Ginseng Nursery 2018 & Habitat Garden

This is the page where I’ll add updates about the Wild Ozark Ginseng Nursery 2018 and post pics of the flowers and unfurling at the Ginseng Habitat Garden. In summer, I’ll show the fruiting of the various habitat companions, and finally, the degradation of the plants later in fall.

Ginseng Nursery 2018 Hours & Info

The garden is open by appointment beginning in May. If you want to come out earlier to see it, just let me know, but the likelihood of having to reschedule your appointment is high because of the unpredictable weather in April. There won’t be any ginseng to see until the end of April. By that time, it’s possible none of the early flowers of bloodroot, rue anemone, or goldenseal and blue cohosh will be blooming. Those bloom very early, and are currently doing so now (April 6).

Ginseng seedlings will be ready to sell by the second week in May, possibly earlier. The second annual Pot 10 Keep 1 ginseng seedling potting day is scheduled for May 6. If you’d like to join us, you can sign up below.

Planning a Visit

If you’d like to visit the garden, contact me by filling out the form. It’s free to visit and I have seedlings for sale but no purchase is required. An appointment is necessary to make sure I’m home when you want to visit. All visitors are required to fill out a liability waiver, which will be sent to you along with the address and phone number when the appointment is arranged.

Ginseng Seedlings

This year I’ll be attempting to ship potted seedlings. They’ll start shipping in May and continue until it gets too hot for them. This is an experiment. If you order some and they arrived damaged or unwell, I’ll send you bare-root plants in fall, plus a few extra. Or you can request a refund of your money. If you’d take photos of the damage for me, it’ll help me to find a better way to ship them. Or you can just pick them up from the nursery or the market booth if you’re local to northwest Arkansas.

A first year ginseng seedling at Wild Ozark.

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Early April

The first week of April is ordinarily too early for the ginseng to unfurl, but there are companion plants making a show already. Here’s a tour of the Ginseng Nursery 2018 flowers on April 6. The Wild Ozark Ginseng Habitat Garden will open to visitors by appointment in May. Right now the weather is so unpredictable that it’s hard to schedule visits, but if you won’t be able to come in May, or want to see it before the ginseng is fully unfurled, just email me.

Rue anemone and bloodroot are among the first flowers to bloom in the habitat. Prints are available of these photos, but I don’t have them listed in the shop yet. Email me if interested.

Rue Anemone at the Ginseng Nursery 2018

A bloodroot flower tattered from the recent rains.

On the driveway side of the creek I had a few pots of various plants. I’d forgotten to label them before the top growth died back, so I was unsure of what was there. This morning I saw that a few of them had started unfurling. Bloodroot, goldenseal, and wild hydrangea were among them. Those need to be in more shade, so I moved them across the creek into the habitat.

Blue Cohosh unfurling in the Ginseng Nursery, 2018. Goldenseal unfurling in the ginseng nursery, 2018.

Once on the other side of the creek, I did a bit of looking around to see what else might be waking up. I had divided some black cohosh last year and potted some of them. The ones in pots were coming up, but no signs yet of the ones in the ground.

One of the black cohosh plants unfurling. Notice the flowering stem bud down at the base.
One of the black cohosh plants unfurling. Notice the flowering stem bud down at the base.
This bud at the base is where the black cohosh flowering stem will rise from. You can see it's getting ready to emerge.
This bud at the base is where the flowering stem will rise from. You can see it’s getting ready to emerge.
One of the black cohosh from a smaller cutting. It probably won't bloom for another year or two.
One of the black cohosh from a smaller cutting. It probably won’t bloom for another year or two.

In one of the other pots, I found the Giant Solomon’s Seal coming up. I’ve had a very difficult time transplanting this to the habitat garden, so I am hoping that by growing it in the pots over the past year that it will be happier once I move it to the ground.

Solomon's Seal unfurling.

Looking for Virginia snakeroot

Found something interesting while heading up the trail to see if the Virginia snakeroot was up.

This poor little mouse met an untimely end, probably early this morning. Since the only thing eaten was its head, I assume it encountered a mink or weasel. They tend to enjoy things like that. A fox or other critter will find the leftovers later and probably make good use of it to feed kits.

At Wild Ozark we have a healthy balance between predators and prey animals. It does mean that some things die so that others can live, but isn’t that true of all life? We only protect our chickens and household from predators. All wildlife is free to live as it would naturally on the rest of our acreage. Except some of the deer encounter my husband, the predator who likes to kill a few deer each year.

Bad news for the mouse. Something snacked on its head early this morning.

After inspecting the mouse, I looked for the snakeroot, but didn’t see any. The reindeer moss has been growing, though.

Reindeer moss in the ginseng nursery 2018.

It seems like reindeer moss grows best in open areas, so I’m not sure how much longer it’ll do well where it is now. I’ve never tried transplanting it, and don’t really have a location similar to the spots I’ve seen it growing abundantly.

Mayapple is fairly adaptive as long as there is some shade, so it grows in more than just ginseng habitats. But it’s a frequent companion plant, too.

Mayapple in the ginseng nursery 2018.

The Ginseng Habitat Garden was logged thin about twenty years ago. It’s still not an ideal habitat site for ginseng, but each year brings it closer to the balance it once had. This year, for the first time, I found trillium growing naturally there.

TrilliumI’ve transplanted a lot of plants to the habitat, but this was not one of them. So it pleases me to see it. It means that the habitat is becoming more friendly to the plants that like deep shade and loamy soil. These two characteristics are critical and the habitat still has a long ways to go before it gains the soil texture it needs. But I am seeing progress!