Forum home Plants

planting a woodland area

I am clearing a small wooded area at the bottom of my garden including cutting down dead or dying trees and masses of bramble. The area is very damp in winter and dry in summer with dappled sunshine. It is bordered by a natural ditch that takes away most of the water. I am creating a wooded fantasy garden for my grandchildren and I am unsure what will grow there. There are already a lot of daffodils and bluebell that come up. The ground looks really good after years of being left to its own devices. Any suggestions please?



  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,520

    You'll get plenty of suggestions David image

    How big is the area? 

    One thing that would be good to get in now is the white anemone -  Anemone Nemerosa, which grows naturally in woodland. There are lots of bulbs which will naturalise there to , including daffs and narcissus. You can get those easily online from many of the bulb specialists like Peter Nyssen. 

    The usual suspects like ferns will be ideal, and the hardy geraniums will also grow there - loads of varieties to choose from, and readily available.  Some of the little Euphorbias like Fen's Ruby will also be fine there. 

    Hope that gives you a start anyway. 

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

  • Thanks fairygirl. The area is about 5 metres deep tapering to 3 metres and is about 30 metres long. Full of trees including ash and hawthorn. Also some Sloe bushes. I am looking to plant another 3 or 4 trees to replace the dead ones. A bit worried about euphorbias as they can be poisonous if children get sap on their fingers.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,520

    Don't worry too much  about plants like Euphorbia, David. It's a common query on the forum, but the reality is that many plants are technically 'dangerous'. A lot of people are becoming increasingly nervous about what they have in their gardens, which is a great pity. Ponds are another source of anguish, yet thousands of us have grown up with them - my own children included. 

    Mine also grew up with all sorts of plants which are considered unsafe, but they were taught about them, and weren't allowed to pick things or cut them etc unless they asked first. It's largely about common sense and education, and of course, young children shouldn't be unsupervised in any garden for any length of time. Fen's Ruby is tiny - a little ground cover plant. I'd be surprised if children were ever attracted to it!  If you're still unsure, then don't worry, there are plenty of other things you can use. image

    You may find that if you're putting back a lot of trees that it'll limit what you plant, as the ground could be quite dry. Vinca (periwinkle) will do well once established, Hostas are the same, and you could also try sowing seed like some of the 'cow parsley copies'  -Ammi Majus - for a froth of white. 

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

  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    I'd be more worried about the sloe thorns than the euphorbias, I've had blood poisoning twice thanks to sloes.

    an 'enhanced' British woodland might look good, keep 80-85% native plants (snowdrops, Solomon's seal, wild strawberry, various violets, aconites, primrose, lent lilies, anemones, bluebell, wild garlic, lily of the valley, and red campion)  and enhance with hosta's, non-native ferns (tree ferns work well- but are really expensive), trilliums, brunnera's, hellebores, dodecathons etc.

  • AWBAWB Posts: 421


    A similar project.

    the chair is very important.

  • Plant a native Elm, bring them back!

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,905

    Don't forget the chair.image

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 15,314

    That will look very pretty. Has anyone mentioned Epimediums?

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Bee witchedBee witched Scottish BordersPosts: 650

    Hi David,

    I have a woodland area where the following plants do well ....

    Cardamine enneaphylla - flowers very early then disappears

    Galium odoratum - grown from seed and now a great big patch of ground cover

    Lots of primulas and various hardy geranium - also good ground cover ... and myosotis (forget-me- nots) which seed about and look lovely. 

    If the area is for little children you might like to let them have little fairy doors at the base of the woodland trees.  They have these in Edinburgh Botanical Gardens and they look very sweet.

    Keep us posted with pictures.

    Bee image

    Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey   
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,991

    Love that chair! I want one!

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
Sign In or Register to comment.