Woodland areas are increasingly recognised as important for supporting wildlife, clearing pollution and keeping us all cooler, with dappled shade in the summer months. Perhaps for this reason, woodland-themed gardens are on the rise and will feature strongly at Chelsea this year.
While it will take time to create this look in your own garden, if you get started now you can enjoy watching as it gradually turns into a flourishing small woodland area in your garden. If you’re starting with a blank canvass, begin by planting a few container-grown trees, making sure to allow room for ultimate height and spread as listed on the label.
For narrow gardens, Prunus (cherry) ‘Amanogawa’ is a great choice. It is pencil thin and bears fantastic pink blossoms in spring. Combine this with the characteristic purple foliage of Acer palmatum (Japanese maple) in a feature pot and you’ll really make a statement. For wider gardens, you can’t go wrong withan apple such as ‘Laxton’s Superb,’ which will reach 4-8 metres tall and wide and produce delicious dessert apples late in the season or you can buy smaller versions—see your garden centre for advice.
Trees like mountain ash, birch and hawthorn are good trees for a small wooded area in a corner of your garden and are brilliant for birds if grown as a standard.