Several years ago, I took on a patch of land behind my home, Rose Cottage in the village of New Arley. I wanted to create a communal wildflower garden for myself and 3 other neighboring properties but found that the plot had poor soil. It had previously been tarmacked and much of the topsoil removed and replaced with brick waste. Rather than abandoning the garden, I decided to turn it over to nature and grow wildflowers in it.
Wildflowers are pretty tough and many species have been growing in the UK for hundreds or even thousands or years. Any derelict building site will testify for the hardiness of such plants as Honesty, Poppy, Harebell and Buddleja.
Wildflower garden plants to try
Here is a list of wild flowering plants that I have had a lot of success with. The majority of these can easily be grown from seed.
- Butterfly Bush – Buddleja
- Ragged Robin – Lychnis
- Harebell – Campanula rotundifolia
- Honesty – Lunaria annua
- Teasel – Dipsacus sylvestria
- Wild Flanders Poppy (Field Poppy) – Papaver rhoeas
- Sweet Rocket – Hesperis matronalis
- Cuckoo flower – Cardamine pratensis
- Sweet Violet – Viola odorata
- Wild Pansy – Viola tricolor
- Red Campion – Silene dioica
- Common Mallow – Malva sylvestris
- Pale Flax – Linum bienne
- Meadow Crane’s-bill – Geranium pratense
- Kidney Vetch – Anthyllis vulneraria
- Lady’s Mantle – Alchemilla vulgaris
- Purple Loosestrife – Lythrum salicaria
- Primrose – Primula vulgaris
- Cowslip – Primula veris
- Common Comfrey – Symphytum officinale
- Viper’s Bugloss – Echium vulgare
- Yellow Rattle – Rhinanthus minor
- Wild Teasel – Dipsacus fullonum
- Field Scabious – Knautia arvensis
- Tansy – Tanacetum vulgare
- Chicory – Cichorium intybus
If you are planning a wildflower garden but are plagued troublesome grasses taking over the site, try mixing in a little Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor). Yellow Rattle is a semi-parasitic and attractive annual plant that weakens grass yield by up to 50%.