Herbaceous plants form a layer of their own in woodland plantings. In order to create opportunities for variety, it is desirable that:
– sufficient gaps are available within the woodland, allowing the light to reach down to
ground level, with varying intensity
– the fringes of the plantings are open, in order to admit lateral light in varying
This implies that the shrub layers, both within the woodland and at its fringes, should not become fully closed. They should be managed to provide the space that is needed by the lower layers and so that it is aesthetically desirable. A method and frequency of pruning aimed towards this goal is essential in maintaining variation in woodland plantings. A changing play of light and shade is a prerequisite for a richly differentiated herbac eous layer.