If you have large trees or any unused wooded areas on your property, put them to great use by making a woodland garden. These gardens offer a more relaxed and ‘natural’ look to your home, and the best part is, most of these plants are lower in maintenance and undeniably gorgeous.
However, before planting, it’s best to add paths, stepping stones, and decorative rocks to your landscape. That’s because, in ‘real’ woodlands, everything is layered, consisting of mid to high canopies, making plants not perfectly lined up, so it only makes sense if your woodland garden is the same. Therefore, before choosing your plants, strategically place your planters in cleared off areas.
With that said, here are some of the best plants you can add to your woodland garden.
Blue Cassell Hydrangea
The Blue Cassell Hydrangea boasts vibrant blue lace-cap flowers with rose overtones present at its branches’ ends and generally blooms from early summer to the end of fall. These flowers are ideal for cutting and feature gorgeous green foliage throughout the season, giving your woodland garden the authentic looks and vibes of the real one. The cultivar is naturally a repeat bloomer, blooming on old and new wood extending its bloom times.
This gorgeous flower can add a touch of vibrancy and mystery to your DIY woodland garden at home, capturing the same vibes of the real one.
The columbine is a perennial plant typically found in woodlands or any places at a higher altitude throughout the Northern Hemisphere, famous for its yellow-spurred petals, favored by butterflies and hummingbirds. It’s a native plant spread by the seed, spilling out chalice-like pods, giving any space a touch of timeless elegance. It relatively does well in both the sun or shade as they’re naturally adaptive plants.
These can be a great addition to your woodland garden as they’re easy to grow, quickly matures, and booms young, giving you a beautiful landscape all-year-round.
If you’re looking to add a touch of color and fragrance to your woodland garden, a unique variety of lavender called the ‘Lavender Munstead‘ is a great choice. It’s a native plant to the Mediterranean coast, thriving best in sunny and well-drained locations. These plants can last for ten years with proper care.
This enchanting plant can be a great addition to any woodland garden, providing a touch of mystery and beauty while providing ample shade to the area. The plant is naturally ‘hooded’ and has green flowers arising, revealing little ‘Jacks’ poking out against rusty red markings inside of its pulpit, hence its strange name—jack-in-the-pulpit. It usually sets bright red clusters of berries during the fall.
The spiderwort is a charming and versatile perennial that can make your woodland garden more colorful during the spring-time alongside its grassy foliage and colorful flowers. These often come in pairs of electric cobalt blue flowers with neon chartreuse foliage. It’s a native plant typically found along the edges of a forest, giving life to the pathways. You can replicate the same experience by planting spiderwort on your garden’s stone path.
The butterfly weed is one of the toughest prairie plants you can come across. It has a high resistance to pests, diseases, and drought. This native plant got its unique name since people notice butterflies flocking to these plants, thanks to their vibrant color and copious production of nectar—making it the perfect ‘sweet’ addition to your garden. The butterfly weed grows best during the summer, showing off its gorgeous orange flowers under the bright sun.
Swamp milkweeds are another favorite of butterflies. Although it may have a strange and unappealing name, don’t be fooled as it’s one of the gorgeous plants you can add to your woodland garden. It has pink flowers that will grow during the mid-summer season, attracting equally beautiful monarch butterflies. These unique plants are low maintenance and typically grow back year after year—bringing more ‘life’ to your landscape.
If you want to add more ‘drama’ to your woodland garden, a great native plant you should consider is a compass plant. These can add a much dramatic presence to your landscape thanks to their bright sunflower-shaped blooms sitting atop huge 9-foot stems. Besides being undoubtedly beautiful, it’s incredibly tolerant to drought, making it a relatively low-maintenance plant.
The best types of plants you can use for woodland gardens are native plants to woodlands, offering the advantage of vibrancy and lower maintenance. Although new plants may need supplemental watering during their initial year of establishment, caring for a woodland garden isn’t as strenuous—and those mentioned are great plants you can start with.