The Top 10 Flowers to Grow in the UK: A Gardener’s Guide

Gardening in the UK has long been a beloved pastime, providing not only aesthetic pleasure but also a connection to nature. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice looking to start, choosing the right flowers can make all the difference. Here, we present the top ten flowers to grow in the UK, each selected for their beauty, ease of growth, and popularity among British gardeners.

1. Sunflowers

Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) top the list as the favourite flower to grow in the UK. Their tall, vibrant blooms are not only striking but also easy to grow, making them perfect for gardeners of all skill levels. Sunflowers thrive in full sun and well-drained soil. They are excellent for brightening up borders or creating a focal point in your garden. Beyond their visual appeal, sunflowers are great for wildlife, attracting bees and birds to your garden.

2. Roses

Roses (Rosa) are synonymous with classic English gardens. Renowned for their fragrant, lush blooms, roses come in various colours and varieties, from climbers to bush types. They require a sunny spot with fertile, well-drained soil. Regular pruning and feeding will keep your roses healthy and blooming throughout the season. Despite their reputation for needing extra care, modern varieties are bred for disease resistance and hardiness, making them easier to grow than ever before.

3. Lilies

Lilies (Lilium) are another favourite, known for their large, showy flowers and intoxicating scent. They thrive in full sun to partial shade and prefer well-drained soil. Lilies are versatile, suitable for garden beds, borders, and containers. With varieties like Asiatic, Oriental, and Trumpet lilies, you can enjoy blooms from early summer to late autumn. Their tall, elegant stems also make lilies excellent for cut flowers.

4. Dahlias

Dahlias (Dahlia) offer a burst of colour and variety to any garden. These tuberous plants produce large, dramatic blooms in a myriad of colours and shapes. Dahlias prefer a sunny location and well-drained soil enriched with organic matter. They are relatively easy to grow but require lifting and storing of the tubers over winter in colder regions. Dahlias are perfect for adding a touch of the exotic to your garden and are also popular as cut flowers.

5. Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas (Hydrangea) are cherished for their large, spherical flower heads that can change colour depending on the soil pH. These versatile shrubs thrive in partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. Hydrangeas are low-maintenance, requiring minimal pruning and fertilization. They are ideal for borders, containers, or as focal points in the garden. Varieties such as Hydrangea macrophylla (mophead) and Hydrangea paniculata (panicle) offer different shapes and bloom times.

6. Peonies

Peonies (Paeonia) are beloved for their lush, fragrant blooms and longevity. These hardy perennials thrive in full sun and well-drained soil. Peonies require little maintenance once established, but they do need space to grow, so plant them about three feet apart. They are ideal for borders and make excellent cut flowers. Peonies can live for decades, making them a worthwhile investment for any garden.

7. Irises

Irises (Iris) are known for their striking sword-like leaves and intricate, colourful flowers. They thrive in full sun and well-drained soil, though some varieties, like the Siberian iris, can tolerate wetter conditions. Irises are relatively low-maintenance and can be used in borders, around ponds, or in containers. Their unique blooms add an architectural element to the garden.

8. Orchids

Orchids (Orchidaceae), particularly hardy varieties like the bee orchid (Ophrys apifera), are becoming increasingly popular in UK gardens. These exotic-looking flowers can be grown in pots or in the ground in sheltered locations. Orchids prefer indirect sunlight and well-draining, bark-based growing mediums. While they may seem daunting, many hardy orchids are surprisingly resilient and can add a touch of the tropics to your garden.

9. Carnations

Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus) are prized for their ruffled, fragrant blooms and long flowering period. They thrive in full sun and well-drained soil. Carnations are relatively low-maintenance, requiring regular deadheading to encourage continuous blooms. They are perfect for borders, rock gardens, and as cut flowers, bringing a classic charm to any garden setting.

10. Snowdrops

Snowdrops (Galanthus) herald the arrival of spring with their delicate, nodding white flowers. These bulbs are best planted in well-drained soil in partial shade. Snowdrops are low-maintenance and naturalize well, forming beautiful drifts over time. They are ideal for woodland gardens, borders, and underplanting shrubs.


Growing flowers in your garden is not just about adding beauty; it’s about creating a space that brings joy, supports wildlife, and provides a personal sanctuary. The top ten flowers listed here are popular choices among UK gardeners for their stunning blooms, ease of growth, and resilience in the British climate. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, these flowers offer something for everyone, making your gardening experience both rewarding and enjoyable.

So, pick up your trowel, get your hands in the soil, and start planting these favourites to create a vibrant and thriving garden that will be the envy of your neighbours. Happy gardening!

By following this guide, you can ensure that your garden is filled with the most beloved and beautiful flowers the UK has to offer. If you have any questions or need more gardening tips, feel free to reach out or visit local gardening centres for expert advice.