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What are your top 5 plants you'd never want to be without - because you love them for themselves as individuals or because they're indispensable as part of a group? Thought it'd be interesting to hear what other people are mad about and maybe get some ideas for things thata might not have come naturally.  Mine are:

bergenia, because its huge evergreen leaves show everything nearby off brilliantly (and snails eat my hostas). You do need huge clumps though.

hardy geraniums, because they grow anywhere, flower for ages and are generally a nice polite green clump the rest of the time. Very very useful.

pyracantha, because they wilingly clothe my shady walls and fences with evergreen leaves, plus flowers, plus berries, so work really hard.

irises, because there's one for almost every situation, and sometimes you just need that leafy spike in your scheme. And the flowers are a bonus.

heuchera, because a well-behaved, evergreen (or silver, or purple, or orange, or lime) clump of something that flowers for an age is truly indispensable front of border plant.

And smoke bush. Because I love it. Especially with the sun behind it. I know thats 6. I don't care. I'm not leaving out smoke bush. And bamboo. And ivies. And ferns. And aruncus. And darmera... Ha! I'm an addict.

bush rose   i love them so much ther great i love them all

climbing rose  there great the sent of the flower is just amzing

Japanese Maples there just  amazing really lovey in autum

 virginea creeper  just great that all i can say

afican lily  love them so much


Lavender for scent

Pelargoniums for coping with the dry conditions

Dahlias for the outrageous flowers

Euphorbias great foliage

Violas for winter colour.


Green Magpie

Hellebores, for lovely classy blooms in winter and spring.

Quince tree (proper quince, not the climbing Japanese quince) because it's one of the first to come into leaf and the last to drop its leaves. It's lovely when in blossom, and we even get a few quinces as a bonus.

Snakeshead fritillary - I mean, a check-patterned flower? Magic!

Lavender for instant aromatherapy.

Clematis of various sorts, for their profuse blossoms.

Ask me again tomorrow and I'd think of five more, no problem. And that's just the ornamentals, I could start all over again when it comes to vegetables and herbs.


Yeah, forgot euphorbias... Wulfenii and martinii and robbiae for me, though it tends to wander off in my garden. Do fancy a quince, y'know.... may have just the spot.... what soil conditions do they prefer?



If I had a garden filled with Acers, Hostas, Ivies, Tulips and Alliums...I would be content.


My top five are as follows ;-

  1. Japanese Maples
  2. Hosta
  3. petunia/surfina
  4. clematis
  5. iris

Oh dear, I left out ferns   What would I do without ferns???


Honeysuckles particularly fragrantessima

Clematis particularly armandii

Hardy geraniums - can't single one out!

Lavenders particularly Hicote

Cornus particularly kousa

and trees......

So many favourites!   But how about dierama, which I fell in love with at The Garden House, in Devon.     It doesn't like being moved and sulks, though.    I am hoping the one I planted after moving it two years ago might favour me with one stem of flowers at least this year.    Fingers crossed.


hyacinths for that springtime scent

pinks for their toughness and scent

lilies for their bright colours and scent

lavender for.... guess what

hebes for their many varieties, a shape and size for anywhere

and of course clematis, because they love to show off!

OOps! that's 6 but I could go on all night. I think I see a pattern there somewhere!


Blue bells, cherry blossom, clematis, lillies and bleeding heart because it came into bloom about a month ago and has just kept going.   


What a tough question!

I love salvias, but I couldn't even give you my top 5 of them!

And what about those first snowdrops?



This weeks top 5 would be-

daffodils to lighten up late winter

alstroemeria-exotic looking flowers but perfectly hardy and trouble free

perennial scarlet lobelia-always stunning

lilies-despite the blasted beetle

dahlias-reliable, colourful will never let you down


there will be others.................





My Bramley tree. rhubarb, ferns, snowdrops, forget-m-nots.  These are just for me but the five my wildlife love are slightly different and as i share the garden with them - my oak and Bramley tree, pyracanthas, inula hookeri, ivy.


So difficult to choose just 5 but here goes.

Hardy Geraniums - big ones and small ones and all colours - for their unconditional love and no weeds penetrate the foliage.

Philadelphus Belle Etoile - the perfume is filling my garden right now.

Arum Lilies - magestic and beautiful.

Hellebores - for their cheerfulness on dark cold days.

My dark red Peony - it's a rubbish flower for lasting a long time but it reminds me of my late brother who gave me a peony from his garden over 40 years ago.  It was the first plant in the first garden that I ever owned.


1. Berheya purpurea, so prickly but beautiful.

2. Morina longifolia, another prickly but wonderful plant.

3. Clematis, gives height and covers all my structures.

4. Hardy geraniums, brilliant ground cover.

4. Paulownia tomentosa. Love the leaves. it flowered the first time this year.

Daffodils - promise of another exciting year ahead in the garden;

Hardy Fuchsia - reminds me of childhood and my grandmothers garden;

Crocosmia - holidays in the Isle of Man as a child going on the train up Snaefell. The line is edged by lots of Crocosmia (and hardy fushia);

Laburnum Tree - had a huge one at the bottom of my garden as a child and loved them ever since - I love the dripping golden yellow flowers in May.

Lillies - just for their sheer exuberance and scent that wafts around the garden when they are in flower.

A lot of my garden plants link back to what I grew up with as a child and I love the familiarity and continuity plants bring. I'm sure there must be some psychology going on there!