We are Plantlife
For over 25 years, Plantlife has had a single ideal - to save and celebrate wild flowers, plants and fungi. They are the life support for all our wildlife and their colour and character light up our landscapes. But without our help, this priceless natural heritage is in danger of being lost.
From the open spaces of our nature reserves to the corridors of government, we work nationally and internationally to raise their profile, celebrate their beauty, and to protect their future.
The future of wild flowers isn't cut and dried. Join us.
Creating a wildflower garden
Want to grow your own shady characters and cornfield jewels? We’ll show you how, says Plantlife’s Botanical Specialist, Trevor Dines
One of the greatest pleasures in gardening is trying to decide what to grow – there are, after all, over 75,000 plants available. In the face of this global cornucopia, you might imagine that our own native flora would get shouldered aside. On the contrary, native flowers can take centre stage in the garden. In fact, our stunning flora can be woven into the tapestry of all garden styles, from informal cottage to stylish and contemporary.
Nearly 300 of our wild flowers can be considered to be ‘garden
worthy’. By that I mean they are attractive, easy to grow, well behaved
and readily available. While my own judgement might be somewhat
subjective – I love tall bog-sedge (Carex magellanica) in my
garden, but appreciate it might not be to everyone’s taste – the Royal
Horticultural Society (RHS) have bestowed their highest accolade, an
Award of Garden Merit, on 257 cultivars of native plants. This includes
20 cultivars of heather and seven of bloody crane’s-bill (Geranium
sanguineum), representing 94 species in all.
Coralroot (Cardamine bulbifera)
© Trevor Dines/Plantlife
Plantlife’s Wildflower Garden website (http://plantlife.love-wildflowers.org.uk/wildflower_garden/) celebrates these wild flowers and helps you make the most of growing them in your own garden. We’ll give advice on cultivation, help you select the best ones to suit your conditions, and bring you regular features, ideas and suggestions on how to make the most of wild flowers in your garden throughout the year.
Betony (Stachys officinalis)
© Andrew Gagg/Plantlife
We’ve also teamed up with John Chambers Wildflower Seed, the largest independent supplier of wild flower seeds in the UK, to bring you a special Plantlife range of flowers and mixtures suitable for every garden situation imaginable. All sorts of wild flowers are available, from betony (Stachys officinalis) to yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus), and an innovative range of seed mixtures, including ‘shady characters’ and ‘cornfield jewels’. A donation of 25p from each packet will come to Plantlife.
The seeds are available to buy from the Plantlife shop at http://shop.plantlife.org.uk/collections/wildflower-seeds
Wildflowers in cultivation © Trevor Dines/Plantlife
Gardeners have a real generosity of spirit. For many of us, the plants we grow have come from family and friends – a cutting, some seed or a bit of root given for free. Over time, these plants become connections to memories of people, places and events that shape our lives. In my own garden, the everlasting pea (Lathyrus grandiflorus) was given to me by my late grandfather, the honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) is a cutting from my mother’s plant, which in turn came from Uncle Bill in Suffolk (he apparently found it in a local hedgerow).
Some of the things that we cherish the most, including plants, plant names and plant folklore, are passed down through the generations. We want to encourage this giving of plants and celebrate the heritage of our wild flowers in gardens.
#PledgeAPlant is a commitment to give a cutting, division or seed of a plant from your own garden to someone else. It may be a niece, mother, son or friend, anyone that you think will love receiving a plant from you.
Some seed, such as Welsh poppy (Meconopsis cambrica), foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) or columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris), in a little hand-made packet.
A division of your favourite perennial, maybe water avens (Geum rivale), celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) or chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).
Some bulbs of snake’s-head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris), bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) or ramsons (Allium ursinum) in an attractive pot.
For more information, visit http://plantlife.love-wildflowers.org.uk/wildflower_garden/pledge_a_plant/
As part of the partnership, Plantlife is offering a 50% to any CJS reader who would like to join Plantlife for the first time. Visit http://shop.plantlife.org.uk/collections/membership and choose Individual, Joint or Family membership. When you reach the checkout, just enter the code CJS in the box on the right of the screen which asks for your address.