Botanist's Lens: Designing the Layers of a Woodland Garden

A mosaic of canopy covers, understory and herb layers


"The Eastern deciduous forest biome that stretches from Canada to Georgia is the world’s richest temperate woodland ecosystem with a diverse mix of plants that thrive in the shade of the canopy trees. It is in the ground layer of the woodland understory where the most botanical biodiversity resides." - Ecological Landscape Alliance


London Town's Fall Plant Sale is happening next Saturday, September 26, 9am - 2pm. It will highlight many options to design a diverse understory and herb layer. Many of the woodland forest layers can be easily grown in suburban and urban areas. Ferns, shrubs, tree seedlings that form the rich layers under the tall canopy trees will be available at the sale.


Plant combinations are key! Good companions that complement each other, over contrasting, each other's habit will make for a self sustaining landscape.


Featured at the plant sale, will be a special select group of Azaleas (evergreen and deciduous) that were grown in Maryland. Hostas, Solomon's seal, Toad Lilies, Ferns, Wild Ginger will all pair well as the base of Azaleas. All these plants will be available at the sale and they are mostly all transplanted from the gardens! Super adaptable to a heavy clay-sand mix.


Shrubs that pair well with Azaleas include Pieris, Mahonias, Viburnums, Fothergilla, and Oak Leaf Hydrangeas. Here is an excellent read on woodland gardens and creating diverse layers.


London Town's gardens are an excellent example of woodland shade gardens. Join us at Plant Sale next weekend to find out more about our select varieties of woodland layers available at the sale. Fall bulbs, seasonal items, succulents will also be available.