The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Wild garden practicalities


By Bernard

Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom Gb

As a learner, I am discovering that a truly wild garden is a mixed blessing. The beauty in late Winter and early Spring seems to have a downside as it becomes unkempt as the Summer progresses. It also seems very difficult to manage the wild garden that becomes very dense with vast number of plants, some of which (mainly weeds) have to be removed, but this is very diffucult to achieve without damaging the desirable wild plants. For this reason, I am contemplating interplanting the wild plants with garden plants that are dormant in the Winter and early Spring while the wild flowers are at their best. Once the wild flowers, especially bluebells, have begun to die down, the interplanted garden plants will begin their growth, camouflaging the wilted remains of the bluebells, etc. I have discovered a Potentilla, P. nepalensis that fits the bill very nicely and I wonder if any of our members have suggestions for any other plants that may be suitable both in their behaviour and their 'wildflowerish' appearance.
In this way, I hope to make the garden more easily managed and also achieve the best of both worlds. Any suggestions will be gratefully received.




How about Anemones and Scabius Bernard. Campian are a wild flower which should be coming on now. Just a start.
Another thought, ox-eye daisies.

3 May, 2009


rather than going for mass planting why not try planting in drifts? remove some of the bluebells(im sure you can give them away) leaving pockets of fresh ground to plant other things. this will all depend on the aspect and soil. if its shady then hellebores and lots of the cranesbills can be used. part sun/shade then you can plant more of the cultivated bulbs like daffs and plants like primroses and aquilegias. if its sunny then the sky is the limit but stick to cottage type plants which often have a simpler form can look at home in a wild garden. good luck. you could visit some open gardens in your area (see NSG yellow book) for lots of ideas

3 May, 2009


Be careful if you do plant ox-eye daisies, as they seed everywhere and you will find that they become invasive, and choke other plants.

3 May, 2009


I have telima grandiflora that is flowering now and the the foliage mounds look good all year. You could go for ferns as well. I was At Harlow Carr today and saw a similar combination. I will post a photo in a day or to.

many of the geranium family will do this for you too. The shrub phygelius would thrive in light shade as would fuchsia, I have that combo too under a large beech tree.

3 May, 2009


i have posted a picture of the ferns and bluebells at Harlow Carr. hope this inspires.

4 May, 2009


Thanks to those who answered my question.

4 May, 2009

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