Tufted Vetch – Viccia cracca – will climb and cover an unsightly tree stump – a mass of long lasting, late summer to autumn, blue flowers loved by bees and suchlike – adaptable so full sun or partial shade – will tolerate drier ground.
Knapweed – Centaura scabiosa – can grow to a metre tall with many bright flower heads on a single plant. These are covered with bees and other insects from beginning to end of summer. Grows almost anywhere!
Giant Bellflower – Campanula latifolia – can reach splendid heights so great for the middle or back of any wild or cultivated border. A woodland plant so will grow in shadier as well as more open spots…and in most soils, even clay!
Deptford Pink – Dianthus armeria – exquisite, deep pink, small flowers on dinner plate sized plant – can grow to a foot tall – listed as rare – once established will seed itself readily and appear next year between paving slabs, in rocky or clay beds…
Yellow Pimpernel – Lysimachia nemora – provides dense, lush ground cover with almost evergreen leaves and a myriad of bright yellow flowers from spring to autumn – found in woodland so shade tolerant – in gardens will grow in both dry or damp conditions.
Devil’s Bit Scabious – succisia pratensis – can grow to a striking height in damper areas of the garden – a good one for hoverflies which love the pom-pom flower heads. Full sun to partial shade for this one.
Ragged Robin – Lychnis flos-culi – another one for damper parts – has beautiful, lacey flowers on upright stems of an adult knee height – flowers have even appeared here the first frost. Partial shade tolerant.
Betony – Betonica officinalis – can be stunningly successful whether planted in the ground or a terracotta patio pot – seems to thrive everywhere: Full sun or shade – favoured by bees, hoverflies and the like – erect stems, attractive flowers and crinkly leaves make this a popular plant with humans too!
Toadflax – Linaria vulgaris – the native snapdragon or anthrrynum and very easy to grow – another bee favourite – a good one for drier wall beds and ground in full sun – flowers from mid summer ’til after the first frost – a plant with poise!
Lady’s Bedstraw – Galium verum – traditionally used to fill mattresses. The Virgin Mary is said to have given birth to Jesus, lying on a bed of this straw. A plant which provides ground cover and a wonderful, delicate, sweet scent. Will seed itself naturally between paving cracks and the like.
Rock Rose – Helianthemum nummularium – as name suggests, a lovely one for the rockery, or other sunny spot – flowers a deep cream with seemingly endless buds appearing. Dry-soil-tolerant.
Field Scabious – Knautia arvensis – bees spend the entire summer visiting the multiple flowers on each plant – the buzzing volume has to be heard to be believed! Will grow in most positions: full sun or partial shade.
Wild Chamomile – Chamaemulum nobile – one each planted in two small patio pots…deck chair, one foot up on each, evening sunshine, glass of wine. Who needs expensive foot spas?! One of the very few wildflower plants which do require compost and full or partial sun though will grow in drier soil.
Kidney Vetch – Anthyllis vulneraria – flowers go on forever for this one and are a food plant for the (increasingly rare!) ‘common’ blue butterfly. Full sun or partial shade and some moisture required.
Meadow Saxifrage – Saxifraga granulata – dainty flowers appear spring to early summer. A.K.A. ‘Pretty Maids’ and a lovely bee plant. Partial shade and will tolerate drier soil.
Viper’s Bugloss – Echium vulgare – flowers from May to September and can thrive on even drier, sandy or chalky ‘bald’ patches. The food plant of several bee and butterfly species. Can grow to statuesque height.
Night Flowering Catchfly – Silene noctiflora – stems have tiny, fly trapping hairs – flowers an unusual colour and smell wonderful when open in the evening. Hence a good one for the moths…and plants will love a bit of shade.
Lesser Periwinkle – Vinca minor – can be evergreen and flower in both spring and autumn. A plant skilled at smothering weeds and grows in even deep shade…and in most soils, including clay.