5 key plants in The Octavia Hill Garden by Blue Diamond with The National Trust

Many plants in the garden are readily available so that visitors can easily recreate elements of the garden in their own outdoor space

Celtis sinensis

An attractive medium sized tree with attractive pale yellow autumn colour. Tolerant of drought and air pollution it thrives as an urban tree. Its green flowers are monoecious, the male appearing on slender drooping pedicels appealing to pollinators. In autumn, its orange fruit is eaten by birds and mammals. In winter its unusual branch structure and silver-grey bark (smooth when young, becoming rougher with age) provides structural winter interest.

Digitalis ‘Illumination Raspberry’

This hybrid is the result of breeding between Digitalis (foxglove) and a Digitalis relative from the Canary Islands, Isoplexis. An upright perennial with dark purple flowers with peach-coloured centres and lance-shaped dark green leaves. Flowers bloom from summer to autumn adding bold, bright verticality to borders. ‘Illumination Raspberry’ is attractive to butterflies and bees.

Allium ‘Summer Drummer’

This bulb attracts bees, beneficial insects including butterflies and moths. It has nectar and pollen rich flowers and, if left to stand into the autumn, striking seed heads, which are a valuable food source.

Geranium robertianum

A native British cranesbill found in a variety of habitats, including woodland, hedgerows, rocky or exposed areas, scree slopes, ditches, walls, hedgerows and coastal areas away from acidic soils. Traditionally, herb robert was used to treat nosebleeds and headaches, as a tonic for tummy upsets, as an antiseptic to help heal wounds, and even as a mosquito repellent. Herb robert provides a food source for bees, hoverflies and moths.

Clematis vitalba

Clematis vitalba is a valuable British native for wildlife all round. Attractive, faintly fragrant, creamy flowers provide a food source for a range of pollinators, seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals, which also use the fluffy fruit extensions to line their nests. Several moth caterpillars eat its leaves.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.