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Soil Appropriate Planting

Soil Appropriate Planting

Working with your soil-type

Every garden in the country consists of a unique mixture of micro-environments combining to offer a variety of garden conditions. The four main types of soil in the UK are:

  • Clay (sticky, difficult to work in wet/dry conditions, slow to warm, high in nutrients but can get ‘locked’ in clay)

  • Sand (gritty and easy to dig, free draining in winter, dusty in summer, leach nutrients, acidic)

  • Loam (between clay and sand, hold nutrients well, easily accessible for plants, easy to dig)

  • Chalk (rocky/flinty soil, clumps of white chalk, free draining, alkaline)

These soils will vary in their PH level, which will determine the type of growing environment and also help direct you to which plants will thrive with little input and which will need ground preparation or supplementary nutrients. Plant Suggestions: Chalky soils: Trees: Acer campestre Acer cappadocicum forms Acer griseum Acer Negundo forms Acer platanoides and forms Acer pseudoplatanus and forms Aesculus (Horse Chestnut) Gingko biloba Populus alba Betula Shrubs: Buddleja Ceanothus in variety Pyracantha Chaenomeles Chimonanthus Forsythia suspense Escallonia in variety Hedera Clay soils: Trees: Acer in variety Malus Alnus in variety Betula, some varieties Prunus Corylus Crataegus Sorbus Fraxinus Shrubs: Potentilla Berberis Chaenomeles Prunus Lusitanica Pyracantha Corylus Spiraea Hedera Kerria Weigela Chaenomeles Viburnum x burkwoodii Euonymus fortunei Forsythia Conifers: Abies Taxus Crytomeria Taxodium Lime Free soils: Shrubs: Camellia Kalmia Leucothoe Skimmia Corylopsis Magnolia Enkianthus Fothergilla Rhododendron Azalea Gaultheria Hamamelis Poor Draining soils: Trees: Acer pseudoplatanus Pyrus Alnus Quercus robur Carpinus betulus Salix Populus Shrubs: Cornus stolonifera varieties Sambucus Salix Conifers: Metasequoia Taxodium Moist soil: Trees: Acer negundo Alnus Betula nigra Fraxinus excelsior Liriodendron Mespilus germanica Parrotia Salix (SS) Sorbus aucuparia forms Conifers: Abies Cedrus deodara Metasequoia Taxodium Shrubs: Amelanchier Hydrangea Parrotia persica Philadelphus in variety Physocarpus opulifolius Rhododendron Salix in variety (SS) Spiraea in variety Viburnum rhytidophyllum Perennials: Astilbe Lobelia Russian Princess Caltha Primula in variety Hosta Trollius Ligularia For more information on planting for your soil type, or to order plants at a discount from RRP, get in touch with Belgarden today on 07470 962 898 or email

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