How To Use Natural Wood in Your Garden

In a garden, we usually focus on the living things – the trees, the plants, the wildlife. But the fallen timber and brush around the outside space can be just as important for the ecosystem as the living trees. In an organic garden, nothing should be wasted or thrown away. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to use the natural wood littering your garden to make it a more beautiful and productive place. Twigs, sticks, branches and logs can all be used in a range of ways. Here are just some of the ways that you can make use of fallen, coppiced or pruned natural wood in your garden:

Rotting logWildlife Friendly Brush Piles

First of all, it is important to note that not all the fallen wood in your garden should be harvested and used elsewhere. Leaving piles of fallen or cut wood in place in a corner of the space will be a boon for local wildlife. It will become a breeding ground for beneficial insects, attract larger creatures for food and shelter, and provide nesting material for birds. As it begins to rot down, it will slowly return goodness to the soil and complete nature's cycles.

mushroom logMushroom Growing Logs

Even when you do leave plenty of waste wood for wildlife, there will often still be plenty left for you to make use of around your garden. For example, should you have some logs lying around, these can be inoculated with mushroom spores in order to add to your home-growing repertoire.

logs raised bed edgesBed Edges and Path Borders

Logs can also be placed – either upright, with their ends embedded in the soil, or on their sides, as edging for garden beds or for paths through your garden. Smaller branches can also be used to build up the edges of nest-like raised beds. Rotted or partially rotted logs and branches can also be used as the base for hugelkultur beds – raised mounds that create particularly nutrient-rich and moisture retentive planting areas.

DIY branches trellisTrellis, Frames and Supports

You can also use natural wood from your garden to create a wide range of trellising, frames and supports for growing plants. Such structures not only have a pleasing, organic look that cannot be bought, they can also help you make the most of the space in your garden by using a range of vertical gardening ideas and techniques.

twig craftWooden Plant Markers

Even smaller sticks and twigs can find a wide range of uses. These can be used in a wide range of craft projects. Another way to make use of sticks and twigs is to make wooden plant markers to make it easier to identify your plants, or which can mark out the locations where you have sown your seeds, or where perennial plants will come back up the following year.

Rather than buying in timber or bamboo canes for garden projects, why not consider using some of the natural wood from the garden itself to improve your growing areas?