Native Woodland and Hedgerow Borders in the Nursery

We have lots of ideas for different "gardens", borders and demonstration beds we want to create on the terraces of Quercus Garden Plants. The bottom terrace lends itself to being a wild life garden with all the wild flowers already there and I will develop it over time to include plants for bees, birds, insects and so on with interpretation boards and the plants for sale. I decided a native garden at the entrance would be interesting and fun to create, tying in nicely with the wild life garden.

Putting down the bark for the path

The year before we left my previous garden, I created a Scottish native garden in front of the office. It was fun to do but sadly I never saw it come to maturity. You can read about that native garden here. Here in the nursery I again decided that I wanted to use plants that occur naturally in Scotland and I referred back to my previous list of what to plant and how to plant them together in their particular habitats. Research has produced six distinctive habitats which will give us a wide spectrum of plants to grow. These are woodland, hedgerow, rock, bog/wet meadow and meadow and aquatic. These will be created through the wild life garden with the hedgerow with woodland habitats being at the entrance.

Building the arch into the wild life garden

So what is a native plant? These are plants indigenous to a given area. It includes plants that have occurred naturally, developed or existed for many years in that specific area. Some native plants have adapted to limited, harsh or very specific conditions and may be contained to a very small area. Where as others with less specific needs or the ability to adapt well can be found over a larger area Research has shown that insects depend on native plants.

With the borders dug and planting started

Having dug over both sides of the path and put in a wooden edge (the pieces of log recycled from the wild life garden to be) I started planting. To create a tree canopy I have planted a Rowan, Birch and Crab apple. These won't get too tall or cause a problem and will add interest all year round with berries, fruit and coloured bark. They will also create dappled shade for the woodlanders underneath. Having brought a large amount of my plant collection with us when we moved, I was able to divide some of the native plants at home and use them here. Others are being grown from seed in the tunnel and some were sourced from a wildflower nursery. Once all these are established we'll be self sufficient in seeds and plants for the nursery.

With a wooden edge and topped dressed in spring the borders
are coming together

The hedge for the hedgerow habitat will be planted along the top of the banking on the right. This will be a mix of beech, hawthorn, Euonymus europeus and roses and will continue along to where the scented border will start.

Woodland on the left and hedge row on the right

Planting list:

Malus 'Evereste'                    (Crab apple)
Sorbus aucuparia                   (Rowan)
Betula pendula                      (Birch)
Dryopteris felix-mas             (Male Fern)
Convolvulus major                (Lily of the Valley)
Fragaria vesca                       (Wild Strawberry)
Luzula sylvatica                    (Greater Wood Rush)
Blechnum spicant                  (Hard Fern)
Hyacinthoides non-scripta    (Bluebell)
Thalictrum minus                  (Lesser Meadow-rue)
Galanthus nivalis                   (Snowdrop)
Anemone nemerosa               (Wood Anemone)
Dryopteris dilitata                 (Broad Buckler-fern)
Viola riviniana                       (Dog Violet)                        
Geranium sanguineum          (Bloody Cranes-bill)

Fagus sylvatica                      (Beech)
Crataegus monogyna             (Hawthorn)
Rosa canina                           (Dog Rose)
Rosa spinosissima                 (Scotch Rose)
Euonymus europeus              (Spindle)
Arctium minus                      (Lesser Burdock)
Viola tricolor                         (Heartsease)
Luzula sylvatica                    (Greater Wood Rush)
Anthriscus sylvestris             (Cow Parsley)
Aquilegia vulgaris                 (Columbine)
Geranium sanguineum          (Bloody Cranes-bill)
Galium vernum                     (Lady's Bedstraw)
Digitalis purpurea                 (Foxgloves)
Lonicera periclymenum        (Honeysuckle)
Primula vulgaris                    (Primrose)
Geranium robertianum          (Herb Robert)

Athyrium felix femima

A small log pile with Violas and Oxalis

Rosa spinosissimus

Woodland planting on the left and hedgerow on the right

Violas in the woodland planting

WIld flowers for sale in the nursery

I'm looking forward to seeing these borders mature and fill out and begin to look like the photos below. The photos were taken by myself all over Scotland.

Bluebells, Portavadie

Primroses, Portavadie

Violas, Carnethy, Pentland Hills

Polypodium, Beinn Dearg, Glen Artney

Anemones and celandines, Dunino, Fife

Cow Parsley, Pentlands

Aquilegia, Easter Mosshat

Honey suckle, Easter Mosshat

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  1. I think a native garden is a great idea, and remember driving through Duke's Pass near Aberfoyle. We stopped the car and I took photos of the plants in the boggy mountains - mosses, tiny flowers and baby fir trees. It was magical. Your garden is looking good already and will be a treat for visitors.
    Cathy x

    1. Hi Cathy, Thank you, it's all a work in progress, i try not to think about how much there is to do. Hopefully these borders will knit together and make something approximating their native habitat :) x


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