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Mini forests


I've just watched a TED video on creating tiny forests anywhere and feel quite inspired. Check out

I think less lawn and more vegetation would be excellent, particularly at the front of my house. My thoughts are 


More privacy,
Reduced road noise,
Good for the environment in various ways (water control, road pollution, insect life etc)


I can't see how it won't look a mess!

Is this something you've seen here in the UK please? I think if I were to just get busy with dense planting and a woodland like mulch to help stop weeds I can achieve all the of the good points and keep it looking organised. I like the height though and how impervious it looks.

I have a bit of a blank canvas (tired hedge and bad lawn) and would love to get more green going. I'm pretty busy though and so I could do with achieving relatively low maintenace somehow. 

Thanks for reading,




  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,923

    Hi image

    I really can't see how his methodology would work in urban environments in the UK, simply because our native trees would damage the foundations of our homes and the infrastructure around them (drains, cabling, roads etc). 

    Forests, at least in northern Europe, need space, both above and below ground.

    However, there's a lot to be said for a good old fashioned shrubbery image  All the benefits of a small forest and none of the disadvantages that I can think of.

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

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,872

    There's a house not far from me which has a sort of mini forest of shrubbery and one tree ( I think!) in the front garden. They have a horseshoe drive as it's on a fairly busy road. I think it looks pretty awful but I'm not sure much thought went into it.

    Done properly, it's pretty low maintenance, but there's a school of thought which says it's a bad idea as it gives potential burglars a lot of cover...

    Keeping a balance of shrubs and perennials at a suitable height is probably the way to go Russ image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • YviestevieYviestevie Posts: 7,063

    Not for me, I like as much light as possible in my house and wouldn't fancy coming home in the dark to let myself in through a load of trees, I like to see whose about.

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190

    Does anyone have a 'Barren piece of land' that size?

    our native trees certainly wont grow that big in three years.



    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,923

    Lucky if a three year old oak seedling will reach 12" eh Lyn?  And then when it does get going it can turn into one of these


     a forest all on it's own.


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

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190

    Not many of us have that long to waitimage

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,923

    Don't think mini-forests will work here Lyn - mini bramble patches might?

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

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    It can be very oppressive to have tall trees close to the house, regardless of drains and foundations. And of course, they will only be mini until they grow then you or someone will have to kill them off before their time. There is such a variety of shrubs available that you can plant for appearance and privacy if you wish to. I'm not a biologist, but I imagine that they are also good for wildlife, air pollution and noise. They don't take much upkeep, either.

  • Russ_TRuss_T Posts: 3

    Thanks for (most of) the responses image

    So the climate in India is very different, which is a good point. I think clever more traditional planting maybe the way forward, mixed with some of the work they did with the soil. We of course won't struggle so much with lack of water.

    Good point on not blocking too much light as well, thanks. If someone wants to burgle my house, they can get all the privacy they need around the back image

    So I'll save my mini forest plans for when I have to build a forest, and try to get smart with native shrubs planted densley. Now to dig through to look for examples.

    Thank you




  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190

    There's no point in planting shrubs densely Russ, they need space and light to grow to their full potential. It's so easy to buy a plant, probably about 2' tall and quite thin, thinking you can cram a lot in, you can't, look at the sizes given on the labels for height and width and plant accordingly. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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