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Poppies are beautiful flowers and prolific self seeders. They can remain in the ground for years and then grow when the soil is turned over. They grow fine in poor soil but like lots of sunshine. The seedlings are easily recognisable once you have them and that is useful if you want to transplant them because they are not keen on being moved but you may get away with it if you move them while they are still small. Make sure if you try you dig round and deep so you get the whole tap root and some soil around it.


If you have more shade and less sun then tall and elegant foxgloves may be for you. They are poisonous though so consider carefully if you have children or pets. They self seed easily but the purple is the dominant colour so self seeded plants may revert to purple. That said the creamy foxgloves in my own garden have stayed creams so it doesn’t always happen and the purple is gorgeous anyway.


Apart from the double flowered types which may not self seed these vibrant flowered plants, with attractive foliage, return year after year. They will grow in part shade but you get the most flowers in full sun. They seem to attract copious quantities of black fly so they are a good companion plants for more valuable plants that are plagued by this little black pest. The flowers are edible and make a really pretty addition to a summer salad.

Forget Me Nots

Forget me nots are a pale blue froth of flowers that grow well in moist soil and shade. This makes them great in a woodland setting and near a pond or stream. They are easy to grow and return tenaciously.


You can grow borage in any type of soil even if it is dry or poor, although feeding helps and they do like full sun. They attract bees and both the flowers and leaves are edible. That said the leaves are best picked whilst very young. The flowers are a stunning blue star and are perfect added to summer drinks.