Wildflowers but not a jungle!

The title sounds rather grand, but in fact I have a little patch at the very bottom of the garden that looks like it has been poached from the farmers wood beyond. There is a little 'secret' path that runs around it, my little boy thinks it's super but basically its the border of the property, and I have now cleared it of all the stinging nettles and (very) overgrown ferns.

I don't want to do very much with it, the trees are small and quite nice, there are a couple of rhododendrons in there too and a few other quite nice shrubs, a hydrangea is one I recognise. However, now I have cleared the nettles and ferns it does look a bit bare. I would like to plant some wild flowers and/or bulbs to make it look nice, but obviously low maintenance. My little boy does play in there but he has a healthy respect for flowers and won't trample them, he likes to follow the path and look for 'creatures'. Stinging nettles are too risky for him so they had to go but any other ideas would be welcome.

I have just finished (she says) digging over a plot that leads to the path and I am going to make it into an informal small rose garden. There is a buddleia at the start of the path too. Obviously, don't want anything that will go mad and overtake the rose garden but something that can take care of itself and hold it's own would be welcome.

Thanks,

Jacqui.

The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.

— Gertrude Jekyll
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Posts

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 48,985

    I have a similar area - we have a rambling rose and clematis montana to climb into the trees, and on the ground we have primroses in the spring, vinca major (have to cut it back from time to time but it's not a thug) alchemilla mollis, various ferns (mainly varieties of dryopteris as they can cope with the patches of dry shade) a white flowering currant (ribes indecorum?) hellebores, wild violets, native foxgloves and lamiums, arum maculatum, geum rivale (water avens) in the damper patch.

    I'm planning to get some English native bluebells and Narcissus pseudonarcissus to plant 'in the green' next spring. 

    "...tea and toasted buttered currant buns, can't compensate for lack of sun because the summer's all gone..."   Autumn Almanac - Ray Davies
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,618

     I would plant snowdrops, native bluebells (non-scripta not hispanica), wild garlic (ramsons) wood anemones, wood sorrel, sweet woodruff, some small ferns, Christmas roses (hellebores), primroses, honeysuckle where it can climb up a tree, monkshood, some aquilegia's are shade tolerant, various arums (careful they can be toxic), cyclamen and foxgloves (are toxic)

  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Todmorden, West YorksPosts: 4,466

    Beware, monkshood (aconitum napellus) is very poisonous - not good with a young child, even one with a healthy respect for flowers...  I'd maybe also steer clear of wild arum (lords & ladies).  Even if your little boy is reliable, his friends might not be...  Foxgloves contain digitalis, but I believe you need to eat a whole plant before it's fatal!  Actually, many common garden plants are toxic if eaten (I used to work in a garden centre, making info cards for plants, so I had to research this).  I'm sure your approach of educating your little boy is the way to go - but beware children's parties in the garden!

    "Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change"    Stephen Hawking
  • Dordogne DamselDordogne Damsel Posts: 2,115

    Thank you all so much, so much knowledge so freely given. I have a honeysuckle and a clematis montana in another part of the garden, are they easy to get cuttings from? Also some vinca major in the lane outside the house, do you think a few snips will start it off? Also have aquilegia, do I split that?

    After that will be on the hunt for the rest. Thank you once again.

    Jacqui.

    The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.

    — Gertrude Jekyll
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 48,985

    Vinca will root anywhere the tips touch the soil - new little plants should be easy to find. 

    "...tea and toasted buttered currant buns, can't compensate for lack of sun because the summer's all gone..."   Autumn Almanac - Ray Davies
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 25,198

    I'd been wary of the montana if you don't want something that takes over

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,404

    Apart from the obvious ones like bluebells, primroses and snowdrops, how about a wild flower meadow mix for woodland? That would give you some diversity.

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Dordogne DamselDordogne Damsel Posts: 2,115

    Got some seeds ordered, thanks guys. Jacqui

    The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.

    — Gertrude Jekyll
  • WateryWatery Posts: 388

    I got some hardy geraniums that are supposed to be good in shade.  I think Sweet Heidi is one.  There is a website called Plants for Shade that has great ideas/plants and is very ecofriendly. 

     

  • Dordogne DamselDordogne Damsel Posts: 2,115

    Thank you very much, will have a look. My wildflower seeds came today, going to sort them out tomorrow for starters.Was thinking perhaps I need a bit of hedging, only a thin fence between us and farmers fied and all the weeds spreading through. Nothing big or too bushy, just something really to hold back the weeds - any ideas anyone?

    The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.

    — Gertrude Jekyll
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