Hardy Annuals – Flowers for the Garden
A Selection of Hardy
Flowers for the garden can be a real picture yet easy to grow as well. There is a selection of hardy that may be sown direct where they are to flower and, to help the reader make a suitable choice, the following subjects are listed as being especially appropriate.
The details of height will serve as an indication of the position to sow, i.e., tall subjects at the back of the border, dwarf varieties in the front.
Alonsoa – This is 2 ft. high, a bright scarlet, and makes a striking display. The variety usually grown is A. Warscewiczii.
Anagallis – The Pimpernel, is very useful for edging purposes as it is only 6 ins. high. There are scarlet and blue varieties, and all do well in an open sunny position.
Anchusa – The variety A. Capensis Blue Bird is very colourful and its indigo blue flowers make a vivid show. It is 18 ins. high and a “must” for the annual border, being an outstanding plant.
Bartonia Aurea – On very sandy soils or those that dry out rapidly (as when one is starting up on a poor unmanured) this is a very useful plant. The flowers are yellow, producing a mass of colour. Height 18 ins.
Calendula – This is one of the easiest flowers to grow of all the annuals. Best quality flowers are obtained in soils well enriched with , for the blooms “come single” in poor conditions. Orange Cockade is a good variety, and Radio is another of the same colour. The height reached is 18ins. in both cases. For covering a rough patch, quickly, these plants are especially valuable, and can be sown broadcast for this purpose.
Clarkia – A packet of mixed colours will give a bright display, and the variety Fantasy, double mixed, gives a colourful effect. Their height is 2 ft. Make sure that these plants are thinned out to give them ample room; 12 to 15 ins. apart is not too much and the quality of flowers will be much improved as a result.
(Annual) – The Coronarium varieties are 2 ft. tall and if a packet of mixed colours is sown, a bold display is ensured. These plants do well under a wide range of soil conditions, are amongst the easiest to grow, and are another useful subject for covering a piece of rough ground, to give a quick effect.
Eschscholtzia – This is a plant for hot dry conditions, as it will do well even in these circumstances. The orange varieties are of especially vivid colouring, Orange King being a good one, but a packet of mixed colours will give a bright splash of orange, yellow, bronze and carmine.
Gaillardia (Annual) – The variety Picta, which is orange red and yellow, is very colourful and about 1 ft. high. It is useful for cutting and can be relied upon for a bold display in the front of the border.
Godetia – There are tall and dwarf varieties, both types of which are available in a wide range of colours. The reds and pinks are especially striking and make one of the most attractive subjects for the annual border. Thin out these plants so that they are not overcrowded.
Gypsophila Elegans – Some white flowers always lend contrast to others of brighter colours, and a bold patch of Gypsophila Elegans Alba should be included in the border. The plants reach 18 ins. high. The red and pink varieties are also very suitable.
Larkspur – For the back of the border, these 3 ft. tall subjects will give a good display, either in mixed colours or in blue, pink or red separately. The site for these plants should have a little extra compost, if possible, as they respond to better than average conditions. There is also a dwarf variety, 12 ins. high with double flowers, of very neat habit.
Lavatera Loveliness – This plant is a “must”. The pink mallow type flowers are outstanding. Sow at the back of the border, as these subjects are 2-1/2 to 3 ft. tall. They are very free flowering and no annual border should be without a bold group of this colourful variety.
Linaria – These are easy-to-grow plants, light in habit, and in a very wide range of colours. A packet of mixed varieties will ensure a vivid splash of colour and either the Maroccana Hybrids, 15ins. tall, can be grown, or, for the front of the border, Fairy Bouquet, which reaches 8 ins. high.
Linum – Both blue and red varieties are good for the annual border and flower in profusion. Height 15 ins.
Nasturtium – The Tom Thumb varieties are very good for the front of the border, being 9 to 12 ins. high. Empress of India, with dark foliage and crimson scarlet flowers is strikingly colourful. These are also good plants for a poor soil; indeed, too rich a soil can give excess foliage at the expense of flowers.
Phacelia Campanularia – This is another plant for the front of the annual border, being 9 ins. high. Its gentian blue flowers make it one of the subjects that must be grown and the intensity of the colouring alone makes it a plant well worth having.
Scabious (Annual) – As these plants are 2 to 3 ft. tall, a position at the back of the border is needed. Here again mixed colours may be grown in the same bed, or a separate colour, red, purple or pink, be used to give effect. These plants are actuallybut are best treated as annuals.
Sweet Sultan – This is available in a wide range of colour, and is an easy subject to grow. It is 18 ins. tall and also useful for cutting.
Viscaria – This is another “easy-to-grow” plant, light in habit, and 15 ins. high. It is available in blue and pink shades but a packet of mixed colours is best for the annual border.
Many varieties offlowers seeds can be obtained from certain specialist seedsmen who raise organically-grown plants to provide the seed for flowers for the garden.