From warm winters to soggy summers, the UK’s weather is increasingly unpredictable. This can be a challenge for gardeners, who need to pick plants that can withstand what the elements have to throw at them.

To help, we’ve compiled a list of 13 hardy trees and plants that can stand up to our changeable weather conditions. All of the plants below are native or long-established in the UK, meaning they are well-suited to our climate. They are also ideal for supporting our wildlife, which has evolved to live alongside them. When choosing a tree or plant, remember to consider the amount of space available, soil type, light levels and wind exposure. This way you’ll increase your chances of picking a species that will grow strong.

Credit: P. Sterry / WTML

1. Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)

Also known as mountain ash, these hardy trees grow in most soils but prefer light, well-drained spots. Commonly found in woodland at higher altitudes, it can grow just as well in a garden. Rowan leaves and berries provide essential food sources for caterpillars and birds respectively. Historically, the trees were planted outside houses as a protection against witches. Visit our shop to buy and plant your own.

Credit: Jane Corey / WTML

2. Crab apple (Malus sylvestris)

I can attest to these trees being a hardy species. The crab apple in my parent’s garden has survived 20 years and one house move! These trees prefer sun or semi-shade and will tolerate most soil types. Crab apples make great jam and the tree’s flowers are an excellent source of pollen and nectar for insects. Why not buy a sapling from our shop and plant your own?

Credit: Ilene Sterns / WTML

3. Holly (Ilex aquifolium)

Small, easy to grow and a source of winter colour, what more could you ask for from a garden plant? This woodland staple tolerates most soils and situations and provides welcome shelter for birds. Of course, holly also makes for beautiful, natural Christmas decorations. Buy your sapling from our shop.

Credit: Jane Corey / WTML

4. Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)

Consider hawthorn if you want a beautiful tree that will attract wildlife. It has pretty blossom with white flowers and can support many different species of insects, birds and small mammals. Hawthorn is shade tolerant and happy in most soils. Head to our shop to buy your sapling.

Credit: Pete Holmes / WTML

5. Birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)

This is a truly hardy plant that’s happy in most soils and climates. It can grow up to 20cm, requires little maintenance and has beautiful yellow flowers.

Credit: LuisVilanova /

6. Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Foxgloves will grow almost anywhere except for very wet ground. They are wonderful for providing nectar for bees and butterflies - in the height of summer it's difficult to find a foxglove without a bee inside!

Credit: flowerphotos / Alamy Stock Photo

7. Red clover (Trifolium pratense)

Red clover is another fantastic source of nectar for bees, butterflies and other insects. This plant is happy growing in most soils provided there is plenty of light. It’s a small flower growing up to 50cm, making it perfect for any size garden.

Credit: Richard Becker / Alamy Stock Photo

8. Viper’s bugloss (Echium vulgare)

These beautiful flowers appear in the early summer and grow up to 80cm tall. They succeed in well drained soils where full sun is available. Bees, butterflies and moths are all attracted to its flowers.

Credit: Helen Keating

9. Wild marjoram (Origanum vulgare)

This bushy plant has lovely aromatic leaves and small pink flowers that grow in clusters. It prefers growing in full sun and is drought tolerant. It’s actually the same aromatic herb as oregano which is used in lots of Mediterranean cooking.

Credit: Picture Partners / Alamy Stock Photo

10. Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)

These brilliant blue flowers are sure to stand out in anyone’s garden. A naturalised species introduced to the UK centuries ago, they bloom in early summer and grow in any soil with full sun. Cornflower seeds are a favourite of small birds and its nectar attracts plenty of insects too.

Credit: Martin Fowler / Alamy Stock Photo

11. Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

Best known for providing a soothing cup of tea, this beautiful plant is actually an extremely hardy species. It grows well in most soils and even in partial shade. It makes for beautiful flower borders and will grow in dense patches if kept well-trimmed.

Credit: Patrick Stubbs / Alamy Stock Photo

12. Corn marigold (Glebionis segetum)

This bright yellow daisy-like flower always catches the eye. It can grow in almost any soil with full sun. Long established in the UK, corn marigold is a truly hardy species. With high nectar volume per flower, it’s a perfect plant for bees, butterflies and other insects.

Credit: Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

13. Night-flowering catchfly (Silene noctiflora)

Also known as night-flowering campion, this plant will grow almost anywhere in your garden. As the name suggests, it is a night flowering species and is pollinated by moths. The petals remain rolled up in the day, opening out in the evening and remaining open throughout the night.

Grow flowers the easy way with seed balls

Our seedball mix contains the seeds of nine hardy flowers - brilliant for bees!

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