- Think through your short term and long term plans. Woodland gardens are likely to last and last.
- Ensure you have the right space, location and environment for a woodland.
- Work with nature not against it.
- Make careful consideration of the type of garden you are aiming for and think in 3 dimensions at the planing stage.
- Keep your first designs and plans basic so you can make changes after the key plants are in place.
Tips for making a woodland garden
- Trees are the framework and backbone of your woodland garden.
- Plant some evergreens to provide structure through winter
- Lift the canopy of trees regularly to allow light through to the plants below.
- Introduce brightness to shady spots with golden leaved plants and shade tolerant varieties.
- Spring will be OK with bulbs and wild flowers but introduce plants for summer interest
- Provide varying light levels to increase the range of plants grown.
- Avoid hard landscape and make design features simple and natural.
- Mulch and consider ferns, Rhododendrons and Cornus if the soil is on the acid side.
On a hot summers day (what is that ? ed.) there is nothing better than a woodland walk with its distinctive scents and surprising colours. Well spaced deciduous trees often provide the best displays as the filtered sun helps develop then highlight the woodland growers.
- Aconites are one of the earliest woodland flowers and do well under trees
- Bluebells are an favourite but can expand rapidly in a garden.
- Anemone nemorosa or Wood anemone grow well under shady trees as long as they can get some moisture.
- Low growing Red Campion flowers May to June on the woodland margins with it’s small delicate rose pink flowers.
- Foxgloves grow tall spikes of flower June to September.
- Rhododendron ponticum grows wild in some acid soiled woodlands and produces large colourful shrubs. They are now thought to be too invasive in some areas.
- Sorrel, Purslane, Wild garlic and Celadine are other plants to look out for during early summer.
- Primroses flower in woodland when the shafts of sunshine help the plant light up the area with the bright yellow flowers
- Dog Roses, Blackthorn and Hawthorn are all native plants that can feature in mixed woodland.
- Photos of woodland flowers
- You can buy seed mixtures aimed at different locations from Thompson & Morgan