More flowers, please

Thistle flower

I’ve always been a keen veg grower (not always with the best results), and generally prefer to read or watch programmes about growing and eating fruit and veggies. But that’s not to say that I’m not interested in flowers, because I am. I love an abundance of colour, texture and scent in the garden, but my enjoyment of it seems to much more heightened when I know that my flowers are a food source for the many pollinators that live in my garden, or pass through.

Morning light

I almost always choose flowers based on whether they’re beneficial to pollinators, with the exception of the scrambling Spanish Flag that I grew (and loved) last year. That’s not to say it was completely useless for insects and wildlife; many spiders and little critters lived in it during the summer and autumn, so providing housing is the next best option!


But this year I want more flowers in the Smallest Smallholding. Generally I prefer perennials like lavender, echinacea, rosemary, heleniums and erysimum because I just think they’re better value for money, more efficient and a little bit more sustainable. But I thought that if I opt for non-F1 annuals I can always seed collect and re-sow as I do with (bi-ennial) honesty, aquilegias, hollyhocks, poppies and foxgloves (and there just seems no stopping the borage regardless).

echinacea in autumn

The sad truth is that, like many, I’m on a budget so although I would gladly snap up a catalogues’ worth of seeds and seedlings, I’ve got to reign myself in and be sensible about how to get my borders bursting this year.

So what’s on the list?

California poppy

Oh, hang on, there’s more…

Verbena bonariensis
Some sort of climbing rose
Chocolate vine…

… Oh let’s be honest. I am not going to be able to control myself this year.


  1. If you buy the right kind of poppy then you can use the seeds in things like breadmaking or cakes 🙂

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