Garden Wildplants
             Garden Wildplants
 
All the plants we suggest are beautiful, interesting and common species for a variety of situations, easy to grow (tried and tested), colourful and with relatively long flowering times. As the great plantsman Christopher Lloyd used to say "They pay their rent in the garden".  These plants are listed for their attractiveness and interest in their own right, not just as food or nectar providers for garden animals.
 
Nearly all the plants listed are native to the British Isles, meaning they have arrived here without the help of humans, generally before the Neolithic period.  Have a look at the Introduction to wildplants page for more on definitions of wildflowers and their status.  Some of the issues around the concept of "native" are explained on our page here.
 
Be aware that nearly all of our attractive native plants have been taken up by horticulturalists and "improved" for sale as differently coloured or structured cultivars.  In many cases these will be equally good for associated wildlife, but many enthusiasts consider the "wild" form more attractive.
 
Plant descriptions include common and scientific names, following Clive Stace's " New Flora of the British Isles" Fourth Edition. 2019. 
 
For each plant we summarise:
 
  •  the approximate height and spread of the plants
  •  their flowering time.  (Please note that flowering times given are approximate and will vary by a few weeks
      between the north and the south of Britain.)
  •  some details of soil and sun preferences,
  •  alternative names if any
  •  suitable garden habitat and ease of cultivation. 
  •  natural habitat,
  •  date first formally recorded,
  •  historical uses and cultural and folklore interest
  •  Royal Horticultural Society badges of value               Plants for pollinators   Award of Garden Merit
 
 
We also outline the benefits they provide as food and habitat for a range of insects and other animals, including some rarities unlikely to be found in gardens, although we urge you to value these plants for their own attractiveness!
 
To ensure you are planting really wild flowers, please source seeds and plants from nurseries specialising in wild flowers – a list of these is provided here. General guidance on propagation methods are provided in a separate section.
 
We have grouped the plants roughly according to their preferred habitat in the garden:
 
  •  Sunny borders
  •  Shady borders
  •  Ponds and wet places
  •  Lawns
  •  Meadows  
  •  Annual beds to follow
  •  "Gatecrashers" - weeds to some people!
 
 
Page written by Caroline Ware, compiled by Steve Head
       Garden Wildplants
             Garden Wildplants
Top recommended wildflowers for the garden
 
 
There are hundreds of wild plants that could enhance your garden, and in this section we point you towards a few of them we consider really reliable and garden-worthy.
 
Flower head of Hemp Agrimony
 
Eupatorium cannabinum
 
A vigourous and attractive plant which is beloved by butterflies
Top recommended wildflowers for the garden
 
There are hundreds of wild plants that could enhance your garden, and in this section we point you towards a few of them we consider really reliable and garden-worthy. 
 
Flower head of Hemp Agrimony  Eupatorium cannabinum   A vigourous and attractive plant which is beloved by butterflies.
 
 
All the plants we describe are beautiful, interesting and common species for a variety of situations, easy to grow (tried and tested), colourful and with relatively long flowering times. As the great plantsman Christopher Lloyd used to say "They pay their rent in the garden".  These plants are listed for their attractiveness and interest in their own right, not just as food or nectar providers for garden animals.
 
Nearly all the plants listed are native to the British Isles, meaning they have arrived here without the help of humans, generally before the Neolithic period.  Have a look at the Introduction to wildplants page for more on definitions of wildflowers and their status.  Some of the issues around the concept of "native" are explained on our page here.
 
Be aware that nearly all of our attractive native plants have been taken up by horticulturalists and "improved" for sale as differently coloured or structured cultivars.  In many cases these will be equally good for associated wildlife, but many enthusiasts consider the "wild" form more attractive.
 
Plant descriptions include common and scientific names, following Clive Stace's " New Flora of the British Isles" Fourth Edition. 2019. 
 
For each plant we summarise:
 
  •  the approximate height and spread of the plants
  •  their flowering time.  (Please note that flowering times given are approximate
      and will vary by a few weeks  between the north and the south of Britain.)
  •  some details of soil and sun preferences,
  •  alternative names if any
  •  suitable garden habitat and ease of cultivation. 
  •  natural habitat,
  •  date first formally recorded,
  •  historical uses and cultural and folklore interest
  •  Royal Horticultural Society badges of value           
 
 
 
 
 
   
         Plants for pollinators                    Award of Garden Merit
  
 
We also outline the benefits they provide as food and habitat for a range of insects and other animals, including some rarities unlikely to be found in gardens, although we urge you to value these plants for their own attractiveness!
 
To ensure you are planting really wild flowers, please source seeds and plants from nurseries specialising in wild flowers – a list of these is provided here. General guidance on propagation methods are provided in a separate section.
 
We have grouped the plants roughly according to their preferred habitat in the garden:
 
  •  Sunny borders
  •  Shady borders
  •  Ponds and wet places
  •  Lawns
  •  Meadows 
Annual beds   to follow
  •  "Gatecrashers" - weeds to some people!
 
 
Page written by Caroline Ware, compiled by Steve Head