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Britain’s favourite flowers – do our results match yours?

Fuschias in the garden

We’ve just asked more than 3,500 Which? members about their favourite flowering plants and how they grow them. Do you agree with our flower survey findings?

It seems we’re very much a nation of fuchsia-lovers. They’re our favourite shrub, beating buddleias and azaleas into second and third place respectively. Fuchsias are also our most popular annual/bedding plant, ahead of geraniums and sweet peas.

I can’t say I’m a particular fan of fuchsias myself – they’re good for a shady spot but too much leaf and too few flowers for my taste. As far as perennials, lavender topped the list, with hardy geraniums and primroses in second and third.

Fragrant flower favourites

Roses were voted the best flowers for scent, with sweet peas a distant second followed by honeysuckle, lavender and jasmine. Only 3% voted for the aptly-named wallflowers.

I used to love the heady scent of lilies, but since my husband started buying me bunches for the house (I know I shouldn’t complain), I’m less keen. The perfume’s a bit overpowering indoors and the messy pollen gets everywhere!

What’s hot…

Almost nine in 10 of us grow flowering plants in pots or hanging baskets, and a third have a wildlife-friendly area. Blue is our colour of choice for flowers, closely followed by white, then red.

Most of us opt for variegated foliage rather than plain green, grey, purple or yellow leaves. In moderation, I’m hoping. And with a view to how well the flowers will ‘go’ with the variegated foliage. I also think there’s a lot to be said for variegated plants not flowering at all, I reckon.

…and what’s not

Only one in five of us devote an area to a bedding display and just 15% have a bed just for roses. No surprises here. I certainly don’t have the space – never mind the self-discipline – to leave bare soil unplanted.

Around half of us tend to give plants with brown or black flowers a miss and just over a third shun ones with green flowers. I wonder what the consensus is amongst flower arrangers?

So, all results considered, do our flower findings reflect your tastes and garden?

Ted says:
17 April 2013

For me the bigger, blousier and more colorful the better. It really doesn’t matter what colour as long as there’s loads of it. What’s the point of having flowers if they don’t make you smile? Might as well just have a load of morbid grasses and topiary! But as for a bed with just roses, yuck! They’re so much better planted as part of a border.

I think Hibiscus is probably our favourite . . . and we’d love it if we could grow Bougainvilleas here.

Hmmm. I do like Fuchsias – they remind me of being a little girl and popping the buds open – hours of fun for the under 5’s (I have no idea if it harms the plant though!). This survey has reminded me that there are loads of lovely Fuchsias out there and I should get them to provide a bit of colour at the front of the house.
I can see why Lavender tops the list too – evergreen, aromatic, blue and covered in bees in summer – an absolute winner in my book!

Elizabeth says:
20 April 2013

No one has mentioned ‘bulbous’ plants. I love them.

One of the sweetest and most colourful plants are hyacinths. Snowdrops and aconites early appearance gives us a promise of spring. And daffodils are a delightful sight everywhere, especially the smaller varieties like February Gold and Tete a Tete. And what about Irises and Gladioli?

I love all these. Further more they need very little work, if any, to look after, and will appear and multiply year after year, even the gladioli, if they are planted deep enough in the first place. A real joy.

Norman says:
21 April 2013

A great list and everyone is a winner for us here in South Dorset…one recent and annoying result of the local burgeoning bager population, is that they enjoy dahlia tubers and some tulip bulbs. Might influence any future choice by your readers.

I love fuchsias and was so glad to read that they topped the poll. I overwintered tender ones this winter under bubble wrap outside and was amazed to see the growth on them a week ago when I unveiled them!