowering maple where they find a wide assortment of feeders and other nectar rich plants.
The forest is a scattered collection of many kinds of ferns, azaleas, columbines, crepe myrtle, ajuga, wandering jew that has tiny blue fowers, lawn violets, Chinese ground orchids, forget-me-nots, bird of paradise, rhododendrons, camillas, astilbe, Jacob's ladder, clover, daphnes, impatiens begonias, gardenia and more. We have killed more fuschias that I care to count due to the heat, and this last spring I discovered a small one in the ground, alive!!
This is the area where the winter greenhouse is constructed, clear plastic hung over the entire trellis. All the tender potted plants spend the cold months here. If a particular area or plant needs just a bit of extra warmth, a string of C7 large, old fashioned sized Christmas lights do the trick. There are two waterfalls within, and the area so incredibly cozy I am almost sorry to see it come down in the spring. We either have to build a bigger one soon or stop buying plants. The atrium is the last thumbnail on the left. This is also Bunnie's winter area.
We found an active hummingbird nest with two eggs about three feet off the ground in the clematis May of 2002, and the babies took flight early June after several hours of preflight training. The 2002 hummingbird pictures are here. Two smaller waterfalls sit on the deck and the Mama hummingbird drinks from them regularly as well as the hummingbird feeders. There are bird and squirrel feeders in the area, so blue jays compete with the squirrels for food and nuts here where they can run from trellis to tree freely. Mama returned in April 2003 and built a new nest two feet from her last one, the eggs were laid on April 25th, and we are patiently waiting for birth day.
The plants are left as natural as we can. Only weeds and privet seedlings are removed, pine cones are scattered about to rot under ferns of all types and floor debris is left alone.