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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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Other Pages (27)

  • Scything |

    Scything Scything is an excellent, economical and environmentally friendly way to manage your lawns or meadows. ​ Scything is rapidly becoming more popular as a way to maintain lawns and meadows. Conservation charities and gardening groups, as well as individuals, are all getting on board with this traditional tool. With their light weight and ease of use, many people find scythes are an ideal substitute for powered machines. To find out if I'm all legit & can be trusted Cheaper to buy than strimmers/brushcutters and mowers. Costs nothing to use each time you mow. You aren't using fuel or electricity regularly. No other ongoing costs, like oil ,grease, cord etc. You can maintain a scythe yourself, so there are no servicing costs. No atmospheric pollution from petrol fumes. No noise pollution from engines. No environmental pollution from bits of plastic cord being spread across the landscape. No need for ear, eye or face protection. You can get away without gloves or steel capped boots if you want. More pleasant to work as a team. Safe mowing distance between scythes is 3 meters. Safe mowing distance between strimmer operators 15 meters. Regular scything is a great cardio exercise and core strength builder. Many of the people I have trained are on my mailing list the North East Cereal Killers . A volunteer group who help each other out with mowing large areas (usually in return for tea and cake) You might like to join also and get involved.

  • Preparing the soil for wild flowers | Wilderness Tamed

    Preparing the soil for wild flowers This might come as a surprise, but you might have been spending the last few years preparing the soil for wild flowers. ​ If you watch some of my videos about lawns and grass cutting you will hear me mention how 'cut and remove' is the perfect way to manage a wild flower lawn or meadow. ​ Cut and remove? I hear you ask...Thats what most people do when they mow their lawns with a grass box. All the nutrient the grass has taken from the soil in order to grow, is collected in the grass box and dumped in a compost bin. Or worse still a local authority garden waste bin. ​ This constant depletion of nutrients in the soil is just what wild flowers want. It's the opposite of what a lush grass lawn wants. Yet this is how people have been conditioned to mow their lawns. Then they wonder why the grass is struggling to compete with moss and broad leaved weeds. Either that or they combat the nutrient loss from their mowing regime by introducing chemical or granular fertilisers. More cost! ​ This video below shows me sowing seeds in my own small front garden. The ground was previously planted with a mix of perennials and shrubs. ​ If you have a lawn that you are considering removing or changing the simplest way to get it ready for wild flowers is to remove the turf. Hire a turf lifter for this, it makes the job so much quicker. While you're on, hire a cultivator. You'll want to use this to turn the soil. It doesn't have to be deep. Rake the area level once it has been dug over. Firm the soil with a roller. Also easy to hire. Then either follow the video above or lay your rolls of wildflower turf. Make sure you get a full plant list for the seed mix and the turf. Insist that a native species mix is included. None native plants serve no purpose other than colour and some pollen. When should you do all this? Ideally in Spring between March and April but the best time is Autumn between September and November. Whether seeding or turfing, it's a good idea to plant some native bulbs in the soil first. These will provide an extension to the season of interest. Snakehead fritillary, snowdrops, bluebells and old English narcissus are great for adding a splash of colour early in the year.

  • How to disguise pond liner | Wilderness Tamed

    How to disguise pond liner Nobody likes VPL! Visible Pond Liner. The common idea of pond construction is to use flat 'crazy paving' slabs on the top edge of the pond. You've seen them, with their slightly overlapping edges, desperately trying to hide any signs of liner. Fail! ​ There are several easy and effective ways to disguise an ugly pond liner. Either using rock and cobbles or plants and even upturned turf. ​ This series of videos will show you how. Creating a series of stepped shelves within the pond allows you to layer stone work up and out of the water. ​ If you start from deep enough in the pond, any uncovered liner will be almost unnoticeable at depth. ​ You can of course cover the entire bottom of the pond with gravel, cobbles and stone. If that's the sort of effect you are trying to achieve. I think of this type of pond as more a stream bed or quarry pond. In a garden situation this style of pond can work well. It is a rare thing to find a natural pond that is rock lined. If you think about it, most ponds are the result of poorly drained land and are therefore not much more than depressions in a saturated soil. ​ As shown in the How to build a wildlife pond page, returning soil into the pond and adding plants at all depths within the substrate will disguise the liner more than adequately. As well as that it looks much more natural than a paved or rock surrounded pond. This style of natural planted pond edge allows you to blend the margins of the pond seamlessly with surrounding borders and lawns.

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