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  • Writer's pictureLynn Cordall

Flower power - colour your summer - time to get going

Everyone loves flowers don't they? I assume you do, otherwise, why are reading this? (thanks by the way).

Every year I tell myself that my bulbs and perennial planting offers me enough successional flower colour, (that is from March to November, I have lots of different flowers blooming ready to take over from ones that are going over), and don't need annuals.

Annuals grow, flower and die all in one season. So, why do I tell myself I don't need them? Because they take work. Quite a bit of work really. And space. And time. And care. They are high (ish) maintenance at times (if you grow them in the quantities I do - don't want to out you off).

So, why do I find myself this year with more seed packets than ever before, a packed potting shed, a kitchen quickly beginning to resemble a commercial greenhouse and a newly arrived pop up poly tunnel (late Xmas present from the Under Gardener -who says romance is dead...)? Well, because I can - and flowers make me happy. And frankly, every year, new annuals come along that look at me through batted eyelashes from the soft porn like seeds catalogues and seduce me. Fact, all gardeners are weak willed when it comes to a glossy catalogue.

So, what am I growing this year? I'm not going to tell you how to grow them. You can read, and the internet, You tube, books and TV programmes all make fabulous tutors. Here's my 5 newbies, the 5 that will flirt and play with me an demand perfume and pricey gifts...followed by my 5 stead fast stalwarts, the ones that are OK to get slippers or hankies from their loved one for Christmas.

Joking aside - why don't you try something new this year? You can grow all these in pots - so small space, a balcony, by a front door -anything is possible.

My 5 Newbies

L-R. Sweet pea Blue Velvet, Papaver (poppy) Candy Floss, Papaver (poppy) Dark Plum, Tithonia and Cosmos Bright lights. Please someone breed a true red cosmos.

You can tell that I have an area that is all purples, blues, white etc... and then a jungle / hot / tropical area. These 2 orange beauties grow tall, and will look great amongst the grasses, cannas and banana plants. Oh, and the poppies should self seed about, so next year, they'll just appear, where they are happy too.

My 5 "Couldn't be without" (no flowers really deserve to be thought of as stalwarts /or slippers)

L-R. Cosmos Dazzler, Ammi majus, Euphorbia Oblongata (excellent foliage for flower arranging, makes other colours sing), Cosmos Xanthos (My new favourite pale lemon), and Cosmos Purity - the one annual no garden should be without - ever.

Sow the seeds, buy plug plants and grow them on, buy jumbo plugs and put then straight out (remember to see if they are hardy or not, and acclimatise them first to outside). You can save seeds from most these plants too and sow them again next year - so view that first packet of seeds as the bargain they are. Here's some Cosmos Dazzler from my garden last year - a view from my favourite seat - and seeds courtesy of my favourite friend. Forward to summer x

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