Rhinanthus minor (often called Yellow Rattle) is a hardy annual wildflower with handsome yellow flowers that are held hostage by pumped up, yet slightly flattened, calyxes, each one flanked by a toothed green leaf.  Plants grow in meadows, grasslands, and prairies, flowering during the summer moths.  This is a widespread species that’s a native plant of many European countries.

If you’re looking for a glimpse of Rhinanthus minor, you’ll often find this wildflower growing in grassy places. 

Centaurea nigra has many common names, including Hardheads, Common Knapweed, and Lesser Knapweed.  This hardy perennial can be found growing as a wildflower across Europe.  Plants don’t need any special care, making these herbaceous perennials great plants to grow in containers, or as part of low-maintenance gardens, wildflower gardens, meadows or pastures.

This is a great plant for wildlife.  In the UK, Centaurea nigra flowers from June until September. 

Arctium lappa can be found growing wild across Europe, Scandinavia, and the Mediterranean, as well as other locations around the world.  In the UK, Arctium lappa is more commonly known as Greater Burdock, but I’m sure that this plant has a range of common names, as it’s a native plant of so many countries.

This is an edible and medicinal plant that is grown or foraged for food and medicine. 

Achillea millefolium is a herbaceous perennial that produces lovely ferny, scented foliage and large flat flower heads; each flower is made up of numerous individual florets.  This is a wildflower of the UK, as well as many countries in Europe and Asia.  Plants have spread further afield to colonise other countries and continents, after Achillea millefolium was used as an arable feed and escaped from gardens.

Origanum onites is one of my favourite plants; its a pretty little thing with a long flowering period; plants bloom over the summer months.  This is a superb plant for a wildlife garden.  Origanum onites plants produce an abundance of these sweet, dainty flowers that are adored by bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and moths.  Commonly known as marjoram, Origanum onites is a culinary and medicinal herb with aromatic leaves that will enhance a wide variety of culinary dishes.

Tanacetum parthenium is a useful herbaceous perennial.  This is a really easy to grow, undemanding plant that flowers during the summer months.  I cut my plants back heavily after their flowers fade.  I usually cut my plants right back to the ground – don’t worry – this doesn’t harm the plants – they soon grow up and flower again!  Plants bloom in cycles, from June until September.

Echium vulgare is a hardy biennial with hairy stems; plants produce pretty pink buds, which open as sky-blue coloured flowers.  This is a superb plant for a wildlife garden, as whilst it’s blooming, Echium vulgare is a veritable bee magnet!

This is a UK native plant that can also be found growing naturally in the wild in other European countries.  Echium vulgare thrives in areas that are out in the open and warmed by the sunshine. 

Knautia macedonica is a superb garden plant, with a long flowering season.  This herbaceous perennial is hardy and reliable, producing an abundance of stunning deep wine-red coloured flowers.  The blooms are circular; they resemble mini rosettes and are absolutely adored by bees and butterflies!  Knautia macedonica plants hold the majority of their leaves within the lower half of the plant; their tall and slender flowering stems have a branching habit, giving the plant an open appearance that allows you to easily view the plants growing behind and around it (in a similar way to Verbena bonariensis).

Courgettes, also known as Zucchini (and by the botanical name of Cucurbita pepo), are tender vegetables that are very productive and rewarding to grow.  Courgettes vary from one variety to another; you’ll find seeds of yellow courgettes (like my plant in the photograph above), pale forms of courgette that are such a soft green they’re almost white, as well as light green and very dark green courgettes, and striped courgettes. 

Crimson flowered broad beans are great fun!  These rather glamorous plants are the crimson flowered form of broad beans.  Plants produce large cerise coloured flowers, which are followed by green broad bean pods, filled with green broad beans.

Broad bean ‘Crimson Flowered’ (also known by their botanical name of Vicia faba) are superb plants for bumble bees who delight in feeding on their flowers’ nectar.

Peas (also known as Pisum sativum) are annual vegetables from the Fabaceae or Leguminosae (Legume) family.  These climbing plants produce pods filled with peas.  The peas are often the focus for gardeners and cooks, but don’t miss out on the extent of the gourmet delights that peas offer us – as all parts of pea plants are edible – the shoots, leaves, pea pods, and the peas themselves – they’re delicious! 

Lathyrus odoratus ‘Cupani’ is often referred to as the original sweet pea, as its appearance is very similar indeed to the sweet pea form that was discovered by a Sicilian monk named Francis Cupani, back in the 1690s.   Modern sweet pea cultivars descend from this old, but very special and much loved sweet pea.

Lathyrus odoratus ‘Cupani’ produces slightly smaller sized blooms than the similar looking Lathyrus odoratus ‘Matucana’

Ilex is the latin name for the genus of plants we often refer to as hollies.  This is an interesting and diverse group of plants, that includes evergreen and deciduous plants, that form small shrubs, tall trees, and everything in between – depending on the Ilex species or cultivar grown.

Ilex are native plants of the United Kingdom, Europe, the Mediterranean, the Americas, China, North America, South East Asia, and other areas around the globe.

Salsola soda is a vegetable that’s also known by many common names, including: agretti, roscano, saltwort, Russian thistle, Friar’s beard, Monk’s beard, Barba di Frate, or barilla plant.  Plants have a grassy appearance, with stems of needle like leaves, that grow up to around 60cm (2ft) tall, depending on your plant’s growing conditions.  This is a mild but delicious tasting vegetable that adds a freshness, which softly and subtly enhances stir fries, risottos, and many other dishes. 

Knautia arvensis is a very hardy perennial plant, which is often referred to by its common name of field scabious.  This wildflower blooms from the middle of summer until autumn, when Knautia arvensis enhances the meadows, grasslands, scrublands, and areas of waste ground, across many European countries, with its pale lilac-blue, circular, pincushion type flowers.  This is a fabulous plant for bees, butterflies, and other insects, who are particularly fond of feeding on the pollen and nectar produced by Knatia arvensis flowers.

Asplenium scolopendrium Cristatum Group are hardy evergreen ferns, with a naturally bushy form.  Every Asplenium scolopendrium Cristatum Group frond splits and divides, which gives this fern a very unusual, frilled appearance.  Older ferns are naturally more ruffled than younger specimens.

As well as being frilly, Asplenium scolopendrium Cristatum Group fern fronds display a lovely, leafy green tone.  This is a bushy and healthy looking fern, which is a valuable fern, that’s an ideal choice for adding a lush, green look to shaded areas of the garden.

This is a beautiful plant – it’s one of my favourites!  Leucanthemum vulgare is commonly known as the ox eye daisy.  This hardy perennial plant is native to Europe and Asia, where it flourishes in meadows, banks, roadsides, and areas of waste ground.  Leucanthemum vulgare produces large, single daises with golden centres, which are surrounded by rays of white petals.  This is a super plant to grow to encourage wildlife, it’s beneficial to bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and a great many other insects, which in turn draw birds and a wider range of wildlife into the area.

You can’t miss Anthemis tinctoria when it’s in flower, as these glowing, sunny yellow daisies really stand out across the garden.  Anthemis tinctoria is commonly known as Dyer’s Chamomile, as the flowers and stems of this plant can be used to dye fabrics and other materials.  Plants flower in the summer time.  In the UK, Anthemis tinctoria usually blooms during June, July, and August.

I love Blechnum spicant, it’s such a handsome, charming little fern, with its narrow, dark green coloured pinnate fronds.  Depending on this fern’s particular stage of growth, Blechnum spicant may form low growing rosettes with the sterile fronds leaning out horizontally, or if the fertile fronds are more predominantly growing, plants will appear as more upright and erect in their habit. 

Lychnis flos-cuculi is an utterly charming plant.  This hardy, herbaceous perennial, is a UK wild flower, which is commonly known as ‘Ragged Robin’ – a name that references this plant’s star shaped, deeply cut flowers.  Ideally suited to growing in a wet, water meadow, a damp pasture, or a bog garden, Lychnis flos-cuculi is the perfect choice of plant to grow alongside a pond or in any soil or area of ground where the soil is always wet and prone to flooding.