Forest gardens are beautiful and stunning in their naturalness. How to create a forest garden? What plants are best suited for such a garden?
What is a forest garden?
A forest garden is a landscaping design, which is inspired by naturally growing trees, shrubs and other plants. There are two types of forest gardens:
- using natural vegetation – can be created if there is natural forest vegetation on the plot;
- imitating a natural forest – artificially created plantings, which are intended to look as natural as possible.
The forest garden fits in with ecological trends because it draws on the natural relationships between plants and balanced environmental interference. The forest garden is not only a decoration for the plot, but also an environment for small animals and insects.
Designing a forest garden – what to pay attention to?
If a forest garden is created on a natural forest site or part of it, the natural character of the garden must not be allowed to disappear. Therefore, maintenance activities should be limited to the removal of feral plants and emerging pests and disease control. Artificially created beds should be planted next to the house so that as much of the garden as possible remains intact.
When a forest garden is established artificially, the stacking of plants should not be forgotten. Trees and shrubs in such a garden should have an appropriate cover consisting of perennials, mosses and lichens, which perfectly complement the forest composition. Heather and heathers are also ideal for supplementing the groundcover
When creating a forest garden, remember that each piece of garden architecture must be well composed with its surroundings. For a forest garden, choose only natural elements, for example, stone, wood.
The most important rules when setting up a forest garden
It seems that arranging a woodland garden is very labor intensive. Nothing could be further from the truth, this type of garden is the easiest to plant and maintain. In order for plants to create a forest composition, it’s worth sticking to a few rules:
- forest garden should be established on a large plot, only then you can emphasize the natural beauty of the garden;
- use as many natural plants as possible;
- plants should be planted in tiers;
- choose regional species of plants, so that the garden will look natural;
- use plenty of natural materials: wood and stone.
Establishing a forest garden
Establishing a forest garden does not differ from establishing other types of gardens. The first step is to design it carefully on a piece of paper. In the project it is worth to determine what character will have a forest garden – deciduous or coniferous
The next step is to properly prepare the soil by digging, weeding and fertilizing. After digging the garden you should deal with the placement of small garden architecture, such as putting a bench, gazebo.
The last step is stacking plants. You should start with the largest plants such as trees and shrubs. In the next stage you should take care of the cover between the trees. Perennials, heathers, and pipe plants will work well for this. At the very end, plants should be planted in the roots of the trees.
Plants in a forest garden
Choosing the right plants for a forest garden is a key consideration. Plants must be suited to the soil and water conditions. Large trees dry out the soil severely, so shrubs and plants on the lowest floor should be protected with an automatic irrigation network
Plants for a deciduous forest garden
In deciduous forest gardens there is humus soil. Therefore, plants in such a garden are more demanding than in a coniferous forest garden.
In these gardens are planted deciduous trees such as birch, oak, hornbeam, linden, willow, elm, maple. The most popular shrubs in such a garden are: barberry, lilac, jasmine, holly, mulberry, wild rose, karemcha and hawthorn. In the last floor, that is, in the undergrowth, it is best to plant anemone, helleborine, honeysuckle, snowdrop.
>> Read also: Garden in country style
Plants for a coniferous forest garden
In forest coniferous gardens, the soil is permeable with an acidic pH. Trees such as pine, spruce, fir will do best in such a garden. Shrubs that will grow well in such soil are: juniper, yew, thuyas, azalea, blueberry, rhododendron. In the floor of the undergrowth will work best heather and heather, ferns, blueberry and pasqueflower.
Does a woodland garden exclude a beautiful lawn?
No beautiful garden can do without a manicured lawn. Grass is not a natural substrate in forests, so ivies and mosses are recommended for forest gardens. If a lawn is to be established, it is advisable to choose an all-purpose grass mixture designed for shade. The grass must be sown more densely and mowed higher. It also needs regular watering and fertilizing.