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 because the ripe seeds rattle inside their seed pods) 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 can be found in many European countries.

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. 

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.

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 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.

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.

Valeriana officinalis is a herb, known for its relaxing properties – it’s more commonly known as Valerian.  Looking rather like a pale pink flowered Verbena bonariensisValeriana officinalis produces branching stems that hold panicles of tiny star shaped flowers, in the palest shade of dusky pink.  This attractive plant is a magnet for bees and butterflies.

Growing to around Valeriana officinalis 1.5m (5ft) tall, Valerian produces scented flowers, leaves, stems, and roots.

Anthriscus sylvestris is a biennial or short lived herbaceous perennial plant, which is more commonly known as cow parsley – in the UK, at least anyway – where Anthriscus sylvestris grows as a wildflower, along roadsides, hedgerows, in grasslands and meadows.

Flowering in late spring, in May, Anthriscus sylvestris is a popular plant with bees, hoverflies, and other pollinating insects

Easily grown from seed, sown in autumn or springtime, Anthriscus sylvestris flourishes in any well-drained soil. 

Hedera helix is more commonly known as ivy, or English ivy.  This rather lovely, evergreen climbing plant is often taken for granted, it can be maligned by others, but not by me – I adore ivy.  This is a magnificent plant, one that is willing to grow, easy to care for, and is a blessing for birds, insects, and wildlife.  Hedera are such a versatile group of plants – I am a huge fan of ivy!

Carrots, also known by their botanical name of Daucus carota, are an easy to grow, delicious root vegetable.  There are a wide range of carrot cultivars available for gardeners to grow, from the more regularly seen orange coloured carrots, to red, purple, white, or yellow coloured carrots.  I enjoy the subtle differences in the taste and texture of the carrots of each colour variation. 

Angelica archangelica is a simply divine garden plant!  I love the zingy green colour tone of this biennial’s flowers and seeds, their fresh colouring and the plant’s tall, architectural, and statuesque appearance is of great value in the garden.

Angelica archangelica favours moist, well drained soils, though please don’t give up hope if you have sandy soil – for many years I have grown Angelica archangelica very successfully on sandy, silty, free draining soils. 

Raspberries (also known by their botanical name, Rubus idaeus) are easy-to-grow, shrubby plants that produce delicious tasting berries in varying shades of red, pink, purple, a dark inky shade of purple that almost looks black, yellow, orange, peach, and very occasionally, white.  The raspberries pictured in the photograph (taken at my allotment) that accompanies this plant page are still developing, they have yet to colour or ripen.

Beetroot, also known by its botanical name of Beta vulgaris, is an easy to grow root vegetable, which can be sown outside, from March until the beginning of August, in the UK.

There are a great many beetroot cultivars available, offering beetroot in a great many shapes, sizes, and colours.

You might opt to sow a traditional, round, globe shaped beetroot, or you may choose to sow a cylindrical beetroot, which has been bred to produce evenly shaped beetroot slices, ideal for pickling, such a Beetroot ‘Alto’, an F1 Hybrid, which you can see pictured in the image for ‘Beetroot’ at the top of this page.

Rumex sanguineus var. sanguineus (also known as veined sorrel) is grown for its attractive, ornamental, edible leaves, which have a tangy flavour and feature attractive red veining.

For more articles about edible gardening, please click here.

To see my plant pages and view pictures and information to help you grow a wide range of vegetables, please click here.

Drosera rotundifolia is a small, low growing, perennial carnivorous plant that forms a rosette shape as it grows.  Drosera rotundifolia is also known by its common name of round leaved sundew, this plant naturally grows in acidic peaty, boggy, marshy soils, across heathlands, lowlands, moors, and other areas, where you’ll find Drosera rotundifolia growing in acidic soil.  Drosera rotundifolia flowers from mid to late summer.