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Create your own woodland garden

Woodland plants are gorgeous, and so it is understandable that people now want to replicate this beauty in their own gardens. The good news is, you do not need to live next to a wood to recreate this. Here we discuss the perfect plants to grow to create a woodland feel. If you have a shady corner of your garden you have neglected over the years, you can transform it into a calm and tranquil area in a few simple steps.

Before you start planting
The first step is to plan what you are going to plant rather than deciding as you go along. Measure the space you have available first as this will help you determine how many plants you should buy.  If you have a relatively large area you could also leave space to place stepping stones to create a pathway.

Consider Layers
A woodland habitat has many layers. Usually it has trees as the top layer, shrubs as the second layer and the third layer is woodland plants. If you already have established trees in your garden, use the space around it as your woodland area, as it will already be nice and shady which is the ideal condition for woodland plants to thrive in.

If you are starting from scratch, plant a few trees together which will provide shade for the lower levels but also create shelter for birds and other wildlife. Next, choose deciduous shrubs to create a canopy level. This level will provide the shelter and protection for the flowers underneath. Finally, you will have your layer of woodland flowers which will attract butterflies, bees and other insects as well as add stunning colour.

Choose your plants
There are many types of flower that make perfect choices for woodland gardens. They need to like shade and not require full sun to thrive. Try and mix the choice of flower up so that you have a spectrum of colour. Include flowers that have beautiful scents as this will create a pleasant smell which you can enjoy alongside the pollinating insects. Also try and choose flowers with different blooming times. Having some that flower later in the year to others will mean you have a woodland garden in bloom for more months of the year.

Wood anemones are pretty perennials that are native to both the UK and other parts of Europe where they can be seen carpeting the floors of woodlands. These are delicate little plants that bloom in spring and look great alongside bluebells. The daisy like flowers are a great way of adding splashes of colour to your woodland garden. From white and yellow to blue and pink, you have plenty of choice.

These plants will multiply over the years. From intense purple blue flowers to pastel lilac and elegant white, these delicate flowers can cope with most climates and soil types, making them extremely versatile.

These beautiful flowers with purple, yellow or white petals and vibrant orange centres are great for providing a colourful display for years to come if planted in partial shade. They not only look great and come in many varieties, they are also a haven for bees.

Snowdrops are one of the first signs that spring is on its way and are a great way to ensure your woodland garden will still thrive through some of the winter months. They flower from January to March and are therefore extremely hardy. If they have moist soil, they will multiply happily into beautiful drifts in the grass.

No woodland area will look fully complete until the arrival of bluebells. In springtime, these striking blue flowers will transform your woodland garden into a spectacle. They are one of the best loved wildflowers in the country and for good reason. These beauties will multiply each year providing a carpet of blue to your woodland garden year after year. They are also adored by bees and other pollinating insects.

This beautiful perennial is a great way of adding colour to your woodland project. When little else is flowering, the cyclamen can open from late winter until April. They are hardy and great to naturalize in woodland areas, under trees and in shaded areas. With deep pink petals they are a winter beauty and pair brilliantly with other early flowering woodland plants such as snowdrops.

Related to the lily family, Fritillaria plants are known for their bell shaped, nodding petals. The flowers are relatively rare and look stunning in woodland and wildflower gardens. From white petals to purple with characteristic checked markings, these are truly stunning and as they naturalise well in grass areas and woodland settings, they are a great addition.

Muscari is commonly called Grape Hyacinth due to the appearance of the flower. They are easy to grow, the blooms are long lasting, they are vibrant in colour and look spectacular when left to naturalise under trees, making them a perfect woodland choice. The rich deep blue colour will make your garden a calm and tranquil place.

These are just some of our top picks for planting in wooded areas but not the entire list. Allium Ursinum, Wild Daffodils, Eranthis Hyemalis and English Daffodils are all also excellent for woodland areas. For a full range of varieties suited for woodland areas, please visit our website.

A great way to decide which plants you would like in your woodland garden is by visiting local woods as it will give you an indication of which plants naturally thrive in the nearby area and can inspire you. If you ensure the soil conditions and light requirements are met, you can easily create a woodland wonderland.

If you need any help with bulbs and gardening advice then please contact us. Boston Bubs Wholesale is a privately-owned business with over 35 years’ experience of importing only the finest quality horticultural products through Europe and from farms and growers all over the UK. Whether you’re a landscaper,  nursery, local authority, wholesaler, retailer, private business or individual gardener, give us a call on 01775 769 333 or visit for help with flower bulbs, grass seed and more.

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