Plants for chalk soil need to be able to cope not only with quite strongly alkaline conditions, but also with a rather 'thin and hungry' topsoil.
Whilst the majority of plants will happily grow in neutral to slightly alkaline soil, there are some that positively relish lime-rich or chalky soil.
The list below includes some trees and shrubs that are at their happiest on chalk soils.
Between them they have the seasons covered from the delicate winter blossom of the flowering cherry, through the heady spring fragrance of the Mock Orange, the summer-scented spikes of the Buddleja, to the autumn glory of the Spindle Bush.
In the background, the evergreen foliage of the Chinese Privet and the Mahonia are busy providing form and interest right throughout the year.
For more ideas on choosing suitable plants go to Choosing Plants for Chalk Soil: Perennials and Climbers.
To extend the range of plants you can grow, you can improve or amend very thin chalk soils by adding plenty of organic matter.
Reasons to grow: Of all the plants for chalk soil, this little tree provides the most spectacular autumn colour with the bonus of unusual rosy fruits that split to reveal orange seeds.
Reasons to grow: Neat spreading form, attractive glossy oval leaves and panicles of creamy flowers in summer and early autumn.
Reasons to grow: A really attractive tree with an elegant spreading form, buds and blossom from mid autumn to early spring and good autumn colour.
It really cheers up the winter months!
Reasons to grow: Fragrant spikes of golden yellow flowers in summer and autumn. One of the best plants for chalk soil if you want to attract butterflies to your garden.
Also consider: Buddleja davidii 'Empire Blue', 'Royal Red' and 'White Profusion'.
Reasons to grow: Dense, glossy dark green leaves divided into many spiny leaflets and long slender spikes of fragrant yellow flowers from late autumn into spring.
Also consider: Mahonia aquifolium (0.6x1.2m, 2x4ft); Mahonia x Media 'Buckland' and 'Charity' (5x4m, 15x12ft).
Reasons to grow: Fabulously fragrant white flowers in late spring to mid-summer, depending on the variety. The scent is reminiscent of orange blossom - hence the name. Some forms have variegated or golden foliage.
Also consider: Philadelphus 'Beauclerk' with white, pink flushed flowers; Philadelphus 'Belle Etoile' with white, yellow centred flowers; Philadelphus 'Manteau d'Hermine' for its low, spreading habit and double creamy white flowers; Philadelphus 'Virginal' for its height and spread (3x3m, 10x10ft) and double flowers; Philadelphus coronarius 'Variegatus' with variegated mid green and white leaves; Philadelphus coronarius 'Aureus' for its bright yellow green foliage.
More ideas for plants that grow in chalk soil can be found at Choosing Plants for Chalk Soil: Perennials and Climbers.
Not looking for plants for chalk soil? Links to all the 'plants for places' pages on this site can be found at plant guides.
You can find information and advice about garden soil, including links to other soil-related pages, at garden soil.