Where 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)
 
poppy

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)


cornflower

 
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)

foxglove

 
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)

primula

 
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