Must have natives?

Has anyone got any ideas for any native plants that I should include in the garden next year?  We moved in this April and the garden was mainly lawn, native hedge and a couple of extablished trees (silver birch and hawthorn) but since then I have been planting fruit trees and adding to the native plants by adding sloe and field maple etc. I've got nothing against non-natives just nothing too exotic as it doesn't seem to fit with the existing garden.


  • My personal favourites for planting at the hedge base are primroses, violets and snowdrops.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,108

    I like harebells and red campion,and the wild type foxgloves.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • Mrs GMrs G Posts: 336

    We get those wild dog violets I think they are and I've planted a whole load of the 'alba' foxglove in the shade of the hedge for next year.  I've got some primroses near the pond which reminds me I could split those.  Would definitely like to add some harebell, they look like fairy hats!


  • Ox-eye daisy are a good bet, Honesty looks good as well. Welsh poppies are easy and come in shades of orange and yellow.   Have a look at what grows locally always a good bet.


  • Mrs GMrs G Posts: 336

    Ooh I'd like to have some honesty because the seeds pods are interesting.  The neighbouring gardens are mostly very manicured or left totally to long grass and overgrown apple trees I prefer the more engineered wilderness effect!


  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,293

    The suggestion of honesty is a good one and has reminded me that sweet rockets are lovely plants too  Shasta daisies did well here also. I like forget me nots, they do self seed a lot but very easy to pull out and transplant somewhere else.

  • MrsGardenMrsGarden Posts: 3,736
    Have not yet read the above posts but just thought you should know its not me !
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    Hello MrsGarden- very confusing as I always call you MrsG!! Lovely to 'see' you image

    Harebell is lovely - and vastly overlooked as a plant I think.

    Very handy for me if I need a hat when I go out too image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,055

    scabious and knapweed are pretty and good bee plants. Lots of 'weeds' are important food plants for larvae. Ragwort for the Cinnabar moth for example.



  • comfrey,very good for the garden and if your brave you can eat it!a crab apple tree,Hazel tree,medlery tree,elder,and quince.image

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,191

    Aquilegias are natives and come in many forms and colours.  Hardy geraniums are European natives, some British and some mainland, but a wide variety of leaf form and colour is available from limey green to glaucous blue and flowers ranging from white through pinks and purples to blues.    There are varieties for shade and for full sun and they provide nectar for bees andother beneficial insects.   Single or open centred roses are good too and phlomis, rodgersias, hellebores, hostas......

    I wouldn't get hung up too much on native versus imported.   Foraging wildlife doesn't care as long as the plants have nectar or pollen or seedheads or fruits to offer.   For example, buddleias are imports but look well in natural plantings and attract masses of butterflies.   The main thing is to stick to simple flower forms as doubles are often sterile so of no use to insects and birds and to try have something flowering or fruiting all year so include bulbs like snowdrops and shrubs like viburnum Eve Price for winter interest.

    The Vendée, France
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,055

    Obelixx's winter suggestions remind me. Pulmomarias, loved by early bees.(possibly early birds as well) P.rubra is particularly early, evergreen and doesn't get mildew. Usually has a flower for the New Year's Day flower count.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,359

    Also don't forget Sweet Rocket which also comes in a white form (Hesperis matronalis alba)  as well as the usual pink.  The scent is heavenly.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Mrs GMrs G Posts: 336

    Thanks everyone, lots to go on here for next year!

  • Just a thought quite a few of the natives particularly meadow plants don't like very rich soil so maybe take it easy with or give fertilisers a miss.

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

     Hi Mrs G. Some of the plants suggested for you aren't actually native, eg Honesty. That's fine if you don't mind but if you particularly want natives then you might want to think of others instead. There are some good websites for suggestions. Emorsgate is the best for seed, Naturescape is good too but you will need to check if they are native. The NHM did have a list but it's 'out of date' I know where it has been backed up to but right now I can't think of the address but I will get it later today if you only want natives. I don't know how you feel about garden varieties of natives. If you are interested in feeding wildlife rather than making it a 'garden' then you'll want to ensure your plants are British natives rather than Continental European plants, particularly if they could escape. The above sites only stock British sourced plants. You will want to look out for the words 'Flora Locale'.

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

    Here's the link of UK Native Plants according to the Natural History Museum. One plant I wouldn't do without is Red Campion. We have a form here that is quite deep pink, it's very nice and flowers all summer. The list of good plants is huge and as it really depends on your taste  however in the top ten  best things to grow is hawthorn, Iberis and knapweeds. Although it isn't native but naturalised I wouldn't do without the Sweet Rocket either as mentioned above. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis( is also wonderfully scented. Although beautiful I wouldn't go for bluebells if you live in a suburban area unless you don't mind spanish bluebells because they hybridise so easily. I regret planting mine, though Anemone nemorosa is so beautiful. As is Lily-of-the-valley Convallaria majalis and the native Daffodil Narcissus pseudonarcissus has a wonderful scent unlike the garden hybrids. 

  • Mrs GMrs G Posts: 336

    Thanks Jim, I am most interested in feeding feed the birds and providing different foliage textures and colours throughout the year image


  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

    Feeding birds, then go for Hawthorn, Goat willow (bugs for the birds), Cornus Mas, Amelanchier also great autumn colour, Crabapple John Downie (not native), the birds love it, Hip forming roses such as field and dog rose or any of the single-fertile varieties named for their hips. etc. There's too many to mention. Native Spindle is great for autumn colour too and can be got very cheap at this time of year bare root for hedging. Aronia is good for berries and autumn colour Aronia Viking is good for us too. Cornus mas Titus is the best for us as far as nutrients (antioxidents) goes. (Aronia, Amelanchier and Cornus mas are not native but work hard and don't look out of place) For me if it works hard then it can stay. 

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