I know not everyone is into gardening, but for those who are, what are your favourite plants, and why? I'm looking for some ideas as am re-doing my garden. I like plants that flower twice in a year, that's cool but need some annuals i.e. ones that will be around all year through the winter months. Can anyone recommend any?
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:33 am Posts: 6731 Location: North Texas
I recommend getting plants that are native to your area. Seeing that you are in the UK I probably wont be able to recommend any. I do like growing herbs such as basil, rosemary, thyme, cilantro and mint. These are hearty plants and great to cook with. I will be interested to see what kind of plants you choose.
I have recently gone to more container gardening for the flowering plants. That way they can be moved and arranged as needed.
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:57 pm Posts: 1045 Location: Canada
I generally only plant things that have a use (medicinal or culinary, etc) so I don't tend to go for appearances in plants.
That said, something like chamomile is always nice - it's pretty (traditional white and yellow daisy) and useful. If you're a tea drinker, Camellia Sinensis is a hardy shrub/tree with delicate white and yellow flowers. Nothing tastier than homemade tea! It's more of a tropical plant, but I know it is grown successfully in Cornwall.
Poppies are another pretty flower that come in a variety of colours. They're hardy as well, so they could do well in the UK climate. Some strains of basil have a really nice purple flower. Comfrey is an interesting one that most people actually consider a weed (you'll find it in ditches and river banks all over Britain). It has large, broad leaves (which are a great natural/organic fertilizer), and delicate white/pink/purple flowers.
In terms of purely decorative plants, I've always liked things like rhododendrons and heathers that are colourful and low-maintenance.
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:38 am Posts: 804 Location: the first circle of hell
I second the suggestions of herbs and pansies. I'm in USDA zone 5 (plant hardiness to extremes of -28 degrees Celsius), so I have to either let my herbs die off during the winter or bring some of them inside, but I have a lemon thyme shrub that always survives the winter -- plus, it is quite beautiful.
Another plant that grows well in the cold is ornamental cabbage, some of which can also be eaten. It cannot survive the entire winter in my zone, but it stands its ground until late in the year, even after a snowfall or two. It would probably last all winter where you are.
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