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How To Merge The Forest in The Backyard With Your Garden

How To Merge The Forest in The Backyard With Your Garden

client case studies garden design for specific spaces nature-inspired garden plant selection and care

Have you got a garden backing into a wooded area? The forest can feel like a very dominant feature rising to the heights just behind your garden's edge. I know it can feel overwhelming. However, first I want to congratulate you - you live close to nature.

Don't Let the Forest Dominate Your Backyard

The forest is beautiful, but there are some challenges to combining it seamlessly with the garden. You don't want your backyard and the woods behind it to feel like strangers to each other. You also want the wooded area not to overpower your beautiful garden.

The situation can feel extreme, especially when starting a new garden from an empty site.



Such was the situation with one of my design clients when we started planning their garden. We all agreed that the forest was a vital feature that we didn't want to ignore. It added an exciting dimension to the site. Still, it also brought special issues to consider, like creating harmony and balancing the two different areas so close to each other.

The same dilemma can likewise occur in a more mature garden if this issue has not been properly solved before.

Consider the Forest Floor, Privacy Issues, and Your Style

I always recommend starting with a goal in your mind - the vision of your dream garden. It makes starting a garden so much easier, more focused, and fun when you know what you're doing.


If your garden is backing into a wooded area, ask yourself the following questions:

1. How does the forest floor look behind the borderline? Do you want it to be visible to the garden?


2. Do you need any privacy screens for people passing by or having a walk with their dogs? Where do you need them most?


3. Do you want to separate the plot from the forest or merge them? How does it work with your Garden Design Style?

Make notes. Add your ideas to a drawing or a site map. They will be a starting point for your garden plan.

Since the site is ALWAYS part of its environment, I most often recommend 'merging' the backyard and the forest without distinctive edges. So no straight lines of boundary fences or tightly clipped rows of shrubs.

There is also a bonus - the backyard always looks more extensive in size when it blends seamlessly with the wooded area. It's also balanced and harmonious. You feel like living close to nature and enjoy it.



Use Plants to Merge Your Garden into the Backing Forest

There are various ways to merge your garden with the forest backing it. Plants are the most versatile option for this.

You could think of the woodland edge planting as a painting's frame that emphasizes the forest and connects the wooded area with the garden.

Here are my tips for designing planting areas along the woodland edge:

1. Think about picture frames while choosing your planting. The frame itself shouldn't be too attention-grabbing. Similarly, I would not recommend choosing too distinct species that would conflict with the forest's vegetation. So avoid variegated, brightly colored, or otherwise highly cultivated plants. Naturalness is an asset.



2. Finding the balance between a tall wooded area and a flat site is essential. Often the middle vegetation layer is missing. So to create a balance, you need to add that. Use small trees and shrubs from small to medium and high to highlight the forest behind and connect it with the garden.



3. Nature loves curving lines. Use flowing curves while designing your planting areas.



So there you have it! My go-to ways to use plants to merge your garden with the forest in the backyard. Now you have the tools to take a fresh, professional look into the woodland edge. Just think: how wonderful it is to live so close to the wonders of the natural world. I'm happy for you.



PS. Did you know that you can send me your garden design problems to solve? If you have any other issues concerning the area connecting your garden with the backing woodland, you can send me your question. Click HERE and let me know!

You can also head to Instagram and let me know what kind of solution you created for your woodland edge area; I would love to know. You'll find me there with my profile @gardendesignstories.


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