Mystery Plants from inherited garden

Hiya!  We recently purchased a house that we're doing a re-furb on.  In the back garden, there used to be a bit of a flower garden.  I'll be converting the back garden to a veg garden, but there were some plants and flowers back there I might be interested in keeping if they can be identified.  Can you help?


Big 'ole shrub that needs some cutting back.  I'm guessing this has some berries on it that might be useful in keeping the birds off any fruits in my garden.





What's this little purple flower?  I think they were first blooming when we first went to look at the house back in late February.




Another purple flower, but kind of a globe-- these were also early bloomers that are out-going now.  They really cheered up an otherwise gloomy garden.




Firey-red flower...?




And is this any use or is it a weed?




Thanks in advance!  I'm kind of a newb at this and I appreciate your feedback!




  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619

    The 2 purplish ones are primulas, the shrub MIGHT be an esacallonia, the fiery one might be a salpiglossis, the last one looks rather like a buddleia, but I'm doubtful.

    I'm sure other posters will pile in.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,237

    I reckon that is a buddleia figrat. and the orangey red a mimulus.

    The big srub, if the first two pics are the same plant, looks like one of the cotoneasters to me. and the first of the mauves aubretia, then a primula.

  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 7,197

    First one is definitely cotoneaster - watch it in the next couple of weeks, it will be absolutely smothered in bees !

    The Stone Age didn’t end because they ran out of stones ......
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,237

    I hope you're right about the bees chicky

  • Ginny MayGinny May Posts: 17

    1st shrub - could it be Chaenomeles(japanese quince) - if so, buds will have opened to bright red flowers. Or could be escallonia, as figrat says. Both worth keeping, trim back and remove dead wood.

    Little mauve flowers - there was a large clump on a wall in my house when we moved in over 20 years ago and it's still there. I've always called it phlox, but I'm not sure that's the correct name

    Mauve globes - "drumstick" primula

    Fiery red flower - looks like a good colour mimulus, mine are all yellow and spread like mad, but very pretty flowers

    Green plant which "looks like a weed" - definitely a buddleia, the butterfly bush, with most commonly long spikes of flowers, mostly purple but lots of other colours and sometimes globe-shaped. The purple long flowered sort self-seed prolifically round the garden, but are well worth having to attract butterflies and bees, and are easy to grow. can get quite big and woody - I wouldn't leave it in a gap in the paving.



  • Jeanne FJeanne F Posts: 7

    First shrub almost certainly a cotoneaster. Much loved by bees then in January has lots of red berries that are much loved by blackbirds. Will take some quite heavy pruning to keep it in check but troublefree. The orange flower is a mimulus which likes thigs to be damp and finally, yes, it is a buddleia. Not sure about the blue flowers.

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    Photo 1. I agree, cotoneaster; Japanese quince would be nearly over by now, my 2 (which are salmon, and white) have pretty much finished. Photo 3. aubretia; they have very distinctive leaf shapes. It is a useful low border plant, you could dig up bits and transplant if you want more of it. Last one is a buddleia, bit of a thug I think and yes, Ginny May is right dig it up and plant it elsewhere where there is lots of room (though I would bin it and get one that is right for the garden as that is probably self seeded in that position.image

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,728

    Definitely cotoneaster and you can cut that back into shape. Great for bees. Agree with the others- phlox, drumstick primulas -which you can divide up and pop into other places too- and buddleia. As art says you may be best to get a named variety rather than keep this but maybe wait and see what it's like- cut it back hard in late winter /early spring to stop it getting big and woody. It flowers on the new growth anyway.

    Exciting project - good luck with it!

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,237

    I still think the phlox is aubrieta but as I can't get it big enough to focus on I can't be sure.

  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ...yes I find that to be aubrieta... I've just copied the image onto Word and enlarged it..

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