have all the flowers gone? More and more people are growing up without
ever having the chance to see the wild flowers which older generations
once took for granted.
The top five wild flowers for gardens
Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)
The nodding heads of bluebells used to be common in woods and hedgerows but they are becoming less common now. They prefer a lightly shaded position; under a hedge or decidous tree is ideal.
TYPE: perennial, bulb COLOUR: Blue PLANTING TIME: Autumn FLOWERING TIME: Spring or early summer HEIGHT: 30-40cm/12-16in SOIL: Any
Common poppy (papaver rhoeas)
One of the best known annual wild flowers, the poppy used to be found in cornfields but is now more likely to be seen on disturbed earth on roadsides and motorway verges. It can be grown in a sunny border or as part of a wildflower meadow.
TYPE: Annual, seed COLOUR: Red SOWING TIME: Spring FLOWERING TIME: Early to late summer HEIGHT: 40-60cm/16-24in SOIL: Any, particularly on poor, stony soils
Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)
Once a widespread ‘weed’ in cornfields, it makes a pretty border flower for cutting. It prefers a sunny position, where it will attract bees and several different species of butterfly.
TYPE: Annual, seed COLOUR: Bright blue SOWING TIME: Spring FLOWERING TIME: Summer HEIGHT: 60-90cm/24-36in SOIL: Any, except chalk
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
A native of woodlands, the foxglove thrives in a damp, partially shaded spot. This stately plant look good grown under tall trees or to give height at the back of the border.
TYPE: Biennial, seed or young plant COLOURL: Purple SOWING TIME: Autumn for flowers the following year FLOWERING TIME: Summer HEIGHT: 120cm/48in SOIL: Acid, moist
Primrose (Primula vulgaris)
The primrose has suffered greatly in the wild from being overpicked, but makes an excellent garden plant. It prefers a moist, partially shaded spot under trees or hedges.
TYPE: Perennial, seed or young plant COLOUR: Yellow PLANTING TIME: Early spring FLOWERING TIME: Spring HEIGHT: 20cm/8in SOIL: Moist