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.
Ilex aquifolium is the commonest holly we have in the UK; plants can be found growing both in the wild and as cultivated, garden plants. This holly species can be used as container plants, hedging, or specimen trees. Ilex aquifolium is native to West Asia, North Africa, Southern and Western Europe, including the UK (Ilex aquifolium is absent from the Outer Hebrides, the Shetland Isles, and Orkney).
Hylotelephium spectabile are hardy herbaceous perennials that bloom in late summer and early autumn; their flowers are very attractive to bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and other pollinating insects. Many gardeners know this plant by its common name – Sedum – but Hylotelephium spectabile is this plant’s up-to-date, botanical name.
These plants will positively thrive in sandy, silty and naturally well-drained soils; Hylotelephium spectabile love to grow in bright and sunny areas.
In early autumn, these Asters produce masses of small, lilac-blue coloured daisies with yellow centres. My friends Terry and Nicky gave me this Aster, it’s a division from their garden. Neither of us know the name of this variety, so Symphyotrichum novae-angliae is as much of the name as I can give you, but if I can identify this plant more fully in future, I’ll be sure to update this page.
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Andenken an Alma Pötschke’ is a hardy, herbaceous perennial. In early autumn, these plants produce masses of small, but loud and vibrant, glowing-pink coloured flowers with yellow centres; the central disc florets fade and become browner in colour, as the blooms age. My Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Andenken an Alma Pötschke’ is in bloom at the moment – my plant began flowering in mid September and it’s in full flower now, in the first week of October 2021.
Runner Bean ‘Little Runners’ is a full size, climbing runner bean cultivar that produces smaller sized runner beans. ‘Little Runners’ beans tend to grow as wide as regular sized runner beans but these beans are quite a bit shorter in length. However, ‘Little Runners’ have the same taste and texture as regular runner beans, and they have a nice flavour, too.
I absolutely adore Clematis ‘Kaiu’; this plant’s pretty bell-shaped flowers look as if they were created for a flower fairy! These gorgeous blooms are white in colour, they’re enhanced by a dusting of mauve from above, which only serves to heighten this plant’s beauty. This is such a pretty climber with so much going for it, as Clematis ‘Kaiu’ is blessed with a long flowering season.
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 .
Ranunculus flammula is an aquatic plant with beautiful shining-yellow, bowl-shaped flowers. This plant’s common name is Lesser Spearwort, but it’s very much like a lovely buttercup to grow in a pond! Ranunculus flammula can be grown in streams, ponds, lakes, or continually wet bog gardens; if you don’t have a pond, you could grow Ranunculus flammula in a container filled with rainwater.
Inula hookeri is a clump forming, herbaceous perennial from China. I love daisies and I adore these sunny yellow flowers and I’m very fond of Inula hookeri’s super soft leaves. Next time you see this plant, reach out and stroke a leaf, it’s soft and furry. I appreciate this plant because its flowers attract bees and butterflies to my garden.
Lonicera periclymenum is a gorgeous plant. This is an easy-going climber that’s very eager to grow. Plants confidently cover fences and archways, weaving their magic as they stitch hedgerows together. Lonicera periclymenum is a wild plant of many European countries; with such high numbers of people feeling connected to this lovely plant there is likely to be a multitude of common names for Lonicera periclymenum, it’s often known as Honeysuckle.
Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ is the white flowered form of Rosa rugosa.
I adore roses. I grow Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ in my own garden. My garden is very small, which limits the number of plants I can grow; accordingly, every plant in my garden really does have to earn their place and is constantly under review! I’ve included Rosa rugosa ‘Alba in my personal little oasis because this is a tough and resilient, naturally healthy rose that produces gorgeous flowers with pollen that’s accessible to bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and other insects.
Here’s another superb rose that was bred by David Austin Roses. Rosa ‘Wild Edric’ is an English Shrub Rose. This is a beautiful rose to grow as a hedge – if I was planting a rose hedge, ‘Wild Edric’ would be the rose I’d choose. Having said that, Rosa ‘Wild Edric’ also makes a fantastic plant to grow in garden beds and borders.
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.
Digitalis ferruginea ‘Gigantea’ is an absolutely stunning foxglove! Plants produce tall spires of fantastically beautiful, tan coloured flowers; each individual bloom is enhanced by a gorgeous rusty coloured veining. The whole effect of a Digitalis ferruginea ‘Gigantea’ plant in bloom is truly breathtaking. I remember the first time I saw these foxgloves in flower during a garden visit, I instantly knew that I simply had to grow these plants in my own garden and promptly ordered some seeds!
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 ‘Candy Mountain’ is a short-lived perennial foxglove, famed for its horizontal flowers. Every single bloom is tilted upwards. This floral adaptation allows us to admire each individual flower’s markings; it provides us with the perfect opportunity to observe bees buzzing in and out of each tubular bloom, as they pollinate Digitalis ‘Candy Mountain’ flowers.
Digitalis purpurea – our wildflower has downward facing blooms which tend to be held on one side of its main stem.
If you’re looking to grow plants for bees and butterflies, you might be interested in this Allium. ‘Gladiator’ attracts a wide range of bees and pollinating insects – I am certain that this plant will fulfil your requirements and may even surpass your expectations!
‘Gladiator’ Alliums produce tall stems that reach up to around 1.2m (4ft) tall. Each stem holds one spherical inflorescence that’s formed from hundreds of small star-shaped amethyst flowers.
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.