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Brighter years to come – Garden view

Brighter years to come – Garden view

Hardy annuals are the most obliging plants to keep you garden colourful every year.

They don’t need a propagator or a greenhouse, or even a windowsill; all they need is a sunny spot and some well-drained soil. Just sprinkle the seeds in the ground and you can look forward to a fiesta of summer colour for very little work.

The choice of plants and hue is wide. If blue is your thing try a soft shade of love-in-a-mist, or a vivid blue cornflower, or the most gorgeous tiny phacelia. For pinks try a fluffy clarkia or delicate godetia. Nasturtiums span the colour wheel from cream through yellow and orange to deep red.

Annual doesn’t mean small either. Both larkspurs and amaranthus are tall and elegant, and cleomes which also provide height probably only need to be planted once as they are prolific self-seeders!

Look around your garden for gaps in beds and borders which are in a sunny spot and well-drained. Don’t plant when it’s cold or the soil is wet and sticky. Wait until the weather is mild and soil is damp and crumbly, then fork it lightly to break it up. Use a rake to create shallow furrows, sprinkle the seeds over and rake them gently in, raking across the furrows to cover them. Bigger seeds like nasturtiums can be pushed into the soil a couple of centimetres deep and 10-15cm apart.


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