Preparing for spring at the woodland garden is always an exciting time and one that keeps me going through the long winter months.This year things will be a bit different than past years. Certainly it will be exciting but it will also be a bit of an easier time as far as weather is concerned. This week the weather will be in the 70’s all week and certainly 20 to 30 degrees above normal for this time of year. This means a lot of the early blooming plants will be up and growing several weeks early.
As with most years it will be a lot of cleanup but once done the rest of the year will be enjoying the beauty of the woodland flora and fauna. The true enjoyment of the woodland garden for me is the chance to get away and spend time in a more naturals setting enjoying the plants and wildlife that you do not find in the city and the suburbs.
If you are contemplating a woodland garden of your own the best piece of advise I can give you is that do not try and get too neat and orderly. The native woodland plants are very aggressive and they will constantly be battling to take over cultivate beds. This is a major time consuming task trying to keep beds clean and free of plants that you did not plant there. My philosophy is that as long as the plants that are growing are not harmful (poison ivy,poison sumac, etc..) or causing problems that keeping them under control and working around them is a lot easier and more natural than trying to eradicate them.
This year my first trip to the woodland garden will be this weekend if everything goes according to plan. The time there will be spent in removing lots of fallen branches and limbs and then cleaning of many cubic yards of leaves. his is the most time consuming maintenance of the year. All in all it will be a two day job but once done the rest of the maintenance through the year can be handled in just a couple of hours each visit. As you can see in the photo there is never a lack of leaves or branches to be cleaned up in the spring.
While certainly there is some work involved but there is always the possibility of just scratching out a walk path and small clearings if you want to go all natural. The design of your garden is totally up to you.