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Flowering plants round the base of trees

I would like to get some flowering plants round the base of my trees. It's a challenge given the soil is dry and thin. Most of the trees are deciduous. I'm willing to rake off the dead leaves and scarify the soil a bit. The tree roots mean it can't be dug. Also: I'm not willing to risk bought plants, only seed, accepting that the chance of success is low. I'm not bothered about the flowering season, just want to give it shot. I've had several suggestions like hardy cyclamen, aconites ( I have seed and will try it) - any other suggestions most welcome. I am told snowdrops need open ground.
Everyone likes butterflies. Nobody likes caterpillars.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,269
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,531
    Marigolds grow easily from seed and aren't fussy about conditions. They will flower all summer long.  I can send you some seed if you like, just send me your address in a PM.
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,577
    I have snowdrops and aconites that grow under a elm hedge and others under service trees, they flower every year so I don't think they need open ground, I believe they are a woodland species originally, bluebells come on just after the snowdrops are finished. other than that you could try wood annenomies, and solomans seal.
  • Julia1983Julia1983 ShropshirePosts: 139
    Nasturtium?  They seem to grow just about anywhere in my garden, sun or shade. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,269
    According to his details the poster lives in Brazil ... I know little of the climate he’s gardening in but I doubt whether Northern European plants such as snowdrops, bluebells and our hardy cyclamen are going to be happy there ... but I may be wrong ... 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • We plant Spring flowering bulbs under our trees.  We always do this when planting new trees, but for those trees that are established we do have to dig as best as we can before planting the bulbs.  I even have  clematis growing up the trunks of some of our trees - cutting into a few just below the surface tree roots won't kill the tree providing you don't go too deep and not on all sides of the tree - water well after planting and keep watering - trees are thirsty plants and need water to recuperate from any disturbance.
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,076
    Purple toadflax isn't fussy, so long as it gets a bit of sunshine.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • If you can dig a little, Tiarella is brilliant and it makes a nice clump.  I put under shrubs and trees and it grows contentedly, flowering like mad.
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