Our native flora can offer a rather limited palette but we try and use them in the garden as much as possible. Echium vulgare or viper’s bugloss is one of my favourites and puts on a brilliant show throughout the summer.
It has been most useful naturalised in the spring garden and at the edges of the vegetable garden, where it attracts beneficial insects and is always covered in bees and hover flies. Once established, it will self sow freely and simply needs to be ‘edited’ by weeding out where it isn’t wanted.
It makes brilliant combinations with things like ox eye daisy and evening primrose and even after it finishes flowering, it has a very attractive structure.
Words by Tom, photographs by Hannah