There is nothing better than stepping out of your home into your own piece of heaven: your garden. Whether you have a beautifully manicured lawn, contemporary decking, or a haven for wildlife it is your space to think in, entertain in, and relax in.

But what about creating your own woodland garden? We all know how beneficial spending time in the garden is (see our blog on Mental Health) and if you have large trees or unused wooded areas in your garden why not put them to good use by creating your own relaxing woodland garden.

Even the smallest garden can be turned into a woodland haven.

There are a number of plants perfect for creating your own woodland garden. In addition to small shrubs and trees, ground cover and mosses make good choices for a woodland garden, along with other shade-loving perennials. For more interest and impact, combine contrasting shapes and textures with ferns, grasses, perennials and shrubs. Adding some evergreen ferns, the Christmas rose or Mahonia will ensure you have colour in your garden all year round.

Plants that will help create a Woodland Garden:
How to create a woodland garden

  • Camellias
  • Azaleas
  • Birch
  • Hydrangeas
  • Japanese maple
  • Magnolias
  • Lavender
  • Bluebells
  • Snowdrops
  • Primroses
  • Cyclamen

Planting your Woodland Garden

When starting to plan your woodland garden think about upward laying by using your smallest to tallest plants with the tallest providing high canopies to rest under. Plant them in a haphazard way to replicate the feeling of natural woodland; this will be greatly enhanced if you allow plants to self-seed.

At the base of your taller plants, place shade-loving herbaceous plants and plants that attract bees, butterflies and other insects such as Foxgloves, Ox-eye Daisy, Wallflowers and Scabious, as well as providing ground cover for smaller animals.

Add a rustic path or stepping stones that meander up to the garden, a birdbath, and finish by placing a wooden bench under a canopy where you can sit and relax with a good book and glass of something chilled. Perfect.

Top tip:

Collect fallen leaves in autumn and store them in plastic sacks (pierced for ventilation) somewhere out of the way. A year later you will be rewarded with some lovely mulch.


We hope that has given you a few ideas on how to create your own woodland space where you can enjoy the benefits that being in nature brings to you.

To get more ideas, and to enjoy the woodland atmosphere on a larger scale, you can visit the Woodland Garden at Antony Woodland Garden.

Sarah Bartlett


The overwhelming peace and tranquillity shouldn’t be underestimated. Losing yourself in Cornwall’s hidden Garden will have a lasting effect, helping you feel calm, happy and refreshed. 


Comments are closed.