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Naturalised Designs: How to Create Wild Beauty

Many parts of British Columbia are still wild, rugged, and untamed by the modern world—which is why we love living here! From mountain peaks to deep forests and oceans, Abbotsford is the best place to garden au naturale. It’s also a great opportunity to weave the naturalness of our surroundings into our backyards by keeping the elements of our landscape intact. So, if you’re ready to embrace a naturalised landscape design in your garden this year, here are the best tips rounded up by our experts for keeping it real in Abbotsford!

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What is Naturalised Design in Gardening?

As the name might suggest, creating a naturalised landscape design is an approach that takes its cues from nature—more specifically—meadows, forests, and anywhere else nature is left perfectly unchecked. It celebrates asymmetry, imperfection, incompleteness, and speaks of a relaxed way of life. A naturalised landscape is less work and less fuss, meaning you can enjoy a bounty of flowering plants without having to really do much. 

Not only are these naturalised landscapes enchanting and poetic, but they are also a haven for creatures great and small. Butterflies, birds, bees, and countless other pollinators and insects make their homes in these settings, and remind us of the true natural order in which we are a part. 

How Do I Make a Naturalised Garden Design in Abbotsford?

If you want to capture that naturalised landscape look in your backyard or front yard, there are some key elements that pull the design together. The foundation of your design, however, should be rooted in a natural landscape setting—like a desert oasis, a secluded woodland, or a shaded B.C rainforest. 

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Choose the Right Plants 

When you have decided what type of naturalised landscape design you want to create, make sure you pick plants that will look at home and provide both anchoring and fill. Select larger varieties like trees and evergreen shrubs, and fill in spaces with perennials that can be naturalised into the landscape and spread over time. Remember to add plants that “go wild” and are often used in cottage garden design—like vines rambling over other plants, fences, or up trees and buildings, and ornamental grasses that weave effortlessly throughout the landscape. In B.C, our climate encourages a ton of ferns, so these can make great filler plants for heavily shaded areas.  

Remove Borders

If you have a landscape that borders onto an open space, keep structured borders—like fencing or manicured hedges—out of your naturalised garden design. Allow plants to flow from your garden out into the surrounding area, making it hard to distinguish where one ends and the other begins. Nature is about connectedness, so try and let it all work together where possible. 

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Leave it Wild!

Every naturalised landscape design should display an obvious lack of order and control, which is what we love about it so much! Try and hold yourself back from making every part of your landscape seem planned, well-organised and manicured or you’ll completely miss the mark. Some things you can do to help this along is to let native plants and other perennials seed and spread, allow fallen leaves to remain on the ground to make a leaf mould, and anything else you would expect to see if walking through the forest or through a wild meadow. 

Use Stones 

Many landscapes will inevitably have rocks and stones within it, from deep forests with passing rivers to a mountain meadow with a trickling stream—rocks are important features of this design style. Try adding a loose gravel pathway running throughout the landscape in a curving pattern to draw the eye toward the flower beds without too much rigidity and concrete movement. 


Another must-have, a naturalised landscape design will always welcome a water feature not only to mirror the sound of trickling water in the wild, but to attract birds and insects, too. Naturalistic landscapes are huge pollinator and wildlife magnets, and they’ll appreciate a freshwater source when they stop in!

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Go With The Flow

The best part about creating such a fluid landscape is that you learn to move with it. This is a great way to embrace a more organic approach to gardening and to life in general, and can easily become a natural part of your daily Zen. Keep seating and other furniture moveable, allowing you to enjoy different parts of the garden as seasons change, as flowers come into bloom, or just to keep things interesting. 

There are many ways you can create a naturalised landscape design in Abbotsford this year, and we’d love to hear about what you’re doing to help along this growing trend. We’re closed for the season, but we hope you have a wonderful season creating your gorgeous gardens!