Monday, February 2

An annual event

Regular visitors will know that I experimented with growing annual flowers on the plot last year. If you missed it I have a post here
As far as we were concerned this was a success and so with a bit of tweaking I'll be doing a similar thing again.

The main tweaking is in the choice of flowers to grow.
My final list is as follows:
Ammi - Majus
Calendula - Galaxy Mixed
Candytuft - Spangles
Cerinthe - Majo Purpurescens
Clarkia - Double Delight
Cornflower - Double Blue
Cornflower - Black Ball
Cosmos - Purity
Cosmos - Ruby Red
Daucus - Carota Dara
Godetia - Dream Double
Godetia - Azalea Flowered
Gypsophila - Covent Garden
Larkspur - Giant Imperial MIxed
Linum - Red
Poppy - Iceland Giant
Poppy - Ladybird
Poppy - Falling in Love
Scabiosa - Oxford Blue

Last year I thought that the bed lacked a touch of red. I found a packet of Ladybird poppies that came as a freebie from somewhere last year but were mislaid at sowing time. I have grown these before so I hope that the seeds will still be viable.
I ordered a packet of Iceland Giant poppies to add to these and wouldn't you know it but one of the seeds companies added a packet of free Falling in Love poppies to my order so I could end up with a few too many poppies.

More red will be provided by the red Linum.

I have to include cosmos for height, featheriness and the fact that the flowers carry on after the others have begun to fade. This year I am going for particular coloured varieties. The idea is that I can maybe add some white to the white and blue border in the garden and the red to the new hot coloured bed yet to be created.

Instead of mixed colours of cornflower, I have chosen varieties of the colours that I liked best last year.
Black Ball may be a darker purple. Last year the dark colour looked good growing amongst the candytuft so I will have to try and remember to plant them alongside one another again.
The ammi, daucus and gypsophila will hopefully provide good fillers for vases of cut flowers.
I have decided not to grow the lowest growing flowers as they became a bit swamped last year and I do want to be able to cut most types for the house. I wanted to grow some calendulas and so hope that I have one that will grow taller than last year's variety.

A year or so ago Linda - The Tenacious Gardener sent me a packet of cerinthe seeds. Not only were these unusual but they flowered before most of the other annuals and the bees loved them and so I am growing them again.
Last year I failed with the larkspurs so am giving them another go. I was advised to sow them in autumn but never got round to it so may sow the seeds next month, indoors under the growlight  and hope giving them an early start works. I also understand that giving the seeds a spell in the freezer may help break the dormancy.

As I said I have plenty of seed so I may plant some in the pear bed where if they follow the candytuft's example they will be able to self seed and provide an earlier display next year.
Fingers crossed that this season's annuals provide as good a display as last year. The trouble with gardening is that nothing is ever guaranteed is it?

31 comments:

  1. Oh you blasted Evil Temptress, you!!! I already have my veggie seeds and a carefully worked out plan for perennials, working on the premise that it more cost and time effective to grow flowering plants that will come back year after year. And then you come up with a list like this, and beautiful photographs to match.

    Hey ho, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that . . .

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    1. That's me, Jayne :) I'm also going to pop some annuals in amongst the young perennials in the garden to bulk up the borders

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  2. What a lovely selection. Your vases should be full all summer long.

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    1. I'm hoping si, Jo combined wit the sweet peas and dahlias.

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  3. Before I read your reply to Jayne I was thinking just the same.. some annuals might help to bulk out the planting on my precipitous bank, and provide some competition to the weeds, until the perennials get going.

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    1. With a bit of luck some of the annuals may self seed in future years too, Jessica, Ideal for the banking as long as you don't weed them out

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  4. Such a timely post for me! I was just looking at the seeds I ordered for introducing flowers for cutting on our community allotment where I am a volunteer. As its service users are adults with physical and mental difficulties, I think it would look nice and make lovely bouquets.
    Most of the success of our plot is down to your blog, so thanks again.
    http://rainbowallotmentblogger.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. I have an article that I wrote for my School Vegetable Patch on creating a sensory garden that you may find useful, L it's this page Sensory gardens are ideal for people with disabilities. Thanks for the link - I'll take a look

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  5. Oh such glorious pictures - providing a tonic on a cold day - I have yet to decide what I am growing this year my brain seems to have frozen. I don't seem to get your posts through on my dashboard any more, hence the lack of comments, and I wondered if it is because I'm not on Google +.

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    1. I don't think not having a Google+ Account should make a difference, Elaine. Maybe the blog has somehow been deleted off a list. Is it just happening with my blog?

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    2. Loads of people having problems with Blog Reading Lists at present.

      http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2015/01/the-mysterious-reading-list-becomes.html

      http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2015/01/reading-list-use-requires-recognition.html

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  6. Super selection of flowers! One of my favourites is the perennial purple alyssum; it is not a cutting flower, but makes a pretty edge to borders. As to sowing those mislaid seeds, I have successfully sown seeds that are well past the sow by date. I figure they have two chances anyway, so what have you got to lose?. ~~~Deb

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    1. Nothing at all to lose, Deb and the potential for some lovely flowers.

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  7. What a great selection you've chose Sue. Your post just reminded me that I was going to try some Cerinthe in the front garden as I think it would fit in with my colour scheme. Thanks for the reminder - now added to my to do list!

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    1. Glad to tweak your memory, Angie

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  8. Wonderful selection of seeds Sue. Lots of pickings this year to come.

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  9. Hmmm, this is a subject on which I am not well qualified to comment! I have over the last 2 or 3 years introduced some perennial flowers to my garden, but I'm not yet into Annuals. If I had more room maybe I would be interested, but with limited space available my first priority remains the vegetables.

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    1. You can pop some annuals into gaps, Mark but you may not like the self seeding of the more prolific plants

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  10. Your annual did beautifully Sue. Ours don't normally do as well, mostly because of the short season I think. Apparently, to benefit from a spell in the refrigerator to break dormancy, seeds should be damp (but not wet) and ideally put in the bottom compartment rather than the freezer.

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    1. I was just going ti pop the seed packet in Alain - should I sow the seeds first and pop the pot in?

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  11. It's always exciting to see what will work and what won't. I'd like to try larkspur this year as well, it's so pretty. I looked through a few of last year's summer flower pictures the other day, it reminded me how lovely the summer is. I grew the black ball cornflowers, they did quite well and they're such a gorgeous colour.

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    1. I would like to crack larkspur this year CJ

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  12. So colorful and beautiful! I have a dream to make an annual garden, but I think the plants need full sunshine to keep them blooming. My garden, mostly on part shady area, so I guess it will not do well.

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    1. Maybe not Endah but nothing to lose having a try,

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  13. How I wish all the flowers in your garden is mine...so wonderful and colorful...

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    1. Glad that you like them Normala,

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  14. I loved that border last year...and the poppies are a gorgeous addition. How glorious to see all those seeds! I haven't bought many this year as I'm still deciding what to grow. I have larkspur, it seeded itself here and comes up every year, I love it, such an old fashioned cottage garden plant.....I hope it grows for you.xxx

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    1. I'd just like to get some larkspur to grow this year, Dina. Last year was a complete failure. Self sown ones seems to be a pipe dream.

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