Diarmuid Gavin: Add height and structure to your garden with lupins

Bees and butterflies love these colourful perennials which will grow in most garden conditions

Lupins support themselves in windy conditions and often do not need staking

Diarmuid Gavin

Lupins are sometimes overlooked in the contemporary garden, but they are great value. They grow easily from seed and are not demanding in terms of soil. They are nitrogen fixers, which mean they can convert nitrogen from the atmosphere into nitrates in the soil — in this way, they feed themselves. This allows them to thrive on poor soils and improve the soil when they die.