Creating a woodland garden is a fantastic idea if you have the scope and the ability to do it. It will certainly help if you have a large surface area around your house that is surrounded by many trees already. But you can still avail of some fantastic design ideas and garden plans even if your garden is empty.
Nowadays, you can use neighboring trees to create a mini landscape for your garden and add in bushes and a few smaller trees as a means to layer it and add some understory. Then all you need is some ground cover, a few stunning plants that you feel work well within the area, and a bench and you are covered! Sounds simple right?
Well, yes and no, there are a few tricks that can help create a woodland garden that bit easier, and this brief article looks to offer them to you along with some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding woodland gardens and how to make them work for you.
Table of Contents
What does a Woodland Garden Need?
To understand how to design a woodland garden, it is essential to know what precisely a woodland garden should have. There are a few key elements that I feel every good woodland garden needs when a design is being drawn up.
A winding path
I’m not saying to make your garden look like it belongs in a fairy-tale, but if you ask anyone what one key feature of a beautiful woodland garden is, they will say a winding path. Ideally, this path will be made of individual stones and will guide your stare through the middle of the garden, allowing for a balance of flowers and trees on either side.
One essential tip for creating a woodland garden would be using a selection of plants or flowers native to where you live. This is because they will blossom most naturally and will require little maintenance. When it comes to selecting greenery, too, you will want to make sure that you select plants at different sizes and heights so that one will not overpower the other. This will make your garden look more symmetrical.
Color and Decoration
As much as you want beautiful green trees and shrubbery to take over your garden, it is always important to balance the greenery with color and decoration. Consider adding some colorful plants to your garden or a small decorative water fountain or bench. Some people will even add rocks or little gnomes to their little woodland paradise to bring a little character. When it comes to a woodland garden, there is no such thing as too much decoration.
Key Things to note
- Layering is key for a woodland garden; this means having trees, bushes, and shrubs at higher, mid and lower levels. This layering will make your garden appear to have more depth.
- Soil is important when it comes to creating your woodland garden. Look to incorporate some good potted soil with good drainage and will provide your plants with all the right nutrients.
- You will need to be patient. Building upon a woodland garden is a process that will take time and effort, so you will need to be patient if you do decide to create one.
- Many woodland plants are dry-shade plants, meaning they will receive limited light because they are under a tree and will often have to compete for water with other dry-shade plants too.
- While you may love a particular plant or tree, you should look to keep your selection of plants or trees native so that they are easier to maintain and will survive in your climate.
- Always look for a cheaper alternative if you can find one. Woodland gardens can be expensive, so you want to cut costs efficiently without compromising on quality.
There are many reasons why having a woodland garden is good, primarily because it can be a relaxing place that takes time, energy, and skill to build and maintain, so it can be very satisfying when it all comes together.
Typically, the best time to lant your woodland for your garden is winter. This is because the trees are dormant and can be bought and planted bare root. This is a lot cheaper than buying them potted at any other stage of the year. So purely for cost-efficiency, planting in winter is a good idea.
There is a three-step process that you can quickly follow for reference. First, position your tree, secondly, choose your perennials, and finally, add your under-planting.
Yes, it would help if you watered your woodland plants and trees regularly. Ideally, once per week. This is because the plants will respond best to moist soil. This is another reason why planting in winter is a good idea, because the weather is likely to be worse, and the soil will get more moisture early on to help the plant or tree grow.
There is no real limit to what you can put into a woodland garden. It is up to you and whatever you feel comfortable growing.
Some great trees and plants for a woodland garden include sunflowers, wild strawberries, woodland sedges, lilies, and goldenrods. These are just some personal favorites, but it is entirely up to you and your skill level and comfort.