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Under planting a mini woodland garden

Just looking for ideas of plants to add to a section of what is hopefully going to become our new garden. Even if the purchase falls through it's likely we'll have similar situation with any house we buy

There's a section above an inner garden fence that's simply a section of trees and very little else. Some pockets of periwinkle. I'm not up on trees but  there's at least one yew, I think a hazel and something like a big but topped off leylandii plus a few other mature trees.  Full tree cover. 

I was wondering what to add.  Can you get native species? If so ransome and other native plants we could forage would be very good I reckon. We often forage ransome. My partner has found a few good recipes and she lived in Bulgaria for awhile and they use it a lot. There's a lot of local woodland with ransome doing very nicely. 

Any other ideas? Any sources to legally get native,  edible species? If periwinkle and ransome do well what type of soil is it likely to be. 

Btw on the lower garden I'd like to grow fruit and veg  in among everything. Sneaky growing! There's a few open areas but mostly tree cover with some bushes among them. 

I'm sorry I've got no plant and tree details of what's there. I'm running on memory and not a very good plants knowledge. Plus it's hypothetical right now until we exchange contracts,  soon we hope but more likely not until next year the way things are going right now. Btw it's a sloping site. 

I'm simply doing my research and I'm a firm believer in forum members and their knowledge. You've possibly had similar questions before but I have dreadful forum search skills. Can't even find a post I've made on one site hours after making it!


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,141
    I think maybe you need to come down to earth.  Planning any garden, whether from new or making changes to an existing one requires some basic info - soil type, aspect, exposure.  Doing research is always a good idea but trying to plan a garden you don't yet own and without this basic info is a bit "pie in the sky".

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,882
    edited November 2020

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Probably best to wait until you actually get the house and then live with the garden as is for a while to understand what is growing, what the soil is like, whether it blows a gale or is sheltered, are there wet or dry areas, etc. This will help you work out what will thrive and what is best avoided.

    It doesn't hurt to do some research now. It sounds as though you want to create a forest garden. I would read around this subject (plenty of online resources, plus a few books) so that you can apply your knowledge once you have your plot.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,051
    I applaud your enthusiasm for your future garden, but agree you need to curb it and take some time to assess the site, soil conditions, ph, aspect, light levels and available moisture in the ground, once you own it! Just because ransomes grow well in local, presumably deciduous woodland with the benefit of dappled light and a moist woodland floor, doesn’t mean they will grow well in that garden - the understory of evergreen conifers is usually a dark, dry, nutrient-deficient wasteland where a few things will grow, but not many. Growing conditions will differ even within the same garden, so whilst it’s useful to see what is growing around, it is by no means a definitive guide.

    There are lots of good sources of native bulbs and plants for shade, try Avon Bulbs and when you have a firmer idea of what you are dealing with. The same goes for where to site the vegetable garden, which generally requires good soil and light.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
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