Grow Wild To Know Wild

Grow Wild To Know Wild
Grow Wild To Know Wild

BBC Gardeners’ World Live and Plantlife
 Issue Call of the Wild to Nation’s Gardeners

From Cowslips to Foxgloves, from Violets to Primroses, wild plants bring colour, shape, scent and structure to our countryside and provide food and shelter for our wildlife.  However, many people don’t realise that 1 in 5 of our wild plants are threatened with extinction, including favourites such as Butterfly Orchid and Cornflower.

BBC Gardeners’ World Live and conservation charity Plantlife are launching the Grow Wild campaign to showcase some of the best of British wildflowers and to encourage the nation’s gardeners to dedicate 10% of their gardens to native plants.  Throughout Spring and Summer, Plantlife and Gardeners’ World Live will give gardeners all the information required to learn about native wildflowers and to ‘grow wild’ in their gardens. 

BBC Gardeners’ World Live expert and editor of Gardeners’ World magazine, Adam Pasco comments: ‘This campaign is set to inspire gardeners throughout the country to grow more wild flowers. People often shy away from using them simply because they don't understand enough about how they grow, and don't find them offered for sale in garden centres. The BBC Gardeners' World Live and Plantlife Grow Wild campaign should start to change this, and help gardeners put native plants back into British gardens."

Did you know that?

• The UK has approximately 15 million gardens, making up 500,000 hectares of man-made green habitat. This compares with only 225,000 hectares of nature reserve.  If Britain’s gardeners integrated native plants into 10% of their gardens, it would be the equivalent of a staggering 50,000 hectares of space for our native flowers.

• Many wildflowers would feel at home in a garden.  Some native plants even have an RHS Award of Garden Merit, proving that they deserve a place in our traditional borders.

• All of our garden plants are derived from wild species from somewhere in the world and many garden favourites are British natives such as Lily-of-the-valley and Daphne. 

• Remember, don’t take from the wild and don’t put back in the wild!  Planting shop-bought plants into the open countryside, even if they are native, blurs the distinction between wild and man-made populations.  This makes it difficult to assess which species are truly under threat.

The Grow Wild campaign will be brought to life at BBC Gardeners’ World Live with an inspirational show garden designed and created by Plantlife.  Visitors will be able to see firsthand how beautiful native flowers are and how versatile they can be.  Plantlife expert Dr Trevor Dines explains: ‘Grow Wild celebrates our native wildflowers and connects gardeners with them.  Propagating wildflowers is actually easier than you may think and many of them can shine in a modern garden setting.  By encouraging gardeners to get to know our wildflowers we hope that they will gain a better understanding of the threats they face in the wild and join Plantlife’s fight to save them.’

BBC Gardeners’ World Live returns to the NEC Birmingham from the 14th to 18th June for a celebration of beautiful plants, inspirational show gardens, live entertainment from BBC celebrities, and the best in gardening shopping. The show offers something for everyone, from experts and enthusiasts to total beginners and young gardeners, and in 2005 attracted over 121,000* visitors.  Grow Wild complements the Show’s other campaigns including Grow It! and the Natural Gardener that will reveal just how easy it is to have a beautifully British garden which incorporates our endangered native plants. 

It couldn’t be easier to join the Grow Wild campaign.  Log onto or for more information, an illustrated factsheet on the suggested wildflowers, and your ‘I Grow Wild’ sticker.
*ABC audited figure includes 19,909

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