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  • My Top 10 Native UK Perennials with Fragrant Flowers for Your Garden”

    Discover the enchanting world of scented flowers with these native UK herbaceous perennials. From the delicate sweetness of Woodruff and Sweet Woodruff to the timeless elegance of Lily of the Valley, these plants bring fragrance and beauty to any garden. Valerian illuminates at dusk with its scented white clusters of flowers. hile Herb Robert releases its pungent aroma when touched. Meadowsweet enchants with its honey-like scent, and Jacob's Ladder beckons with its clusters of blue bells. Marshmallow and Sweet Cicely add a touch of intrigue, while Betony graces the landscape with its regal purple spikes. Explore these scented wonders, tailor-made for different garden conditions, and let their perfumed allure transport you to a fragrant paradise. Woodruff (Galium odoratum) is a herbaceous perennial that thrives in shady areas with moist, well-drained soil. It forms a lush carpet of green foliage and small white flowers in late spring or early summer. Woodruff prefers partial to full shade and can tolerate dry shade once established. Sweet Woodruff (Asperula odorata) is a shade-loving plant that prefers moist, well-drained soil. It features delicate whorls of leaves and clusters of small white flowers with a sweet scent. It can tolerate dry shade and is an excellent choice for woodland gardens or under trees. Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) is a classic woodland plant that thrives in partial to full shade. It has broad, lance-shaped leaves and produces fragrant, bell-shaped white flowers in late spring. It prefers moist, humus-rich soil and spreads slowly to form a dense ground cover. Common Valerian Valeriana officinalis (above) is a captivating herbaceous perennial with clusters of pale pink or white, fragrant flowers. Attractive fern-like foliage. Prefers full sun to partial shade in moist, well-drained soil. Valerian's sweet, musky fragrance, reminiscent of vanilla, making it a wonderful addition to any scented garden. Dame's Violet Hesperis matronalis (pictured below) is a charming biennial or short-lived perennial that graces the garden with clusters of fragrant flowers in shades of purple, pink, and white. This versatile plant thrives in full sun to partial shade and adapts to various soil types. Emitting a sweet and spicy fragrance, Dame's Violet attracts butterflies, bees, and other pollinators from late spring to early summer, Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) is a versatile plant that can thrive in both sun and partial shade. It prefers moist or damp soil, making it suitable for rain gardens, pond edges, or moist meadows. It produces clusters of creamy white flowers with a sweet, honey-like fragrance. Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum) is an attractive perennial that prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. It forms clumps of fern-like foliage and bears clusters of blue, bell-shaped flowers in late spring or early summer. It can tolerate some dryness but prefers consistently moist soil. Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) is a tall perennial that thrives in full sun or partial shade. It prefers moist to wet soil and can be grown near ponds or in rain gardens. It produces pale pink flowers with a subtle fragrance and has medicinal properties associated with its roots. Sweet Cicely (Myrrhis odorata) is a shade-tolerant plant that prefers partial shade to full shade. It has lacy foliage and bears umbels of small white flowers in early summer. Sweet cicely prefers moist, well-drained soil but can tolerate some dryness once established. Betony Stachys officinalis (above) is a hardy perennial that thrives in full sun or partial shade. It prefers well-drained soil and produces spikes of purple flowers in summer. Betony can tolerate dry conditions but performs best in moderately moist soil. Indulge in the captivating scents of our top 10 native UK herbaceous perennials. From delicate sweetness to timeless elegance, these plants bring allure and beauty to any garden. With unique aromas and distinctive scents, they create a fragrant oasis. Discover these enchanting perennials, tailored to various garden conditions, and transform your space into a fragrant paradise that delights both you and wildlife.

  • The Delightful Daisy

    Bellis perennis, commonly known as the common daisy or English daisy, is a popular flowering plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. It is native to Europe and western Asia, and has been introduced to other parts of the world as an ornamental plant. In this blog, we will explore the distribution of the common daisy, the insects that use it as a food plant, and its unique floral structure. When I say distribution I don't mean all over your lawn. I am of course referring to it's global or geographical spread. I once visited a garden where the "lawn" was little more than moss with some fine leaved grasses in patches that was mown to within an inch of it's life. The chap proudly announced that 'Any daisy shows its head in here, and the mower comes straight out.' The image above shows quite clearly what he was missing out on. Not only that, how much must he hate bees? Distribution of the Common Daisy: The common daisy is a widespread plant, found across Europe, western Asia, and parts of North America. It is commonly found in grasslands, meadows, lawns, and roadside verges. The plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun exposure. Green shows natural distribution. Purple shows introduction. Insects that use the Common Daisy as a Food Plant: The common daisy is an important food source for many insects, including bees, butterflies, and hoverflies. Bees are the primary pollinators of the plant, and the nectar-rich flowers attract many different species of bees, including bumblebees, honeybees, and solitary bees. The leaves of the plant are also eaten by the larvae of some moth species, such as the grey pug and the small white wave. Floral Structure of the Common Daisy: The common daisy has a unique floral structure that sets it apart from other plants in the Asteraceae family. The flower head, which appears as a single flower, is actually made up of many small flowers called florets. Each floret has a yellow disc in the center and white petals around the outside. The yellow disc contains both male and female reproductive structures, while the white petals are sterile. Similar flowers Two other native UK wild flowers are oxeye daisy and corn chamomile. Their flowers are both similar in structure to the common daisy, though the plants themselves set them apart from the low growing daisy. We are all familiar with the tight rosette of oval, ground hugging leaves that form the common daisy plant. The oxeye daisy Leucanthemum vulgare has an oval leaf also but with a more serrated edge. They also grow to 50cm plus which is way beyond the scope of our delightful daisy. The corn chamomile Anthemis arvensis, has feathery slender stems. It is also an annual and is usually found in recently disturbed land. The other two are perennial and prefer not to be disturbed. The common daisy is a beautiful and important plant that supports a diverse range of insect species. Its unique floral structure is fascinating and highlights the complexity of the natural world. Whether you come across it in a meadow or in your own backyard, take a moment to appreciate the beauty and importance of the common daisy. By all means show children how to make a daisy chain, but don't be the idiot who gets the mower out and cuts off all the heads so there's no food for our important insects. John Grundy established Wilderness Tamed in 2012 after working for the National Trust for six years. Combining horticultural knowledge with conservation and habitat management skills a niche business offering wildlife friendly gardening services. Specialising in ponds, wild flower meadows and lawns as well as broader habitat maintenance. John also travels extensively teaching the art of scything.

  • Incorporating native wild flowers into a herbaceous perennial border.

    How to attract more wildlife to your garden using native plants as well as exotics. If you've been wondering how to use native wild flowers more effectively in your garden then the answer is here. It doesn't always mean turning one corner of your garden into a wild untamed messy plot, that you soon lose interest in. Many of our native wild flowers are highly decorative, scented, and hardy enough to withstand whatever our weather can throw at them. From tall majestic spires, umbells and gently waving stems to compact ground cover plants, our native flora can fill any niche. So read on, get inspired and start planning what changes you can make in your beds and borders. It's so easy to grow native plants. Let's be totally honest, they've been around long enough, they can adapt to anything. Field scabious, yellow loosestrife and achillea blend together perfectly in a mixed herbaceous border. Sow the seeds where you want them to grow. Buying seeds of individual species is the cheapest way to go. But plug plants work just as well and give you a slight head start. Sowing most perennial native seeds requires a minimum of effort on your part. slightly disturb the soil with a hand fork, hoe or rake. Scatter a pinch of seed. Firm in (press the seed onto the soil surface with the back of your hand or a flat piece of wood) then go and have a cuppa. You've earned it. Any time of year is fine but optimum germination will happen between March and October when the soil is warm. Jacob's Ladder is a fine native perennial. Growing in wood edges and hedgerows as well as open meadows. Many hybrids are available but you can't improve on something nature has already perfected. What do you want from your garden? I want to relax more, do less weeding and enjoy my garden. Ask yourself what your priorities are for your garden. Attracting more wildlife should be up there in the top three. Purple loosestrife throws up tall spires of deep magenta flowers. Perfect for the back of a border along with spiked speedwell (seen in the background) delphiniums and lupins. It all begins with the soil. A decent loamy soil is ideal for most native and exotic plants, but if you have clay, sandy or chalky soil don't give up. Research what species will tolerate those conditions and spend money investing in what will thrive rather than wasting money on what will die. The plants you choose will have an effect on the insects that visit. they in turn can attract other wildlife. Birds, amphibians and reptiles and small mammals. Your challenge as a wildlife friendly gardener is to create an ecosystem in your garden. One in which the wildlife contributes to the overall management of the space you share together. Meadow Clary is a multi stemmed free flowering native that blends well into a herbaceous perennial border. Bees love it! So what do you do after the seeds go in? You sit back and wait. It's incredible how quickly native plants will establish and flower. They contribute massively to an already established herbaceous perennial border. I'm not one for large blocks or drifts, as used to be the fashion in garden design. Nature doesn't really operate that way. Dot in new plants in a more random array. Pinpoints of colour dappled throughout your border will create a more natural looking meadow style theme. Greater knapweed is a stunning native perennial that flowers for months attracting butterflies and bees. How do you maintain your native wild flower border? A simple cut down at the end of the year, just as you would do in any herbaceous perennial border. Obviously I use a scythe, but shears can do the same job. Even hedge cutters. Be careful if you've used stakes or canes to support some of your exotic perennials, such as delphiniums. Remove these before wading in and cutting everything down. Remove all the cut plant matter and compost it. Shouldn't take too long depending on the size of your border. Then I would recommend another cuppa. Because you're worth it. Where do you get your native wild flowers from? Well, you can get them from Wilderness Tamed of course. There's a variety of individual species, as well as blended mixes, that do well in most soil types and provide nectar for pollinating insects. They also look stunning in a border. Buy yours here now all picture credits go to me John Grundy. Taken in my own garden and some of my customers gardens. Top image shows native wild carrot and vipers bugloss in an established border. John Grundy established Wilderness Tamed in 2012 after working for the National Trust for six years. Combining horticultural knowledge with conservation and habitat management skills a niche business offering wildlife friendly gardening services. Specialising in ponds, wild flower meadows and lawns as well as broader habitat maintenance. John also travels extensively teaching the art of scything.

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  • Wildlife Friendly Gardening | | England

    ​ Cr eatin g and maintaining wildlife friendly ponds. ​ Creating and managing wildflower lawns and meadows using only native UK wildflower seeds and plants. ​ Regional trainer for the Scything Association of Britain & Ireland (SABI ) ​ Let Wilderness Tamed create a space for you to enjoy. Designing low maintenance, relaxing gardens for people and wildlife. ​ ​ Phone now to arrange your consultation. Phone Putting nature before neat. Mail Email now to arrange your consultation. John Robson Grundy ​ The first step in planning a garden is to understand what you the customer want to get from the garden. Once that has been established then the planning can begin. It's then my job to look at how to take your ideas and make them wildlife friendly. An obvious way is to introduce native plants. The aim is to replicate a little section of a natural eco system, with a full food web. ​ The image opposite shows a fully stocked border which hosts a wide range of native plants amongst the exotic stuff. I transformed this garden from having a few dominant perennials and an odd mix of shrubs, into a stunning, colourful, year long garden of interest for the client as well as offering plenty of habitat and foraging opportunities for wildlife. ​ ​ A classic garden mistake I see is the butterfly border. Planted up with buddliea, and all kinds of exotic plants. Fine if all you want to do is get the local insects addicted to a high nectar source. But, none of our native butterflies or moths will use any of these plants to lay their eggs on. ​ They have adapted to spending their larval stage (caterpillars) on very specific food plants. So if you want to see plenty of butterflies, you really need to think about plenty of native goodies for their offspring to nibble on. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Ponds are without doubt the best feature a garden can have. They attract masses of wildlife. Offer fascinating, educational opportunities for children. ​ Provide cooling, tranquil places to relax. ​ Allow for creating a completely different habitat in your garden with a wide array of plants you often can't grow elsewhere. ​ Wilderness Tamed don't do formal ponds with crazy paving around the edges, gnomes on toadstools, fountains and fish. We create natural looking ponds with gently sloping, planted edges. Balanced populations of aquatic plants, invertebrates and amphibians. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ What can I do for you?

  • Contact | Wilderness Tamed

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  • About | Wilderness Tamed

    Location Covering both Northumberland and Durham Being based at the top end of County Durham, close to Gateshead and Newcastle I am well situated for access to the A1 which allows for easy travel into Northumberland & the coast. ​ More local roads lead into Weardale & Teesdale. Working in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural beauty is part of what makes the job so appealing. ​ Over the hills I can get to the Tyne Valley for Prudhoe, Corbridge, Riding Mill, Hexham and surrounding villages. ​ Qualifications I studied horticulture at Houghall College in Durham from 1988 to 1989. gaining extensive experience in plant knowledge. With skills in propagation, cultivation and identification. After passing with distinction I went on to work in a variety of practical garden situations. ​ From 2007 to 2012 I worked for the National Trust at Gibside. The final three years of this were spent on the Careership Training programme in conservation management. Experience After studying horticulture I worked at several leading North East garden centres including Peter Barratt's, Cowell's and The Beamish Clematis Nursery. ​ I have worked in horticulture since 1989 in various fields and then moved into conservation for the National Trust. The first three years at Gibside was spent coordinating the Grass Snake Habitat Enrichment Project. Then during the Careership Programme learning a variety of conservation skills. ​ I was the Revealing Reptiles Project Officer for Durham wildlife Trust from 2016 to 2018. This involved recruiting and training volunteers to help me survey the whole of County Durham for reptiles. I also gave talks to many local groups. Services Installation and maintenance of ponds Installation and maintenance of wild flower lawns and meadows. Regular maintenance of existing gardens. I offer an online consultation service as well as garden designs provided by a network of professional designers across the UK. ​ Training in scythe use for meadow management, both for individuals and conservation groups. ​ A range of talks on various wildlife friendly garden subjects. ​ Training in reptile and amphibian survey techniques as well as ecology and habitat management.

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