All You Need to Know About Woodland Gardens

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Have you ever wanted to live in your fantasy landscape surrounded by lush greenery and a dash of nature’s serene beauty? This garden could be just what you were looking for.

The ultimate aim of Woodland Gardens is to provide aesthetic views with as little maintenance as possible. Inspired by the historical gardens in Scotland and England, woodland gardens were popularized around the early 1600s.

Many of the old gardens around the world were then restored with shrubs, flowers, and a wide array of trees.

After reading this piece, you will have sufficient knowledge of maintaining or developing a woodland garden and all there is to know about them.

What is a Woodland Garden?

This garden is an area filled with trees and plants of varying heights and species, together to form a dense forest-like structure that is aesthetically pleasing.

This amalgamation of trees and shrubs is often overgrown. Unlike conventional gardens, people often add statement pieces and remove most of the poison ivy from their gardens.

Design Ideas and Tips for your Woodland Garden

By adding just a touch of mystery to the design of a garden, you can enhance it. Woodland gardens have their remarkable quality when it comes to the unknown.

Just think about what a winding path or a trickling stream or even lush foliage can do to a garden.

Following are a few inspiring ideas which will make your woodland garden look incredible. 

1. Create a Green Haven 

A woodland garden’s sense of containment and security is a sure-fire way to induce relaxation. It’s one of the most immersive garden styles, with layers of soft green foliage to calm the mind and soul.

To give your garden a fantastic look, blend evergreen and deciduous plants.

2. Allow Room to Breathe and Observe 

What’s the secret to keeping it looking like a lawn rather than a tangle of mess? Crown lifting trees and big shrubs are one of the most powerful strategies.

Lower branches are removed to enable more sunshine to pass in, allowing the forest plant to flourish in the dappled light to be seen in all of its glory.

3. Make a Place to Sit and Enjoy It

Shade is beneficial to humans as well, particularly on hot summer days. Place comfortable chairs and tables in enticing locations so you can relax and take in the scenery.

Woodland gardens are a paradise for animals, so you may get lucky and hear birdsong or see other species. Lead the eye!

If you have space, create a meandering route to encourage yourself to explore. Who wouldn’t want to take the delightful forest path with its gentle curves leading out of sight?

Gravel is often found in pathways. Bark chips, on the other hand, perform incredibly well to provide you with natural softness underfoot.

4. Choose Trees with Light Canopies 

Silver birches and other trees with light canopies are suitable for woodland gardens because they have height and structure. Rowan or Sorbus, Rabapples or Malice, and Hazel or Perilous are excellent choices for light canopies.

If your garden is devoid of trees, you can purchase semi-mature trees to create an immediate woodland effect.

What Kind of Soil is the Most Suited for Your Garden?

Your soil needs to be highly fertile, and for this, make sure you add organic matter made up of rotted leaf mold, wood, twigs, and various tiny microbes.

Rich, acidic soil is preferred on excellent farmland.

Common Problems and their Fixes

Certain shaded areas in your garden may hinder the growth of full-sun plants. This results in drought and the falling of leaves in that particular part.

You can use various leaf blowers to clean out, but we suggest you let it idle if it is too much. You can create raised-fenced paths if you want to grow ephemeral flowers or ferns to avoid stepping on them.

Always prefer materials like wood chips for any structures rather than limestone, as it increases the pH of the soil.

On the other hand, wood is inexpensive and will break down, adding more nutrients into the soil. To avoid issues like drought, try to use dry shade plants and keep a reasonable distance between trees.

Best Plants for a Woodland Garden

With the perfect combination of humus-rich soil and plants that provide a soothing effect,  you can create your perfect fantasy land, which takes you back to the state of oblivion.

The first step would be to lay out your flower bed. People often use chalk during this process to outline the garden area and plant strategically. After this, remove any trash or unwanted saplings.

Spaces for any cross-walks or stepping stones should also be left out. Then you come to the most crucial aspect, which is choosing the right plants for your garden.

Juneberry Tree

It grows up to 12 meters in height when mature. The benefit of having this tree is the various shades of flowers it produces.

In autumn, its leaves showcase a lovely shade of red, while in spring, they turn into white flowers. Berries are also found on this tree during summers which are a delicacy for the surrounding wildlife.

Snow Queen Birch

This tree will provide volume due to its smaller height (7m)  and triangular leaves which grow on it. It blooms year-round and produces mustard-colored catkins in summers.

Field Maple

The average height of this tree ranges from 15-25 meters and is quite a common sight in parks.

Its leaves have a subtle transition from the outer pink layer to the cream-colored inner core.


This can be highly useful due to its medicinal benefits. It helps treat common problems like loss of appetite and the common cold.


The oak isn’t the national tree of many countries without any reason. Its branches spread and create a gloomy enclosure beneath it, providing more cover.

It also has a lifespan of up to 150-200 years!


This shrub can quickly grow up to 5 meters and has beautiful pink-colored cone-shaped flowers.

It also has other varieties like Palestrina and Britannia which showcase white, scarlet flowers.


This shrub comes in various colors such as pink, red and blue, depending upon the pH value of your soil.

One can also use herbaceous cover pants like Solomon’s seal, Lily of the valley, and Hostas.

These additions will make your garden look better and enable you to cherish nature every time you step out for a retreat.

How Can You Create a Woodland Garden Feel in Your Garden? 

To achieve the feeling of a woodland garden in your garden, it’s essential to know about the different plants involved in making the structure of woodland gardening. 

A structure consists of different layers, and each layer is formed by planting various types of plants. 

Top Layer

It primarily consists of large trees with great heights. 

Middle Layer

It involves shrubs such as Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Mahonias, Camellias, and more. 

Ground-level Planting

It involves smaller plants such as Hostas, Bluebells, Dicentra, Euphorbia, Primulas, and Forget-me-Nots which like to stay in some shade. 

When planting plants near trees, you should think about the woodland edge. Plant your shrubs and groundcover where they will get some dappled light on the edge of the area that the tree canopy covers.

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