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Talkback: Top 10 plants for a dream garden

Your top 10 list is very impressive, i have 7 out of 10 on your list, the hemp looks interesting, i will try that i am putting together a mi...

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Your top 10 list is very impressive, i have 7 out of 10 on your list, the hemp looks interesting, i will try that i am putting together a mixed hedge, mainly hornbeam and holly, so i will add a hawthorn to that, the crab apple i have is a John Downie, the blackbids leave the fruit on the tree until the ground freezes, this is obviously their emergency reserve, I grow a lot of different lavenders from seed, other bird/insect magnets are oregano, rosemary and ecchium blue bedder,all have a prominent place in my plot
. Regards PG
flowering rose

I would love to grow a fox tail lily but I know my soil wont let me,but I dream.

Moist soil eludes me,thus bog plants are a big fat no-no.

My dream garden would definitely have a natural spring and Asian influence.

I have 8 of those in your list. I would have to have daffodils in spring and roses in the summer. I love gardens full of the scent of roses. Also hostas for foliage (blast the slugs!), dahlias for colour and rudbeckias and michaelmas daisies for autumn. If there is a good selection of flowers then there is always something for the bees. I have a patch of stinging nettles at the edge of the woods for butterflies, but I really don't want them in the cultivated bits! 

My top 10 plants would be....hellebores, tender and perennial salvias, grasses, Acer flamingo, aster frikartii monch, Astrantias, Taxus Standishii, Taxus Coppershine, convolvulus cneorum, Heucheras, ......oops! My 10 is up.



My top ten is probably boring but they are

1 sunflowers

2 Dahlias

3 Sedums

4 poppies

5 Cornflowers

6 foxgloves

7 Nicotinias

8 Daffodils

9 iris

10 Begonias



opps forgot to say why, basically becuae I grow them from seed and they need very little attention and look amazzing.  I have loads of other stuff, I never use pesticides and we have a diverse amount of wildlife include slowworms, beetles earwigs, ladybugs, cattapilars, hoverflies, lacewings, bees, quee bees, honey bees butterflies, moths, toads, may slugs, spiders and worms, but the house sparrows tend to be fat and happy x


I love hostas. To keep the slugs off boil up a large bulb of garlic and keep the water when it has cooled. Dilute it slightly and spray over the leaves. The slugs don't like it. If this fails use human hair from the hairdressers as it clings to them. Not so good for the toad and hedgehog but works fine.

Gardening Grandma

Roses, clematis, honeysuckle, jasmine, cranesbills, japanese anemones, crocosmias, poppies, hellebores, fuchsias for height, perfume, riotous colour, longevity in flower and a longish season.

Jess is in the Garden

I'm with Grandma on this one, as her list is almost identical to mine

Also going to add acer palmatum, verbena of all kinds, chocolate cosmos, heucheras, astilbes, all spring bulbs (especially shade loving and boggy) plus diascias and good old mediterranean herbs/shrubs.

Well my dream list would be......... Peonies...........Japanese anemomes....mmmmmm........orchids (if I could get outside growing ones).......errrmm.....bedding geraniums (absolutely love!).........packet of wild flower seeds........wild primroses........poppies..........bluebells.......COSMOS definitely!!!!.......annnd..........lavender!!!!! That's it.
gardenning granny

I like things with scent, so have several "boring" evergreen bushes with wonderful tiny scented flowers hiding under the leaves - Osmanthus and eleagnus ebbingiei, as well as viburnum bodnantense and mahonia charity, lavender of course, and then old fashioned pinks and evening primrose, which grow to 6 feet high and smell wonderful.  Perhaps my all-time favorites are the iris family, from the tiny ones in flower right now, through the delicate siberian ones to the heavily scented bearded ones - I love them all.   Not everything is scented,  I have many varieties of clematis which also seem to do well in my heavy clay soil and pentstemons....and the cranesbill geraniums which are the mainstay of my garden, from tiny low growing ones to tall elegant ones - no idea of their names as they have been collected from friends over the years.  Sadly roses no longer seem to be at home here so I have more or less given up on them for the moment.

Jess is in the Garden

how come roses don't like your heavy clay soil gardenning granny? mine is heavy clay too, but the roses do really well.

Gardening Grandma

Well, hello, Gardening Granny from Gardening Grandma. First time I've seen a post from you, but I knew you existed because I tried to call myself by your nickname. We could cause a lot of confusion!

gardenning granny

So we could Gardening Grandma!

Jess - I planted a rose bed many years ago with much advice from Peter Harkness but over the years the roses have grown tired and you can't plant in the same place when they die because of rose sickness.  In the meantime I've planted other things amongst the remaining roses, and now only have shady spots left which new roses don't really like.  I do have a very beautiful "Sweet Juliet" and three other David Austen shrub roses and I'm cosseting them with a little horse manure and ash from my wood burner. Mind you, sweet Juliet is a lttle less sweet when you try to prune as she has vicious thorns.


Kate Bradbury
Thanks for all your comments. Lovely to see your lists of dream plants and those you are already growing. Fingers crossed for a goo summer!


I'd rather have a good summer Kate but each to their own 

hi could someone tell me why the squirrel keep eating my crocus flower,they were all in bloom and today all the flowers have been chewed up...?

Could be birds, sparrows particularly like the yellow ones!

Fairly inexperienced but the plants I really love so far are: Peony's, poppies -oriental and standard, lavender, hostas, hellebores, magnolia, roses, Japanese annenomies, aliums and agapanthus!