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These native wildflowers have clustered flower heads of tiny white flowers that from a distance look like little patches of snow resting on the grass. This famous herb is terrific as a wildflower clump in a blooming meadow, they are also a favourite for cut and dried flower arrangements.
Once a common sight, Corncockle bears large, soft purple-pink flowers in the summer. It is a 'cottage garden' plant of old and makes a great wildflower meadow or garden plant. The graceful stems are ideal for cutting and last well in the vase.
Alexanders are an ancient food source, cultivated for many centuries. This biennial wild flower, with dark green, shiny leaves and umbels of yellow-green flowers can be grown as an ornamental or can be put to use as a culinary herb or spice, the flavour is said to be similar to myrrh.
Until a few years ago you would never have seen wild garlic on a menu, but these days is definitely a chefs' favourite. The whole plant is edible. The flavour is softer, more pleasant than cloves from garlic bulbs. The leaves have a vibrant colour that brings food to life.
Anchusa arvensis is an annual wildflower that produces compact sprays of blue flowers from April to September. Rich in nectar and pollen, they are much loved by almost all bee species. Characterised as a companion of old culture it can be added to wildflower gardens to bring its own brand of natural diversity.
Anchusa italica is a wonderfully statuesque plant with dense foliage and lance shaped mid green leaves. With spikes of rich gentian blue, giant forget-me-not type flowers, 'Dropmore' is a 1905 selection that is still available today. Growing to around 90cm tall, it is best situated in the middle of the border.
Anchusa officinalis is noted for its deep sapphire-blue flowers that are extremely attractive to wildlife. This relative of borage blooms from late spring right through until first frosts. In the garden it can be used as part of wildlife friendly planting scheme, they are much loved by almost all bee species.
The corn chamomiles are lovely plants for a sunny well-drained border, covered with bright, single daisy-like flowers and attractive ferny grey-green foliage throughout the main summer season. An ideal plant for naturalised plantings, wild flower meadows or just a wild part of your garden.
Anthriscus sylvestris is most characteristic of hedgerows, road verges and woodland edges. Our native Cow Parsley has a sophisticated form, with delicate, open, white lacy umbels, that from mid-spring to early summer look as though they're erupting from a well shaken champagne bottle!
This pretty little wildflower is a slow growing, long-lived plant with attractive spikes of rich pink-mauve flowers that are very attractive to bees and butterflies as a nectar source. The flowers, which rise from dark green crinkly leaves, keep their colour throughout summer and look stunning when growing en-masse.
Briza media has graceful, pendant, large quaking seed heads which erupt over the foliage in summer. They gradually take on golden shades as summer progresses and become almost animated when touched by a summer breeze.
Cardamine pratensis is one of the most beautiful and one of the best loved of our wild flowers. It bears long narrow leaves and supremely elegant flowers in late spring/early summer. It flowers at the time the first cuckoo starts to call.
Today cornflowers are rare in the wild, they flourish instead in gardens. They are the most splendid of annuals. Aside from their electric blue, which is breathtaking when they're grown in dense drifts, they are easy to grow, they flower all summer, make great cut flowers and butterflies and bees adore them.
Centaurea macrocephala is a magnificent perennial that ideal for providing vertical interest in a sunny, well-drained herbaceous border. The golden-yellow shaggy thistle-like blooms are on strong stems and mid-green, lance-shaped leaves are followed by attractive seed heads.
Clematis vitalba is the wild cousin of our many cultivated Clematis plants. This climbing shrub has fruits with long silvery grey, feathery extensions, which stay on the plant till well into the winter. The name Old man's Beard comes of course from the fact that these downy fluffy silky balls cover the plant.
A collection of five different species of native wildflowers, that were once a common sight in cornfields and meadows. These summer-flowering annuals are ideal for providing a splash of colour to create a wildlife garden or meadow.
This special mix contains a range of twelve annuals including some which are now rare or declining in the wild. These summer-flowering annuals will attract butterflies, bees and other pollinating insects and are ideal for providing a splash of colour to create a wildlife garden or meadow.
Our native Queen Anne's Lace is at home in informal settings and a natural addition to a wildflower meadow. With delicate, lacy clusters of flowers, some with a solitary dark, purple flower in the centre, they make good cut flowers and are a lovely filler with other flowers.
This lovely native European woodland plant is a beauty to add to any garden and a popular biennial for shaded places. Plants form rosettes of lance shaped leaves, the second year the rosette begins to shoot skyward with beautiful large spikes and drooping bell shaped blooms that are spotted inside.
For such a handsome plant, this native biennial is much less well known than it should be. The ‘Lesser’ or ‘Small’ Teasel is a cousin of our common teasel. Blooming July to September, the flowers are white with violet anthers The plant is altogether much daintier and the tips of the bristles end in soft hairs.
Fullers Teasel a sub-species of the common teasel. It was cultivated, matured and dried and used to raise the nap on woolen cloth - to 'tease' it. It is perfect for attracting bees and butterflies and is famously associated with goldfinches, who love to feed on the seed.
The wildflower Teasel can grow to six feet tall and is an architectural wonder when in full bloom! It has more flexible receptacle bracts, ending in straight spines while the cultivated fullonum has stiff bracts with recurved spines. It also has smaller seed heads and is slightly taller.
Echium vulgare is a valuable native plant and is exotic enough to earn a place in a flower border. The plant is much loved by almost all bee species. If you don’t want plants that honeybees simply visit, but want to select plants that honeybees clearly love, choose Echium for your garden.
Eryngium maritimum is an evergreen perennial plant native to Europe. Often found on sea shores, it is a protected species in many parts of the world. Highly ornamental, it is grown in gardens for its metallic bluish flowers and intensely whitish-glaucous leaves, it is very attractive to bees and butterflies.
Evening Primrose is a classic plant, with its beautiful yellow flowers is a feast for the eyes as well as the belly. The whole plant is edible: the leaves can be cooked as greens, and the nutty-flavoured roots can be boiled and eaten like potatoes, parsnips, or salsify. The flowers make a lovely salad garnish.
Our native Meadowsweet is a familiar sight, with fernlike foliage and tufts of graceful, fragrant creamy-white flowers, which are in blossom from June to almost September. It has been used as a medicinal plant since ancient times.
The beautiful, soft violet-blue flowers make the meadow crane’s bill one of our most distinctive wildflowers. Perfect for a meadow, it is often planted in gardens as it flowers for a long time, it must be one of our loveliest wild flowers and worthy of a place in any border.
Our native wild flower Geranium robertianum forms attractive rosettes of fern-like leaves, with pretty five-petalled pink flowers that are in bloom from April until October. Commonly known as Herb Robert it is an ancient herb, historically the plant was valued for its medicinal qualities.
Geranium sanguineum is a beautiful wild flower, native to the British Isles, with very deeply cut leaves and attractive, bright purplish-crimson flowers. The Cranesbill is often planted in gardens as it flowers for a long time, it must be one of our loveliest wild flowers and good for both border and rockery.
With brilliant golden-yellow flowers surely make this one of the loveliest wild flowers for the garden. The Corn Marigold is at its most impressive when in a meadow setting and as a border plant with other annual cornfield ... or perhaps, regrettably, we must now say 'ex-cornfield' flowers.
A deep blue carpet of bluebells is an unforgettable sight to anyone visiting a British woodland. The spring spectacle of seeing a wood not only greening, but also” blueing” is one of the joys of the year. When bluebells are in flower, spring has truly arrived.
Hyssop is a strong-flavoured aromatic herb which is enjoying a revival with home gardeners. An ideal plant for use in containers or as a low hedge or border within the herb garden. Highly attractive to bees, it makes excellent honey and is a must for any wildflower garden.
Woad has been grown for its indigo-blue pigment and for its medicinal properties since the 13th century, recently capturing popular imagination as the blue dye for body paint used by the Celts. This fashionable plant has a fresh wildflower appearance that can brighten any garden.
Knautia arvensis is an attractive native perennial herb of well drained grassland. It can be found throughout Europe in meadows, rough pasture, hedgerows and verges. Though it is by nature a perennial, it will flower and produce seed the first year if grown as an annual, either autumn or spring sown.
The Ox-eye Daisy is one of the most familiar of all summer flowers. They can be planted at almost any time of year. When seen naturalised in drifts in a sunny wildflower meadow, adorning roadside and meadows or even in a little corner of the garden they are spectacular.
The honeysuckle has large cartwheel-shaped flower-heads made up of rings of individual flowers, which open white, but often red-flushed, for most of the summer. The plants are vigorous twiners that climb rapidly up trellis or over arches, they are also superb trained up into trees or covering old tree stumps.
The more I see of this rather attractive little plant, the more I grow to appreciate it. Now I seem to spot it all over the place, in meadows, woodland, road verges and gardens. The bright yellow fragrant flowers can be seen in blossom from the end of April through until mid September.
Magnificent and spectacular spikes of rose-purple flowers, which last from June throughout the summer distinguish this tall wetland plant. Purple loosestrife is an easy garden plant, thriving in any soil. It is a beautiful subject for late summer colour in a border, shrubbery, large pond or slow-moving water.
Malva is one of the truly grand old-fashioned flowers of that almost mythical English Cottage Garden, which so many people strive to recreate. With lovely ice-pink flowers and finely lobed foliage that possesses the elegance of some ferns, Malva will bloom profusely given a sunny position.
Considered by many gardeners to be the most desirable of the Malva species, this rare white-flowered form is even lovelier than the normal rose-pink Musk Mallow. Flowering throughout the summer, the pure white, scented flowers contrast beautifully with the ferny foliage.
Papaver dubium is a less well known annual species of poppy. This native wildflower is widespread throughout Europe and America and is a good choice for naturalising in a meadow garden. It is pollinated by insects, particularly bees and hoverflies.
With its brilliant scarlet flowers, this native wild flower needs no introduction. Single, red, cup-shaped flowers usually with a black blotch at the base of the petals. It is the classic poppy bloom: a native wildflower of the British Isles, poppies paint a new road verge or embankment a brilliant hue in their first year.
Pennyroyal is a cottage garden plant of old. This highly aromatic herb has a strong peppermint scent to its dark green leaves, even more so than other mints.With attractive whorls of lilac-blue flowers, it can be used to carpet a shady corner or make a 'lawn' smelling deliciously of peppermint.
Bistort was formerly cultivated as a culinary and medicinal plant. This semi-evergreen perennial produces clusters of small, light pink flowers throughout summer and into autumn. The plant is ideal for creating groundcover, it is also highly attractive to bees and butterflies.
The white form of the lovely Jacobs Ladder, named after the slender, fresh green leaflets arranged like the rungs of a ladder. Blooming in late spring to early summer, the bright foliage and white flowers will brighten shady locations. Both the flowers and the attractive ferny foliage are excellent for cutting.
Prunella vulgaris is an interesting and quite beautiful little wildflower plant. The plants produce pretty blue-violet flowers in summer, the flowers freely produce nectar and are highly attractive to bees. If you’re looking for something to add to a meadow garden, or something for those shady areas this is the plant for you.
Rhinanthus minor, Yellow Rattle is an attractive, partially parasitic, annual wildflower of grasslands. It can used to increase species diversity and reduce the competitive vigour of grasses benefiting other sown wildflowers. It produces a better display of flowers and eases the mowing required.
The wild rose bursts with lightly scented, usually flesh pink flowers (though they can be pinker or whitish) in summer. They are followed by a terrific show of bright red hips, they can be used to make jam, jelly, syrup, marmalade and wine. Delicious and an excellent natural source of vitamin C.
Sanguisorba officinalis is a native of Europe and an old-world herb that is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity thanks to the revival of interest in perennial gardens and naturalised form of planting. Perfect for natural style planting schemes, it looks right at home in a swaying sea of grasses.
Scabiosa columbaria produces a mass of lilac-blue flowers. It was the original native plant material from which many award winning garden cultivars have been bred. Perhaps because this is one native that looks equally at home in a garden border or wildflower meadow.
St. John's Wort, Hypericum perforatum is native to Europe and Asia and has a long history of herbal use. The most notable feature is the presence of wide bright yellow flowers. The flowers consist of five petals surrounding a dense tuft of protruding yellow stamens that resemble an old fashioned shaving brush.
Blue is such a vivid colour in the crystal-clear light peculiar to early autumn. But it's rather a rarity so the airy wands of small blue buttons found on Succisa pratensis are a particular blessing from August to October. This little wildflower is a very versatile plant and worthy of greater appreciation.
Sweet Cicely is an attractive plant that is a striking component of herb gardens and hedgerows across Britain. Growing to a height of 90cm, umbels of tiny white flowers appear from spring to early summer. The fern-like leaves are deeply divided and smell of aniseed when crushed.
The Shamrock: a 3-Leaf Clover, is the national flower of Ireland and one of the county's most recognised and most loved national symbols. A crucial part of the celebrations on Saint Patrick's Day, March 17th, the tradition of wearing and “drowning” the Shamrock can be traced back to the early 1700s.
Trollius europaeus is a beautiful native wild flower of Europe and Western Asia. Found in damp ground in shady areas, woodland and scrub, pastures and woods in mountain areas. It is a most attractive plant with dark green, deeply cut leaves and bears flowers, best described as egg-yolk yellow in colour.
Gorse are usually associated with western Britain and Ireland. At its best in spring, it blooms with an explosion of yellow, the flowers have a distinctive strong coconut scent. Gorse bears some flowers year round, hence the old country phrase: “When gorse is out of blossom, kissing is out of fashion”.
Several Verbascum species are prized garden ornamentals, but the species best-known among wildflower enthusiasts and herbalists is the homely but useful common mullein, Verbascum thapsus. This fuzzy mullein is a gardener’s friend, an herbalist’s delight and an engineering marvel all on its own.
The legendary fragrant sweet violet: Viola odorata is often referred to as “The King of Violets”, with a beautiful fragrance and also several herbal uses. An excellent wild/woodland garden plant, it can be found near the edges of forests or in clearings.
A “Heritage variety” - introduced in Germany in 1900 as "Konigin Charlotte". The flowers, of the deepest violet colour and are extremely fragrant, they are grown for their perfume. This cultivar is unique in that its flowers turn upward making them viewer friendly and is very good for naturalising.
A collection of our most familiar native varieties, when seen in drifts adorning roadside and meadows, they are spectacular. Modern intensive agriculture is to blame for many of our familiar native species being in decline - reverse the trend with this lovely collection.
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