Earlier this week on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 I, along with some fellow plant lovers, had the privilege of visiting the area on Pigeon Mountain known as “the pocket” in the extreme NW corner of Georgia about ½ way between Atlanta and Chattanooga, TN. Fortunately it was a week day and when we arrived (after a 2 ½ hour drive from Atlanta) there was only one other car in the parking lot. By the time we left several hours later the parking lot was full. For information about fees and directions this is a great link http://journal.uswildflowers.com/?page_id=901
This is a place where the word awesome is apt to describe the scene we encountered. To protect the wildflowers a boardwalk has been constructed that also makes it possible to walk through the middle of what was and is an amazing landscape of native plants. Spring in the southeast, as well as other parts of the country, (as far as blooming times) is about a month ahead of what we normally expect. So, although we missed the Virginia bluebells, Mertensia virginica; only the foliage and a few odd blooms were visible, we were treated to a large number of other delights including trilliums, like trailing trillium, Trillium decumbens, and Trillium flexipes, Camassia scilloides, masses of Phacelia bipinnatifida , woodland phlox, Phlox divaricata and several different species of violets.
There were also patches of foam flower, Tiarella cordifolia in full bloom and Geranium maculatum dotted throughout the woods. Although it is less showy than some perennials, Bishop’s cap, Mitella diphylla was just finishing. Moss, rocks, and foliage of Hepatica nobilis, blue cohosh, Caulophyllum thalictroides and baneberry, Actaea pachypoda, were also evident. With its tiny white flowers stonecrop, Sedum ternatum was easy to spot, clinging to rocks, usually in combination with moss. Where the boardwalk ends and a trail begins the show continued and growing out of the rocks (in some places there was barely any soil) were clumps of columbine, Aquilegia canadensis and in a few spots the native hydrangea, Hydrangea arborescens. The trail ends at a rock wall with several water falls that are beautiful. There are additional trails that climb up and above the falls. This is only some of what we saw on what I know will be the first of many visits. I left inspired and once again in awe of mother nature and the gardens she creates.