Woodland Gardening-Help needed for beginner
The previous owners did not do much to develop the yard. The area to consider is approximately 60' wide by 200' deep. It's peppered with trees of ash, hickory, walnut and other's I've yet to determine. The area is divided into two sections, one which is fenced (split rail) and the other completely natural. Inside of the fenced area, we cleared out the thicket, vines, larger sticks, etc last summer to see what we were dealing with. What is left is a leafy covered ground with patches of moss, some type of woodland plant (weed?) that is growing in patches throughout the yard and quite a bit of hard, rocky, rootbound soil that has never been amended. The previous owners did create two beds by the house that are usuable, however they look awkward against the undeveloped yard.
My dream is to create a beautiful woodland garden. I see pictures in books and magazines showing the beautiful varieties available however I don't know where to begin. We aren't set on a particular style other than keeping the natural feel and working with the landscape.
We don't even know where to begin with developing the yard. Would we begin by amending the soil? If so, do we only amend in areas we want to plant or do we amend and re-work the entire yard? We also want to rid of the UGLY dirt! Do we get a chipper and chipchop anything and everything that's been left behind to use as mulch? We really need help with where to begin. Any suggestions would be appreciated!