Wednesday, December 26, 2007

If you've got plenty of space, then a woodland garden would be a good alternative

A woodland garden is a mini forest that requires quite a lot of room. The trees should not be so densely planted that nothing will grow beneath them. For best results choose only smaller-growing trees and space them at least 10 m apart. Too many evergreens clumped together will cast a big area of dense shade. If you mostly use deciduous trees, you will be able to grow a wide range of spring bulbs and other winter-growing plants underneath. A woodland garden is quiet, sheltered and peaceful. And it is easy to maintain, although you will need to pull out any self-seeded saplings that appear.

Looking After a Woodland Garden

Spring and Summer

Paths
Start to mow grass paths once every two weeks or so in spring. Bare paths may need topping up with fresh bark chippings.

Watering
Any newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials should be kept watered to help them become established.

Weeding
Keep a 1 meter diameter circle free of weeds and grass around newly planted trees and shrubs.


Autumn

Grass Clippings
Cut long grass with a line trimmer or heavier-duty brush cutter. Rake off clippings and use as mulch. Thin out any dense ground growth.

Clear Leaves
Rake off fallen leaves, but use some as a natural mulch under shrubs and trees. Do not over mulch as this could rot young stems.

Planting
Plant bulbs for naturalizing. This is also the best time to plant new woodland trees and shrubs.

Weeding
Clear weeds and unwanted self-seeded saplings. The rule is: if you haven't planted it, don't let it grow.


Winter

Pruning
Cut out any damaged branches or those that show signs of disease. Also cut back branches that overhang paths, in order to keep access to the woodland open.

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