iriemade Skip to Content

How to Tame a Woodland Garden

Creating your very own woodland garden can be a magical thing. There’s nothing quite like having that calming feeling of nature in your very own backyard. But when things become a little too overgrown and out of hand, that tranquil woodland garden can become anything other than calm. And the longer you leave it, the more unruly it will become.

There are many ways you can tame an unruly woodland garden, no matter the size. We’ll be discussing the best tips and tricks to get your greenery into tip top shape, just in time for summer!

What is a Woodland Garden?

A woodland garden is a little different from your average backyard. Usually in modern gardens we see a structured, open-plan space with areas decluttered for seating and lounging, clean strong edging and strategically planted shrubs, flowers and trees.

A woodland garden is the complete opposite. This type of garden serves to recreate that real, wilderness feel of a natural forest woodland. Think back to when you were a child and you wandered the woods in search of fairies and nymphs – this is the type of feeling you experience with a woodland garden.

Woodland gardens are a great way to reconnect with nature, daily. And they also do a great job to benefit wildlife in the area, such as birds, small land creatures and insects needed to retain our ecosystem.

Nothing is carefully planted in a woodland garden, there is usually not much structure. Instead, we plant a variety of trees and shrubs and let nature take its course. Who wouldn’t want a multitude of wildflowers and trees of all heights right on their doorstep!

How to Maintain Your Woodland Garden

Woodland gardens are made for the wildhearted, however sometimes it can become a little overbearing. Fed up of your plot looking that little bit too out of hand? why not give these hacks a go:

Add a Garden Path

Woodland gardens tend to have no real structure to them, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t create some order to your plot. Adding a natural looking garden path can be the perfect way to bring back some organisation within your personal woodland, without giving too much of a sectioned feel.

A garden path doesn’t have to look overly man-made. You can create a path like those you see during a nature-trail walk, with just the use of some mulch and stone edging. This can create a subtle walkway through the woodland, giving a more maintained, ordered finish to your woodland garden.

Or, you could sweep away some of the leaves and branches to add some stone or log stepping stones, giving you a means to maneuver yourself around the lot, as well as a natural feeling feature that’s pleasant to the eye. If you want to go even more natural, simply sweep away some of the floor shrubbery to create more of a soil pathway through the trees.

Remove Some of the Weight

Because woodland gardens are meant to be left alone for nature to run its course, often they can turn into a monster. If you’re finding nature has run its course a little too hard and you’re faced with too many plants to handle, why not try removing some of the bulk.

Removing excess and overgrown plants can return your land to a more neutral state, and will get you loving your natural space that little bit more.

This may mean removing some larger plants such as overgrown hedges, to create more space and tranquility. It’s important you hire a professional to assess any large hedges before removal, as they can sometimes pose a danger to you and those around you. 

Hedge removal costs can range from £50-£400 depending on the size of the hedge and various other factors.

Add a Focal Point

Adding a focal point to your woodland garden doesn’t have to take away from the natural feel of the land. A focal point could be as simple as arranging the shrubs and trees in a way to purposely bring the eye to a certain area. 

For example, adding layering to your plants will bring the eye to a specific tree or shrub, creating a natural point to focus on. If you create a woodland path, try keeping the first layer of plants around the path low level and green, and build up the rear plants to become higher with each level. You could even add a level of bushes or trees with bright flowers amongst the greenery to bring the eye up to this point.

Create Areas of Edging

Just because it’s a woodland, doesn’t mean you can’t add subtle edging to create more structure. Try using natural materials such as stone or logs to create a subtle border around certain areas of the land. This will give a cleaner feel to your woodland garden, taking away some of the clutter.

Invest in Some Mulch

Mulch is a great way to naturally create contrast between the ground and your greenery. Often, the reason a woodland garden begins to look a little too overgrown is due to the mismatch of colouring on the ground. It can often become a mess of soil, leaves, moss, and stones, which can begin to take the eye away from focal points and other areas.

Spreading mulch under your shrubs and around your trees can create a clear contrast between the floor and your greenery and flowers, which can give a much more put together and less overwhelming atmosphere to your woodland garden.

Clear Away Any Dead Wood

Much like the previous point, dead wood and branches from trees, unruly stones and fallen leaves can often give that unmaintained feel to a woodland garden.

If you’re wanting to create a bit more order within your plot, it may be worth taking a rake to anything that’s looking a bit dead at ground level. Removing any old bits of bark, leaves and branches can instantly give your woodland garden the face lift it needs.

Add a Fence

Is there a little too much wildlife taking a wander into your woodland? It’s great to attract the nearby wildlife to your land, however, sometimes it can become overbearing.

If your woodland garden extends onto actual woodland and you’ve forgotten where the forest starts and the garden ends, why not add a little bit of fencing around the edge. Fencing can be subtle, and depending on the color and type of wood used it can really compliment a woodland garden.

If you’re wanting to add a fence but aren’t a fan of the look, you can always disguise it with shrubs and trees, vine plants such as ivy, or even a hedge.

Pin It on Pinterest