Alliaria petiolata is a commonly found wildflower in Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa.  Whenever its foliage is bruised, crushed, or trampled, this plant’s leaves release a scent that’s reminiscent of garlic; as a consequence, in the UK, Alliaria petiolata is often called Garlic Mustard, or Hedge Garlic.  Another common name for Alliaria petiolata is Jack-by-the hedge, which reflects one of this plant’s habitats and Alliaria petiolata’s prominence as a plant that lines our hedgerows. 

Digitalis purpurea f. albiflora is the botanical name for our naturally occurring, white-flowered form of Digitalis purpurea – the foxglove.  I adore both our pink-flowered foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea) and this stunning white-flowered form – they’re two of my favourite plants.  I’ve grown foxgloves in every garden I’ve created; I used to grow foxgloves at my allotment, too; I simply can’t be without these fabulous plants! 

Digitalis purpurea is the botanical name for one of our stunning wildflowers – the foxglove.  Foxgloves are charming plants that produce towering spires of handsome pink-purple flowers in June, July, and August.  We may chance upon Digitalis purpurea plants during country walks.  Groups of Digitalis purpurea flowers brighten our walks as we traipse through woodlands or heathlands, along coastal paths, over banks and hillsides, and alongside hedges and towpaths.

Primula vulgaris are low growing, perennials that form basal rosette shaped plants, made up of beautifully textured, wrinkled, obovate leaves.  These small plants are generally known as primroses.  Primula vulgaris are popular wild flowers; they’re often found growing in gardens, the countryside, and in urban areas across Europe.  Primroses are hardy; plants will happily survive temperatures down as low as -20C (-4F), and probably lower.

Kale (also known by the botanical name Brassica oleracea var. sabellica) is an absolutely wonderful vegetable to grow and eat!  This is a decorative, and I think, a very beautiful plant; there are a wide range of kale varieties that gardeners can grow from seeds.  Not all kales are the same; we can sow seeds that will develop into kale plants that display a range of leaf shapes and textures, produce a selection of contrasting, yet attractively coloured leaves, as well as plants that deliver subtle differences in flavour.

Landcress tastes almost exactly like Watercress, except this vegetable is grown on dry land.  If you’re a Watercress fan, or you favour peppery, spicy flavours, then you really must try growing Landcress; I am quite certain you’ll adore it!  Landcress (also known as American Cress or by the botanical name, Barbarea verna) is a super-easy vegetable to grow; Landcress grows happily in less than ideal growing conditions and it’s both productive and tasty, too!

Alpine strawberries or wild strawberries (also known by their botanical name Fragaria vesca) are small, low growing, plants that trail along the ground, spreading via runners; these pretty little plants can grow up to around 15cm (6 inches) tall.  I adore alpine strawberries!  These dainty little plants are utterly charming, with attractive leaves, delightful white flowers, and the delicious red strawberries they produce.

For some reason, turnips are often under-rated, both by cooks and gardeners.  I adore growing turnips and I absolutely relish the taste of these deliciously sweet vegetables.  I enjoy eating raw and cooked cooked turnips, both are delightful!  In my home, we use turnips in risottos, stir fries, soups, salads, or as a side dish.  Turnips taste great raw, roasted, stir fried, steamed, boiled, or sautéed. 

Swiss Chard (also known by the botanical name Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla var. flavescens) is a magnificent vegetable that brings a touch of its own exquisite beauty to the gardens and allotments where it’s grown.  This is another vegetable with an array of common names, it’s also called: Leaf Beet, Chard, Rhubarb Chard, and Rainbow Chard.  For ease of reference, I try my best to stick to calling this vegetable Swiss Chard; although I do also call it Chard from time to time – sorry about that.

Celeriac (also known by the botanical name Apium graveolens var. rapaceum) is not the easiest vegetable to grow; these plants have a long growing season and the seeds need to be started off in the warmth, fairly early in the season.  Celeriac seedlings will need to be protected inside a glasshouse, polytunnel, or conservatory, until all risk of frost has passed. 

Grapevines (also known by their botanical name Vitis vinifera) are decorative climbing plants that produce delicious grapes and handsome leaves.  These wonderful plants can be very productive.  Grapevines are versatile plants; a range of varieties are available, you’ll find grapevines that are suited to growing outdoors in gardens and allotments, or types that favour the improved growing conditions found inside conservatories, porches, glasshouses, and polytunnels.

Parsnips (also known by their botanical name Pastinaca sativa) are supremely sweet tasting, delicious vegetables.  Parsnips are easy to grow, but their seeds often take a number of weeks to germinate and these vegetables require a long growing season to develop their full size and potential; therefore parsnips benefit from being started early in the season.

If you’re looking to grow parsnips, choose a sunny or partially shaded site, with moist but well-drained soil. 

Leeks (also known by their botanical name Allium porrum) are tasty vegetables that have short sowing window and a long growing season; as a result, many gardeners miss the leek’s narrow seed sowing period and accordingly fail to grow these delicious and versatile vegetables.  Like the majority of edible plants, leeks grow best in a sunny or partially shaded area. 

Cornsalad ‘Medallion’ (Valerianella locusta) is a super easy to grow salad plant.  This is an annual plant that produces edible green, oval rounded leaves, with a subtle mild flavour.

I’ve grown cornsalad ‘Medallion’ in a really shaded position inside my Vegepod; my plants have thrived, despite the fact that they were grown in such challenging growing conditions.  My cornsalad ‘Medallion’ plants produced an amazing harvest of leaves throughout the autumn and winter months. 

Hesperis matronalis is a short lived perennial or biennial that’s often known as Sweet Rocket or Dame’s Violet.  These lovely plants are very easy to grow; they really are super plants to grow in your garden.  Hesperis matronalis are hardy throughout the UK and they’re also drought tolerant, too.  Plants will grow in any soil, apart from waterlogged soils; so avoid sowing these seeds on wet ground. 

Hesperis matronalis var. albiflora is a short lived perennial or biennial plant that is often known as Sweet Rocket or Dame’s Violet.  These lovely plants are very easy to grow, they’re nice things to have around.  Hesperis matronalis var. albiflora plants are hardy throughout the UK and they’re also pretty drought tolerant, too.  Plants will grow in any soil, apart from waterlogged soils, so avoid sowing these seed on wet ground. 

Blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum) are hardy deciduous shrubs that thrive in warm and sunny, sheltered sites.  These naturally bushy plants will grow in almost any well-drained soil.  Blackcurrants enjoy regular watering throughout the summer months; these fruits will tolerate a wetter soil through the growing season, providing the ground isn’t too wet during the winter months.  These productive fruits can be grown in full sunshine or partial shade.

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. 

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.