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The motivation for the woodland garden was to create somewhere to place Katherine's Royal Chicken House with it intended to be located such that she would be able to see it and wander down from the house we were building for her. Following her passing we have continued with the project as explained in the story section and so here is a bit more information about the garden itself.
I guess I am a cottage gardener, which I suppose means, like many of us I get tempted to buy a plant and then get home and wonder where to put it!. However with the woodland garden you are dealing with varied levels of light and shade and different soil conditions. So you have to plan to buy a much more resticted range of 'Woodland Plants.'
As such, I have planned 3 levels of planting, new small trees like Sorbus, Malus and Maples; then a level of bushy shrubs and finally a low level of ground cover. All this interspersed with plenty of primroses, Scilla, Bluebells and wood anenome, many of which have been sited round some reclaimed tree root boles which have a wonderful architechture of their own and help the natural feel of the garden.
We have planted some 250 Hostas and 500 ferns though you would hardly think so at this stage! It's a new learning curve for me experimenting with what plants I can get away with and how to maintain a naturalistic feel. I have a lot of learning to come!
Still, though the garden remains a work in progress it is already starting to feel settled and natural and hopefully tie in well with the surrounding gardens at the farm.
The first stage of works, begining in 2012, was to create some space and light and that involved felling and clearing some 160 x 60 foot high Christmas Trees.
The logs from these trees were stacked to dry, in doing so creating some insect habitat. Some were then converted into the rustic pig sty which now has its second year of inhabitants, Lilly and Wibbley; others have been used as edging or firewood.