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17 September 2014
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8 - Top ten plants
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Top ten natural garden plants
The best natural garden plants are those that look the part, grow without fuss and have something to offer wildlife.

Don’t feel you have to stick rigidly to genuine wild plants; in some cases their cultivated close cousins can work just as well and even look more decorative. Here are my top ten suggestions for natural-garden plants:

Digitalis PurpureaLatin name: Digitalis purpurea
Common name: Foxglove
Type of plant: Biennial flower
Soil preference: Moist but well drained
Hardiness: Hardy
Flower colour: Mauve with white spots
Height and spread: 1.5m x 45cm (5ft x 18in)
Description: Tall spires of thimble-shaped flowers growing from a rosette of large, oval leaves
Design tips: It grows best in lightly-dappled shade under a canopy of trees or in a clearing between trees or shrubs.
Lonicera periclymenumLatin name: Lonicera periclymenum
Common name: Common honeysuckle or woodbine
Type of plant: Climber
Soil preference: Well drained
Hardiness: Hardy
Flower colour: Cream, gold, pink, apricot
Height and spread: 7m x 1.5m (23ft x 5ft)
Description: Self-twining climber with curved, tubular flowers arranged in wagon-wheel shapes
Design tips: Allow it to scramble through native hedges or twine up through a tree.
Waldsteinia ternataLatin name: Waldsteinia ternata
Common name: Waldsteinia
Type of plant: Semi-evergreen perennial
Soil preference: Well drained
Hardiness: Hardy
Flower colour: Yellow
Height and spread: 10cm x 60cm (4in x 2ft)
Description: It looks like a wild strawberry plant but is evergreen, with yellow flowers throughout the summer
Design tips: Plant it as ground cover under trees or shrubs.
Ajuga reptans ‘Braunherz’Latin name: Ajuga reptans ‘Braunherz’
Common name: Bugle
Type of plant: Hardy perennial
Soil preference: Moist
Hardiness: Hardy
Flower colour: Blue
Height and spread: 15cm x 45cm (12in x 18in)
Description: It has glossy, dark purple leaves
Design tips: Use it as ground cover in weak sun or shade.
Dryopteris filix-masLatin name: Dryopteris filix-mas
Common name: Male fern
Type of plant: Perennial
Soil preference: Moist but well drained
Hardiness: Hardy
Flower colour: No flowers
Height and spread: 90cm x 90cm (3ft x 3ft)
Description: A hardy fern with mid-green fronds
Design tips: Use it for underplanting with foxgloves in woodland.
8. Natural garden

The natural look
Design points
Top ten plants
Natural planting

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