20 Great Flowers for wildlife in your garden

25
Apr

Posted by Jane Tobitt


Want to create a beautiful flower garden with some bee friendly plants but aren’t sure where to start?

I'm no Monty Don, but I have been growing flowers and vegetables for over fifteen years and these favourites bring me and the local wildlife much happiness year on year.

Here’s a list of my top 20 go-to plants.

What flowers to grow Geranium Anna Folkard

Geranium ‘Anna Folkard’ (Cranesbill)
Perennial that likes full sun or partial shade.
Full size: 50cm high by 100cm wide

What flowers should i grow euphorbia

Euphorbia polychroma  (Spurge)
Perennial that likes full sun or partial shade.
Full size: 40cm high by 40cm wide

choosing plants libertia grandiflora

Libertia Grandiflora
Perennial that likes full sun or light shade.
Full size: 80cm high by 50cm wide

Alchemilla Mollis great plants

Alchemilla Mollis (Lady’s Mantle)
Perennial that likes full sun or partial shade.
Full size: 50cm high by 50cm wide

Astrantia Major

Astrantia Major ‘Large white’ (Masterwort)
Perennial that likes full sun or light shade.
Full size: 80cm high by 50cm wide

Salvia Cardonna great, bee friendly plants for your garden

Salvia Nemorosa ‘Caradonna’
Perennial that likes full sun or light shade.
Full size: 50cm high by 30cm wide

white lupin

Lupin ‘Noble Maiden’
Perennial that likes full sun or partial shade
Full size: 120cm high by 50cm wide

verbena bonariensis bee friendly

Verbena Bonariensis
Perennial that likes full sun
Full size: 2m high by 40cm wide

Dahlia Pink Rocco Great flowers

Dahlia Rocco
Tubers that likes full sun, lift tubers in winter and replant in late spring.
Full size: 75cm high by 50cm wide

Daffodil Thalia great Spring bulbs

Daffodil Narcissus ‘Thalia’
Perennial that likes full sun or partial shade
Full size: 40cm high by 15cm wide

Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’

Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’
Perennial that likes full sun or partial shade
Full size: 120cm high by 120cm wide

Ridolfia segetum great for pollinators

Ridolfia segetum
Perennial that likes full sun
Full size: 100cm high by 40cm wide

Japanese Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’ great for shade

Japanese Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’
Perennial that likes full sun or partial shade
Full size: 100cm high by 120cm wide

Gaura lindheimeri ‘The Bride’

Gaura lindheimeri ‘The Bride’
Perennial that likes full sun or partial shade
Full size: 100cm high by 50cm wide

Star Jasmine

Trachelospermum jasminoides (Star Jasmine)
Climber that likes full sun
Full size: 9m high by 3cm wide

Climbing Hydrangea

Climbing Hydrangea
Climber that likes full sun or partial shade
Full size: 15m high by 3m wide

Lavender ‘Hidcote’ Bee friendly scented plants

Lavender ‘Hidcote’
Evergreen shrub that likes full sun
Full size: 70cm high by 60cm wide

Hollyhock - Alcea rosea ‘Giant Single Mixed’

Hollyhock - Alcea rosea ‘Giant Single Mixed’
Perennial that likes full sun or partial shade
Full size: 2.5m high by 50cm wide

Poppy – Papaver somniferum ‘Dark Plum’

Poppy – Papaver somniferum ‘Dark Plum’
Perennial that likes full sun
Full size: 90cm high by 30cm wide

Campanula Persicifolia Alba (bellflower)

Campanula Persicifolia Alba (bellflower)
Perennial that likes full sun or partial shade
Full size: 90cm high by 30cm wide

A few general gardening pointers if you're a complete beginner:

Perennial plants provide flowers year after year. They tend to die back in the winter months so you won’t see much foliage on the ground until they grow back the following spring. 

Annuals are plants that live for just one season. If you want value for money, plant perennials instead as they’ll grow back and get bigger year on year.

Evergreen is a plant that retains green leaves throughout the year. You may wish to have some evergreens in your garden for winter interest for example box, bay, yew, laurels, fatsia, lavender, holly.

Bulbs. Spring flowering bulbs such as tulips, crocus and daffodils are planted in October time and flower the following spring. Summer flowering bulbs such as Dahlias and Lilies are planted in spring.

Growing in Pots. If space is at a premium most of the varieties above will grow in pots if they’re kept well fed and watered. The soil will loose it’s nutrients over time, so it’s worth taking the plant out of the pot every spring to check the roots still have room to grow and to refresh the compost.

If you're planting out in a flower bed, I tend to plant 3 of each variety together so eventually they form a decent clump, this gives greater visual impact when they start to grow. If budget is tight, see below for ways to save on plants. Sounds obvious, but usually you'd plant the higher plants at the back of the bed, working forwards in height order so everything can get enough sunlight.

Dividing plants. Year on year your plants will get bigger allowing you to divide (dig up and cut into smaller sections) some of the varieties into smaller plants, that in turn will grow into large plants. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, so worth googling it and finding out which plants will divide well, every year I divide my geraniums, alchemilla mollis and astrantia to replant in new beds or to give away to friends for their gardens.

Self seeding. Some varieties like Hollyhock, Astrantia, Salvia, Poppy, Euphorbia and Campanula will self seed, so in the following spring you’ll see little seedlings appearing in new places that have grown from last season’s seeds that got carried on the wind. You can either delicately pot them out into bigger pots or just leave them in the soil to mature. This is another great way of expanding your plant collection for free.

Happy Gardening!