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The best self-seeding plants for a natural garden

Want to embrace a more relaxed way of gardening? Here are my favourite flowers to let run riot...

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Cow parsley

Cow parsley

Geranium ‘Mrs Kendall Clark’

Geranium ‘Mrs Kendall Clark’

Dahlias

Dahlias

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Cow parsley

It’s mid-July and gardens are at their peak. There’s a profusion of green in the proverbial 40 shades with every tree and shrub now in full leaf and a rainbow of colour as flowering plants compete with each other to attract the pollinating bees and butterflies to rest awhile on their petals. Some of the spring-flowering herbaceous plants are starting to set seed. For example, the spires of tubular flowers on foxgloves are now starting to ripen. And it’s at this stage that you intervene…or let it all happen.

I’m talking about those plants that freely set seed and, if allowed, their offspring will be found randomly growing in your plot next year. You can halt this process by cutting back the flowers, and this method will encourage the plants to try and flower again and achieve their reproductive mission. It’s up to you which flowers you’d like to see more of and which of the ‘weedier’ ones you’d like to control.


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