Scabiosa columbaria is a rather charming, sweet little perennial that forms low mounds of oval leaves that are hidden by taller, dissected foliage as the plant grows up and matures.  The lilac coloured, pincushion-shaped flowers are held above and around the plant on slender stems, giving this plant a dainty and endearing character.  Scabiosa columbaria flowers develop in late spring and early summer; this means that in the UK, Scabiosa columbaria flowers from June until September. 

In the UK, Viscum album is normally referred to by its common name, Mistletoe.  Mistletoe grows up in the branches of trees where it forms spherical ball-shaped plants comprised of many stems holding pairs of lovely fresh-green coloured, leathery leaves.  This evergreen shrub produces tiny white flowers followed by shiny white berries.  The oval leaves are borne in pairs and are very attractive and are naturally enhanced by the edition of gleaming Mistletoe berries, which appear in September and take many months to ripen. 

Cutting Celery is also known by the botanical name, Apium graveolens.  Cutting Celery is closely related to celery and celeriac, but these particular seeds have been selected and reselected especially for the flavour of their leaves.  The leaves taste like celery – it’s a strong flavour – so a little goes a long way, but it’s not too overpowering.  I really enjoy the taste of Cutting Celery leaves. 

‘Parcel’  or ‘Par-Cel’ is also known by the botanical name, Apium graveolens.  This is a hardy biennial plant that produces edible leaves with a strong flavour of celery; Parcel’s stems are edible too, but it is the pungent leaves that this plant is usually grown for.  The name of ‘Parcel’ was given because this edible plant has foliage that resembles parsley but when eaten it has the flavour of celery; so the plant’s common name is an amalgamation of the two names – ‘Parcel’.

Primula veris is also known as the Cowslip.  Primula veris is very pretty perennial that holds a special place in many people’s hearts, reminding us of country walks and the beauty of nature.  Primula veris is a commonly seen wildflower throughout Europe – being known and loved by so many – I am certain this lovely plant has many more common names. 

I adore Asplenium fissum!  I’ve been growing these gorgeous ferns for about seven years now.  I really appreciate Asplenium fissum’s miniature size and endearing character and habit; I’m always finding myself admiring this fern’s decorative appearance and elegance.  Perfectly sized for terrariums, Asplenium fissum is a miniature fern that won’t grow taller than 20cm tall.  I must admit that most of my plants are smaller than this – many of my Asplenium fissum ferns have grown up to around 15cm tall.

Juniper is also known by its botanical name, Juniperus communisJuniperus communis is an evergreen conifer with spiky needles.  Plants are very hardy and they flourish in exposed and sheltered locations.  These plants need a bright and sunny position; Juniperus communis is happy growing in almost any moist but well-drained soil, including stony ground and chalk.  When choosing where to plant Juniperus communis, avoid shaded areas and soils that are prone to water-logging. 

In the UK, Sambucus nigra is known as Elder.  These small trees and shrubs must have many common names, as they’re a wild plant that frequents many countries across Europe, as well as places as far afield as Western Asia and North Africa.  Sambucus nigra is a deciduous plant with green pinnate foliage.  In late spring and early summertime, Sambucus nigra produces huge flat circles of cream coloured, scented flowers that are popular with insects. 

Yew is also known by its botanical name, Taxus baccata.  This is a glorious evergreen that’s versatile and accommodating.  Taxus baccata is happy to grow as a specimen tree or a hedge; plants are content to grow naturally as unpruned trees but are equally happy to be pruned and clipped into spheres, pyramids, corkscrew twists, hearts, or whichever shape your heart desires. 

The Silver Birch (Betula pendula) is one of our most recognisable UK native trees with its glorious silvery-white bark and dainty green leaves.  We’re not the only ones to have an affinity with Betula pendula, this stunning tree is a native plant of many countries in Europe and Northern Asia.  Betula pendula is a deciduous tree, its leaves turn from green to a buttery yellow before falling in autumn. 

In the UK, Prunus spinosa is usually known by its common name – Blackthorn.  I am sure that Prunus spinosa has many common names, as this is a widespread plant that can be found growing in the wild across Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa.  Prunus spinosa can be grown as a shrub, a hedge, or a tree.  These plants are very spiny and they often form thickets. 

Myosotis scorpioides alba is also known as the Water Forget-Me-Not.  This pretty plant requires continually wet conditions; Myosotis scorpioides alba grows in reliably wet bog gardens, as well as in streams, and ponds.  If you have a patio garden and don’t have room for a pond you can still grow Myosotis scorpioides alba by creating a container pond or bog garden .

Allium cristophii is a superb species of Allium that can be seen growing as a wildflower in Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Iran.  If you’re looking for plants to provide pollen and nectar for insects, you’ll be happy to hear that Allium cristophii flowers attract a wide range of bees and other pollinating insects, and this Allium species simply thrives in the UK!

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. 

Fritillaria imperialis ‘Aurora’ are statement plants with large vibrant orange coloured, pendulous flowers that really create impact in the garden.  Often referred to as Crown Imperials, these bulbous perennials form tall plants that reach up to around 1m (3.2ft) tall.

I’ve grown my Fritillaria imperialis ‘Aurora’ in large containers of peat-free compost.  I’ve found these Fritillaries to be strong and sturdy plants that haven’t required any staking or support. 

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.

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. 

Skirret (also known by the botanical name Sium sisarum) is a perennial root vegetable, which enjoyed great popularity in the medieval and Tudor periods, but sadly is rarely grown nowadays.  I expect Skirret’s fall from favour is due to this vegetable producing thinner roots than carrots and parsnips and therefore being far more fiddly and difficult to clean and prepare than these more popular root vegetables. 

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.