Gardening can be just the opportunity we need to "break out" from the restrictions of everyday life.

The wilder garden is a great way of fulfilling the desire to create your own personal haven. Plant-filled paradises on backyard plots are becoming the dream of more and more people and you don't have to be an expert to achieve them.

With plants like the shrub buddleia and perennial solidago, you can create a wonderland of flowers and foliage with only basic skills. And they won't keep you up at night worrying if you can water and care for them, 'cos they're tough.

As high summer comes around again and school closes for the long break, plants such as Buddleia davidii (also known as Butterfly bush) are superb for keeping children entertained.

Sweet-smelling flowers will draw in the butterflies for a refreshing drink of nectar. Children love learning to tell their Peacocks from their Tortoiseshells and Painted Ladies.

Encourage them to "stake out" the bush and note what they see. Why not buy a field guide and perhaps even get into it yourself?

A good, strong variety like "Black Knight" (dark purple flowers), or "Royal Red", will act as a magnet for numerous species of butterfly.

Other good choices are the stylish "White Profusion", with its huge, fragrant blooms, or the delightful "Fascinating", which produces lilac-pink flowers. Each of these flowers from summer into autumn.

Solidago, also known as Golden rod, because of the golden-yellow of the flowers and upright growth, has the untamed look of the prairies about it and is great at surviving dry, challenging conditions as a result.

If you've got an exposed, windy place in your borders, on poor or sandy soil, a stand of solidago could be just the answer, as it will thrive in full sun in this sort of situation. As a perennial, it will perform year after year once established .

Solidago "Goldenmosa" is a great option, with bright yellow flowerheads.

"Crown of Rays" is another winner. A clump-forming perennial, it can reach 60cm in height and produces golden yellow flowers.

"Cloth of Gold" is extremely floriferous, bearing deep yellow flowers and reaching up to 74cm in height.

Solidago caesia grows up to a metre, has bluish-grey stems and flowers from late summer to autumn.

Shrub buddleia must be cut back hard in early spring to stimulate new growth. Beyond that, it will take care of itself. Solidago is also low-maintenance, but can spread too easily, so cut out stems that have flowered before they seed.

They make great additions to cut-flower arrangements.

This pair of plants goes really well together, because of their wild look and suitability for more naturalistic ways of planting.

They suit many of today's challenges, like drought, and chime with the desire to make more space for wildlife and to create in our gardens situations where the whole family can get up close to nature.

Buddleia: quick guide:

Buddleia brings your garden alive with wonderful flowers and wildlife * Perfect for garden borders, patio pots, or as a centrepiece; * Attracts beautiful butterflies; * Will thrive in most garden soils; * Hardy and easy to grow.