Planting flowers in your garden:
It is important to have a variety of flowers that bloom throughout the season to encourage different types of beneficial wildlife that prefer differing flowers. When planting flowers, sunlight, soil conditions, and specific flower needs should all be considered.
Planning is very essential to planting flowers. Succession flowering is a way to plan and plant flowers so flowers are planted to provide a continuous harvest throughout the growing season. This involves choosing combinations of early, mid-season, and late-blooming flowers to ensure blooming throughout the season to support wildlife for as long as possible.
- Location. Flowers should be planted in their specific sunlight conditions, most flowers thrive in direct sunlight, meaning six hours of sun per day. However, certain flowers may prefer some shade, for example, primrose.
- Soil. Adding organic material will add more nutrients to the soil, see our compost section for an explanation of types of compost and how to incorporate it into your soil.
- Planting. Flowers need a hole in the soil that is slightly wider and deeper than the plant’s root ball.
- Spacing. Flowers shouldn’t be too overcrowded, so they do not compete for space, water, and nutrients. However, specific flowers will need more or less space than others so make sure to read guidances on spatial requirements.
- Watering. Newly established flowers need a lot of water to encourage initial root growth. Once established, flowers need regular watering, especially in dry seasons, and water closer to the base of the plants if possible.
- Mulching. Adding mulch on top of the soil is a great way to suppress weed growth, regulate soil temperature, and retain soil moisture.
- Maintenance. Flowers thrive best without weeds, and removing any dead flowers is a way to encourage new blooms too.
Here are some recommendations for the best flowering plants for UK gardens:
- Alyssum. This flower is attractive to Bees, Moths, Butterflies, and Hoverflies. It is also drought-resistant and incredibly hardy.
- Candytuft. These grow in poor or slightly fertile soils when in full sun. It’s attractive to many pollinators and many Slugs, Snails, and Caterpillars, which is food for many birds.
- Daisies and Dandelions. For example Corn Marigold, Goldenrod, Common Marigold, Sunflower, Tickseed and Yarrow.
- Knapweeds. These are hardy plants, and are very attractive to pollinators.
- Lavender. These plants are well-suited to a UK climate. Honeybees and Bumblebees love lavender for its strong scent.
- Primrose. Primroses provide nectar for many pollinators with long mouth parts, such as the Hairy-Footed Flower Bee, Bee-flies, and Butterflies such as Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshells.