Forum home Wildlife gardening

Help needed for a novice gardener

Hi there,

I have recently brought my first house and I am lucky enough to have a substantially sized back garden. It has a long stretch of lawn with a flower bed down one side, which I have recently deweeded. In spring I intend to fill the border with plants which I hope will be perfect for attracting bees, butterflies and any other insects.

So my question is, what would be good to plant? I've very new to this whole gardening thing and I doubt I'll have a chance to plant anything before winter (as I need to sort the house out first). Any tips or recommendations would be really appreciated. image



  • XX Posts: 707

    Hi Romana, before anyone can help you'd have to give us some idea of soil type, which way does border face, what sort of plants do you want - shrubs/perennials/bedding or a mixture.  Give us a starting point and I'm sure youll get loads of ideas image

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Try these two links. They both contain very useful advice and plant suggestions for wildlife gardening.

  • Of course image

    The garden is south-facing. So the bed will be in good sunlight through spring/summer. The only shade it will get would be in the morning whilst the sun moves round the front of the house. We had a hard time breaking the soil up when we moved in....was quite clay like but that may have been from the sun drying it out. I turn it over quite regularly now andits always full of bugs and earthworms (if that helps!)

    I dont really mind what I plant,anything with some colour would be a bonus.
  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 750

    Have a look at these for loads of ideas on things to sow for wildlife. You can sow most things in spring, one or two won't germinate until they've had a winter but most will be fine for spring. You will need to prepare a seed bed though. Don't waste time and money by sowing on to grass you'll lose over 99% of your seed if you do. Good luck. 


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,383

    Gardening is such a big subject, I think it would be helpfull if you bought a book and during winter look up on Google all the flowers you like the look of and how to grow them. After a bit you won't be a new gardener any more!

    In th meantime have a look at these -    geraniums (the perennial sort), veronica, salvias, campanulas, geums, phlox, michaelmas daisies, penstemons, aquilegia, erysimum, oriental poppies, delphiniums (watch for slugs!). They are all perennials. Filling a garden with perennials all at once can be expensive so you can sow hardy annuals in between, such as nigella, calendula, californian poppies. Beg from people with gardens!

    Go to your garden centre in Spring and summer and see what you like the look of then go home and look it up.

    Good luck!

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,383

    Of course, first thing is to prepare your soil. If it is clay it would help to dig in lots of compost and well rotted manure, if you can get it.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
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