So here are my top ten annuals that I plan to grow on the allotment and for cut flowers in the garden. These flowers are hopefully going to be the backbone of the cut flower beds and I have chosen them on their suitability to be cut and placed together in a vase but also simply on my love for these flowers. So here they are. I would love to hear what other annual flowers people couldn’t do without in their garden.
GREATER QUAKING GRASS
This is such a beautiful grass and it’s currently growing nicely in my little plastic greenhouse. I think it will look so pretty with arrangements either on mass or in smaller posies with cornflowers, nigella and scabious seed pods. As I really want this in the garden this year, I have planted it from seed in a couple of pots but I have also saved some seed into the ground in late April.
HELIANTHUS (SUNFLOWER HA)
I have chosen a few different sunflower seeds to grow but the one I’m most looking forward to seeing is ‘Vanillia Ice’. A prolific flowerer with creamy white petals it’s smaller than the jolly big sunflowers. I have just sown these seeds in old egg carton box’s. The plan is to start them in the cold frame and then plant them straight into the ground once they reach a decent size (i’m hoping the egg carton will then decompose once in the ground!?).
I had no idea that the marigold was such a diverse little number. I have been using calendula oil for skincare for years but have a new appreciation for this vibrant chap having seen the wonderful variations in which it comes. Excellent as a cut flower and great for bees and butterfly’s, I’m trying out a few different varieties for the allotment and garden my faveourite being ‘Needles and Pins’ a bright frilly marigold that will add some eccentric colour into the garden.
These are annual delphiniums and apparently have slightly more staying power than there perennial pals both in the garden and in a vase. I’m growing them from seed and have a dark blue and purple mix that will hopefully stand out when grown amongst roses and mixed in with ammi.
One of my faveourite cottage garden flowers. This boho beauty looks like an actual gem in the garden. I have a soft spot for flowers that have a rustic charm, that are slightly unruly and a bit messy. I’m sowing ‘Moody blues’ and ‘Persian Jewels’ which I know will add lots of pretty colour to the cut flower patch.
I am sowing both Ammi Majus and Ammi Visnaga. Majus is a fan of lacy, white flowers and is a slightly more delicate than Visnaga which is like the beefy big brother with a major soft side . They both have dashing good looks and will look so pretty with every single flower on this list!
Bright bee and butterfly beacons that are so pretty and give that English cottage garden charm to the flowerbed. I’m going to grow them with my poppies and cosmos and also on the allotment where they will have there own dedicated patch.
Cornflower ‘Blue Boy’
Who doesn’t love Sweetpeas? Rediculously pretty and with a delicious scent there are so many different ones to choose for both the allotment and garden. I have gone for a colourful mix of long flowering bad boys that I know will look beautiful in and out of the garden. I’m hoping if I take good care of them they will reward me and flower throughout the summer. I’m growing them from seed for the first time and am hoping for better success than previous years where I have gone for buying seedlings.
The show stopper of my annual collection. These guys will add some serious impact to the cut flower beds and like the dahlias will add some amazing colour and variety to my garden. Like a few on this list I have never grown them before so it will be interesting to see how I get on. As half hardy annuals I plan to grow them undercover until they are strong enough to handle the elements. I’ve just finished sowing them into propagators so I really am learning as I go now.
Cosmos has to be number one. My mum grew it for my wedding so we could make some of the flower arrangements ourselves . It looked so pretty and was incredibly reliable both for growing until late August and for how well it handled being thrown into a vase and transported to and from our wedding venue. I know it will be an invaluable addition to my cut flower beds and I plan to grow as much of it as possible. As well as pretty Cosmos Bippinatus ‘Purity’ and ‘Antiquity’ I’m trying out ‘Double Click Rose Bon Bon’ pictured below as I couldn’t resist going for a slightly more flamboyant variation of this lovely flower.
This post includes both hardy (HA) and half hardy annuals (HHA). I have now sown all of my half hardy annuals, they are all undercover and will be planted out once they have been hardened off and the chance of frost is minimal. I have been very good and held off sowing my hardy annuals as I want them to be as low maintence as possible. The plan is to sow them directly into the ground or in bio pots which I can plant out in the ground once the seedlings have developed in a protected place. By delaying sowing my hardy annuals I can focus on my half hardy lot. There is going to be A LOT of pricking out and potting on! I also know that if I want the hardy annuals to stand a good chance in my beds I need to wait until it has warmed up a bit.
For more information on when to sow seeds and for some great growing guides I thought Ben’s page of the Higgledygarden.com were fab!
All images and links can be found on my Bloom and Branch Pinterest.
Floral number photographs copyright Branch and Bloom