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  • Writer's pictureSarah Kay

How to create a secluded Woodland Garden in an existing garden?

In the design studio this week, I've been finalising the details of my new design for an E11 Woodland Garden.

Final Layout

Having previously designed the planting for the main part of the back garden, my clients commissioned a redesign of the back area of the garden, which was dominated by a damaged shed and multi level rotting decking.

Damaged shed

With a North Westerly aspect, the right hand side of this area enjoys the sunshine most of the day and would make the ideal secluded spot for a coffee away from the house.

The existing shed position and multi level floor didn't allow for a adequately sized seating area so my first recommendation was to level the front area to the level of the first step and build an L shaped low retaining wall from oak sleepers.

Existing entrance to back area

A new larger shed will be positioned in the bottom left hand corner with the doors opening to the back of the garden. This will allow easy access to the shed and to soften and disguise the side of the shed with climbers.

Aerial view of new Woodland Garden

The existing sandstone in the main garden will be extended to the Woodland area and new trees and shrubs (Ilex, Betula & Pittosporum) will be brought in to provide privacy and link with the existing planting. New horizontal hit and missing fencing will also provide consistency with the main garden.

Secluded seating area

The planting in the right hand bed which enjoys almost full sun in the Summer will consist of hardy Winter interest shrubs including Cornus and Viburnum underplanted with Hylotelephium, Echinachea and ornamental grasses providing a link with the main garden planting.

Planting in the main garden

The flower bed at the back will have a shady woodland feel with ground covers including Ferns, Brunnera, Ajuga and Astrantia.

View from the table

An L-shaped flower bed in front of the shed and trellis provides vertical spaces to grow fragrant climbers including Trachelospernum jasminoides.

The existing irrigation will be extended to the back flower beds.


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