Forum home Wildlife gardening

Plant Ideas Needed


We had a rare opportunity to tackle the garden yesterday while my inlaws looked after the toddler, including taking out several uninvited trees. We had to prune a beloved but overgrown broom to get to them. It's great for the bees and we love it - but it's way bigger than the border and I know they don't like pruning. The plant next to it has never attracted wildlive (it's tree like- identified as sambuca nigra but never seen berries on it so I'm not sure), so we're thinking of starting again in that area. It is a narrow border  on clay which gets the sun, and we'd be planting on roots - any thoughts? We want plenty of pollinator value.


We're also looking for a shade and clay tolerant living mulch for under our double cordon pear to give the weeds a run for their money, in the nectar bar border.




  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,178
    One plant which will grow anywhere, even in no soil, and is a magnet for bees and butterflies is the buddleia. But if you buy a small plant, rather than a more mature one, its roots will be able to find their way through the tangle of existing roots more easily.

    Another nice plant for perfume at this time of year is Sarcococca confusa. We had a bumblebee on it yesterday and a butterfly last week.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Sorry to jump in, but always on the look-out for plant ideas for a family-friendly garden.

    Pansy, when I Googled the Sarcococca, some of the images show berries, I can't find anything to suggest that they're toxic, presumably it would be mentioned on RHS or somewhere if they were?

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,178
    Having trawled through various documents I have found one mention of Sarcococca berries being, to some extent, toxic. No mention made of how toxic or in what way toxic. The berries on my Sarcococca confusa are small and unobtrusive, barely visible. Holly berries, honeysuckle berries and ivy berries are all toxic too and much more noticeable than those of the Sarcococca.

    Gardens are filled with toxic plants. I estimate that there are more toxic ones than non toxic ones in my garden.

    As with all aspects of their growing up, children need to be made aware of the fact that not everything they meet in life is benign. But nor is everything they meet out to get them.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Bluebells and snowdrops seem to thrive when growing under trees in our area, I agree with pansyface that Buddleia also grows in the most poor of soils and certainly attracts butterflies.  It is a fairly cheap plant to buy so if you have to remove it or it doesn't take then you won't have lost a fortune.

  • Sorry for the delay in replying, small ones do attract illnesses and eat time. Ooh, can buddleia be propagated by cutting? We already have a lovely white one, recently had its annual haircut (with a saw!!)

    When you say do a proper clear out, how would you accomplish that? Time and funds are limited.

    Guernsey Donkey2, some of our crocuses do ok, but our clay soil eats bulbs, it gets too wet over winter.

    My husband was thinking of a holly for this area, as they're quite slow growing.

    Any ideas for a shade and clay tolerant ground cover? I may just propagate my oregano.


  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 10,293

    Buddleias take really easily from stem cuttings - we have far too many because OH had nearly 100% success rate and can't bear to throw any away image.he took them in about June I think ......usual method of cutting just below a leaf node, stripping off lower leaves and sticking them round the edge of a pot of compost. No covering or bottom heat required.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,940

    I cut back the giant buddleia here and used a stout stem as an additional support for a small tree. That support is now a fully flourishing buddleia which will need removed! They're hard to kill image

    Pachysandra will do fine in your shady clay bookmonster. Also Tiarellas and Heucherellas and Heucheras. Geraniums too. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks for the ideas! When we took out the indian bean tree it was already under planted so we didn't have any dilemnas about what to do with it. Any tips on root removal ??

Sign In or Register to comment.