The argument favoring planting merrybells (Uvularia sessilifolia) is unconvincing, and fortunately my wife rarely questions one plant or the other. Raised eyebrows and incredulous looks are common, however. This native perennial is a slight presence, with sparse foliage and unremarkable blooms, though I consider it quite lovely. So unquestionably, a dozen were required for planting in a prime area along a shaded path. Perhaps, these will never make a show for visitors, but I am mightily pleased no matter how scrawny they are.
A scattered patch of native mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum, below) has slowly rebounded in the woodland that borders the garden after trees were thinned for timber twenty years ago. I admit to transplanting several from denser shade to hurry the revival along, and recently a mayapple with a different leaf form was discovered and several were moved into a shaded area of the garden with deep soil, a rarity with so many shallow rooted maples and tulip poplars overhanging the garden.
Probably, the varying leaf forms are not unusual, but I’ve never seen (or noticed) them on frequent hikes through area forests. So, I am of course pleased to have them in the garden along with small starts of several Asian species. No doubt, the mayapple does not loudly announce its presence, but these are among gems I prize more for foliage than flora.
My recollection is a bit foggy, but I believe that several jack-in-the-pulpits (Arisaema triphyllum, above) appeared in the garden before others were planted. These few seeded to make others, and of course now I have little idea which were planted from ones that came naturally. In a rare showing of preference for one plant or another, my wife joyfully recalls childhood stories (fifty some years later) of jack-in-the-pulpits and older brothers tormenting younger sisters. I did no such thing to my younger brothers, so I have no early memories, but treasure jacks regardless that I have no personal stories of forcing siblings to chew the poisonous wildflower.