List of Recommended Annual Plants
ADONIS (PHEASANT’S EYE)
Hardy Equally happy in wild or formal gardens but likes awith plenty of humus incorporated. Sow seed about 1/8 in. deep in March where plants are to flower. Thin plants out to 6 in. apart.
Adonis aestivalis (summer adonis), 1-½ ft. Single crimson flowers1-½ in. across, borne in profusion in June and July.
AGERATUM (FLOSS FLOWER)
Half-hardy Dwarf, compact and taller varieties are available, carrying attractive fluffy heads of flower in blue, white and pink, from June to September. Likes a sunny position. Often used for bedding out. Sow seed in greenhouse in March, harden off in April; plant out in late May, 6 in. apart.
Ageratum houstonianum, up to 2 ft. Most of the new varieties, which are about 6 in. high, are developed from this species and include Blue Mink, a large-flowered powder blue, Blue Ball and Little Blue Star with its mass of small flowers. Little Dorritt, a white, and Fairy Pink are not as good as the blues.
ACROSTEMMA (CORN COCKLE)
Hardy The wild corn cockle is an attractive plant but the variety mentioned below is much superior. Sow in September or March where it is to flower and thin out to 9 in. apart.
Agrostemma githago Milas, 2-½ ft. A tall, slender-growing plant carrying 3-in. diameter flowers of rosy-lilac lightening to the centre, each petal being marked with radial lines of dark dots. Excellent for cutting from July to September.
Hardy Low-growing plants with small white, lilac or purple sweet-scented flowers covering the plant. Grows in any soil but prefers a sunny position, and is extensively used as an edging plant. Sow seed in the flowering position in March or April, and thin out plants to 6 in. apart, or sow in the greenhouse in March, prick out, and plant out 6 in. apart.
Alyssum maritima (syn. Lobularia maritima), 8 to 12 in. Varieties from this species flower between June and October and include Lilac Queen, Pink Heather and Little Dorritt, a white.
A.m. minimum, 3 in. A very dwarf and compact form much used as an edging.
A.m.procumbens, 3 to 4 in. A more spreading type, represented by the white Snow Cloth, purple Royal Carpet and deep pink Rosie O’Day.
Half-hardy and hardy A group of plants grown for their ornamental and unusual flowers or foliage. Should be grown in a warm, sunny situation, the seed being sown in a greenhouse in March, hardened off during April and planted out in May.
Amaranthus caudatus (love-lies-bleeding), 3 ft. Bears long, drooping tail-like bright red or light green flowers from June to September. Can be sown in flowering position during April.
A. hybridus (syn. A. hypochondriacus) (prince’s feather), 3 ft. Upright flower spikes of crimson red carried above light green foliage from July to September. Can be sown outdoors in April.
A. tricolor (syn. A. gangeticus) (Joseph’s coat), 1-1/2ft. A handsome foliage plant with brightly contrasted yellow, red and green colouring in the A.t. splendens form, the colour increasing with age from July to September. Other varieties in varying colours are available.
Treat as half-hardy.
Scarlet and blue forms of this native plant are available, and are useful on rockeries or at the front of beds in a sunny position on a well-drained soil. Sow seed in March under glass. Harden off in April, and plant out in May, 6 in. apart.
Anagallis linifolia (syn. A. grandiflora), 1 ft. The best-known form is the A.l. caerulea. With deep gentian-blue flowers centred with yellow stamens. Flowers from July till September.
Truly a biennial, it is best grown as a hardy annual by sowing in flowering positions during April and thinning to 1 ft. apart. A great favourite with bees.
Anchusa capensis, 1-½ ft. The variety Blue Bird has attractive blue, white-centred flowers in June, rather like a large forget-me-not in form.
Really a perennial which is treated as an annual or occasionally a biennial. The plant can be had in a succession of bloom from June to October. Children call them bunny-rabbit or bunny-mouth flowers because when the sides of the flower base are pressed together the mouth of the flower opens. Does best on a light, humus-rich soil in a sunny situation.
Sow the seed in the greenhouse in February, prick the plants out 2 in. apart into boxes, and when 3 in. high pinch out the main shoot to give good side shoots which will give a mass of bloom. Plant out in late April. Tor earlier flowering, sow seeds in August and prick out into boxes or frames for over-wintering under glass; plant out in April.
Antirrhinum majus. Many varieties have been developed in this flower ranging in height from 9 in. to 3 It. The classes are divided into: ‘rock hybrids’ 9 in., ‘Tom Thumb’ 12 in., ‘intermediate’ or ‘semi-dwarf’ 15 to is in., ‘rust-resistant’ 15 to IS in., ‘grandiflorum’ or ‘tall’ 3 ft., ‘tetraploid’ 2 ft., ‘hyacinth-flowered’ 2 ft., ‘double-flowered’ 1-½ ft. Since each class has many varieties, selection is best made from a seedsman’s catalogue.
Recently a number of F1 Hybrids have been introduced in tall, intermediate and dwarf classes giving excellent colours and evenness of form; the rust-resistant types now have a good colour range.
ARCT0T1S (AFRICAN DAISY)
A South African plant with woolly, white leaves and daisy-like flowers in a range of rich colours, well suited for bedding in warm, sunny situations and also good for cutting. Sow seed in a greenhouse in March, harden off in April and plant out in May l ft. apart, to flower from July to October.
Arctotis acaulis (syn. A. scapigera), l to 1-½ ft. Has a range of colour from yellow and orange to blood red in the new mixtures such as the Harlequin Hybrids.
A. grandis (syn. A. stoechiadifolia), 2 ft. Silver-white flowers with lilac centres surrounded by a gold ring, the backs of the petals shaded with lavender.
Truly a perennial but usually treated as a half-hardy annual and sown under glass in a temperature of 65′ F. (18° C.) from December to February. The seed is very fine and needs careful handling when sowing and pricking out. Grow the plants on in warm conditions, and harden off during late April forin late May and June.
semperflorens, 10 to 12 in. Fibrous-rooted and nowadays represented by a number of very good Fl Hybrid varieties which are unbeatable for making a brilliant summer display, and are very weather-resistant. The Organdie Mixture and Thousand Wonder colours, together with Andy and Pandy, will give a wonderful show in summer and autumn.
CALCEOLARIA (SLIPPER FLOWER)
These attractive flowers are generally grown for greenhouse decoration, but the species listed as C. rugosa is useful for bedding outdoors in the summer. Sow in the greenhouse from December, to February, harden off in April. Plant out after the risk of frost is over, 1 ft. apart.
Calceolaria integrifolia (syn. C. rugosa), 4 ft. Carries masses of the typical though small slipper-shaped flowers in August, and can be obtained in a range of colours in the C. rugosa hybrids or as single colours in the Farthest North varieties.
CALENDULA (POT MARIGOLD)
Produces large, flat, disk-like flowers in many beautiful shades from deep orange through yellow to cream. Thrives in a poor soil. Sow mid-September for early summer flowering or mid-March for flowers from early July onward. Thin out to about 1 ft. apart.
Calendula officinalis, 1-½ to 2 ft. There are many varieties available including the following: Apricot, Cream and Lemon Beauty, all varieties of the Pacific type, also represented by Pacific Beauty Mixed.
Art Shades Mixed, attractive range of soft pastel shades.
Indian Maid, pale orange with dark maroon centre.
Orange King, good, compact, broad-petalled, deep orange.
Radar, quilled petals of bright orange.
CALLISTEPHUS (CHINA ASTER)
Double and single disk- and daisy-like flowers in varying brilliant pinks, whites, reds, yellows, blues, purples and mauves from late July onward. Does well in rich soil and a sunny position, while damp spots are likely to encourage wilt and blackleg diseases. Sow seed in greenhouse in March, harden off in April, and plant out in May, 9 in. to 2 ft. apart according to variety. Seed may also be sown in flowering positions in April.
Callistephus chinensis. Has an incredible number of varieties and forms, ranging from the very dwarf, 8-in. high, bedding varieties to the 2-½-ft. high, single and double varieties. Recommended are:
Californian Giant, 2 ft. Broad-petalled shaggy flowers. Later flowering and taller than Ostrich Feather.
Dwarf Queen, 10 in. Compact plant with a mass of double flowers.
Giant Comet, 2 ft. Upright growth and broad flat curling petals.
Ostrich Feather, 1-½. Large double feathery-petalled flowers on moderately long stems.
Pompon, 1 ft. Smallish, fully double flowers on long stems; an upright plant.
Super Chinensis, 1-½ ft. An excellent development of the old single, with large flowers of substance.
Super Princess, 2-½ ft. Very double with yellow-quilled contrasting centres, very good for cutting.
Each class has a large range of colours and very good mixtures.
There are two main types, the plumed forms and the crested types, known as cockscomb. Both these plants are at their best in a greenhouse, but may be planted out in a warm sheltered spot on good soil in the south of England. Sow-seed in March under glass, plant out late May or early June, l ft. apart.
Celosia argentea (syn. C. Plumosa or C. pyramidalis). Available in tall (1-½.) and dwarf (9 in.) strains. The dwarf is the most generally useful, and flowers most of the summer in a rich range of colours including orange, yellow, crimson, scarlet and purple, or as a mixture.
C.a. cristata. These dwarf cockscombs have heavily crested heads which flower all summer. Available in an excellent colour range in the new varieties such as Jewel Box Mixed and Chanticleer.
CENTAUREA (CORNFLOWER, SWEET SULTAN)
Tall and dwarf plants with attractive blue, purple, yellow-, white, pink and red tubular double flower heads. Good for cutting. Sow seed where the plants are to flower in September or March, and thin out to 9 to 12 in. apart.
Centaurea cyanus (cornflower). Tall varieties 2-½ ft., dwarf l ft. A number of good garden varieties are available in single colours of red, blue, pink and white, but usually grown as a mixture, as in the dwarf form Polka Dot which gives a very good colour range. Flowers in July.
C. moschata (sweet sultan) 2-½ ft. Attractive fluffy flower heads, purple, yellow or white vanilla-scented flowers from June to September.
(ANNUAL CHRYSANTHEMUM) Hardy
The annualrepresent a range of self-and multi-coloured daisy flowers from midsummer onward. A plant unexcelled for use at the back of a border, or for cutting in midsummer. Sow ¼ in. deep in April, where the plants are to flower, and thin out to l ft. apart.
carinatum (syn. C. tricolor), 2 ft. deeply cut leaves, and flowers which usually have three colour markings on the petals, giving a triple ring effect. There are many named varieties in a range of red, orange, purple, yellow and white combinations, but the mixtures will give a very colourful display.
C. coronarium, 3 ft. Very finely cut foliage and white, yellow or cream flowers, single or double according to variety.
C. multicaule, 6 in. Attractive buttercup-yellow flowers are borne above the spreading fleshy foliage from July to September, and make a very good edging.
C.segetum, 1-½ ft. A number of interesting varieties have been developed from the native corn marigold, bearing sprays of flowers in shades of yellow, including Eastern Star and Morning Star.
Very popular and showy plants with their attractive rose, purple, lilac, pink or white double flowers. They prefer a well-manured soil. Sow seed in March or April, where the plants are to flower, and thin out to about 9 in. apart.
Clarkia elegans, 2 ft. Many named varieties are available in the colours mentioned above including Enchantress, Lady Satin Rose, Firebrand and Salmon Queen. Can be used as a cut flower from July to October, but must be put in water immediately.
C. pulchella, 1-1/2ft. The semi-double flowers have a less extensive colour range than C. elcgans, but the habit is more bushy and flowering period longer.
Interesting and often showy flowers with long spidery stamens which can be used for cutting from July to September. Prefers a light, rich soil and sunny spot. Sow seed in a greenhouse in March, harden off in April, and plant out in late-May or June, 1-½ ft. apart.
Cleome spinosa, 3 ft. A number of varieties are available, but none excel the Pink or Rose Queen, whose dense terminal spikes of spidery flowers have a strange and strong scent.
This flower must not be confused with the disliked garden weed, for it is purely an annual which flowers from July to September. Likes a sunny position. Sow in flowering positions in September or April and thin out to l ft. apart.
Convolvulus tricolor (syn. C. minor), l ft. Beautiful spreading plant, up to 2 ft. across, covered in convolvulus-like flowers of varying colour which open in the morning and fade by evening and include red, white, pink and blue in the mixtures; Royal Ensign, a vivid ultra-marine blue with white and yellow throat makes a wonderful display.
Summer-flowering daisy-like flowers, usually listed in catalogues as Coreopsis, while C. stillmanii is listed as Leptosyne. Sow under glass in March, harden off in April, and plant out in May l ft. apart; or sow in flowering positions in April and thin out.
Coreopsis drumondii, 1-½ ft. Large-flowered golden-yellow form with maroon markings at the base of the petals.
C. tinctoria, tall varieties 2-½ ft., dwarf l ft. Both tall and dwarf varieties are available in a range of yellow and crimson combinations, also in single and double forms.
Erect plants with finely-cut ferny foliage and large single disk-like flowers in several different colours according to the species. Plants do well in a poor soil and sunny spot. Sow seeds under glass in mid-March, harden off mid-April, and plant out in border 1-½ ft. apart late May. They may also be sown in their flowering positions outdoors in late April.
Cosmos bipinnatus, 3 ft. Bushy erect plants with fine foliage and white, pink, crimson and rose flowers into late summer. The Sensation mixed and Sensation Gloria, a bicolour rose with crimson centre zone, are among the best varieties.
Striking plants with vivid and unusual flowers from June to September. Sow seed in greenhouse in late February, harden off during late April and May after pinching out the growing points. Plant out in June in a warm, sunny spot.
Cuphea ignea (syn. C. platycentra) (cigar plant), l ft. Bright scarlet, black tipped, tubular flowers, 1 in. long, on a bushy, compact plant.
C. llavea minima, l ft. firefly, the best-known variety, has open flowers with scarlet petals, purple bases and white eyes.
CYNOGLOSSUM (HOUND’S TONGUE)
A pretty border plant with coarse hairy leaves and small blue flowers. Does well on a light soil in partial shade or sun. Sow seed in mid-September where plants are to flower, and thin to l ft. apart in the following March, or sow in flowering position during March or April.
Cynoglossum amabile. Small, pale blue, sweetly-scented flowers are produced freely from late June. Blue Bird, 2 ft., and the compact Firmament, 1-½ ft., are very good varieties.
Erect branching plants with long spikes of purple, blue, red, pink or white flowers in summer. Sow in a deep, rich soil in September for early flowering, or in March and April, and thin to l ft. apart.
ajacis (rocket larkspur), 1 ft. and 3 ft. The hyacinth-flowered types have been developed from this species in both tall and dwarf forms.
D. consolida (branching larkspur), 3 ft. In this class the branching stock-flowered and Giant Imperial forms are the best known; in the latter, branching occurs from the base and the plants are compact. Many varieties are available as well as good mixtures.
D.grandiflorum (syn. D. sinense), l ft. Dwarf type with large single flowers, Blue Mirror and Blue Butterfly being out-standing. May be sown under glass in March and planted out in May.
This class covers the annual pinks and carnations. The pinks are mostly smaller flowered, more profuse and compact, while the carnations are double and well scented. Both will make a wonderful show in the garden in a warm, sunny spot. Sow under glass in February, harden off in April, and plant out during early May.
Dianthus caryophyllus (carnation), 1-½ ft. The carnations are divided into several groups, the Camellia Flowered, with very double smooth-petalled flowers, Enfant de Nice, an early-flowering strain with slightly frilled petals and the Chabaud with heavily frilled petals. All types are well scented, good for cutting and available in a range of colours. D. chinensis (Chinese or Indian pink), 1 to 1-1/2 ft. fairly tall double- and single-flowered mixtures are available in this type, which can be used in borders.
D.c. hedewigii (Japanese pink), 6 to 12 in. Dwarf single and double mixtures are available, very well suited to bedding and edging. There are also single colour selections, especially in the single forms.
D.c. laciniatus (fringed pink), 12 in. The large flowers have petals which are deeply cut and fringed, giving the plants an open and light appearance. Very good in a rockery.
DIM0RPH0THECA (STAR OF THE VELDT)
Daisy-like, brilliant, dazzling flowers of orange, white, yellow and pastel shades with shiny petals which close at night or in dull weather. Sow seed in greenhouse in March, harden off in April, and plant out late May; or sow outdoors in flowering positions in April.
Dimorphotheca sinuata, l ft. Usually listed as D. aurantiaca hybrids, makes a wonderful show from Jul)’ till the frosts. Beautiful mixtures available, while the single-colour Orange Glory and Goliath are particularly good.
ECHIUM (VITER’S BUGLOSS)
These showy, erect, hairy, greyish-leaved plants, with blue, purple, rose and white flowers well liked by bees, do well in a poor, dry soil. Sow seed late March where plants are to flower, thin out to 1 ft. apart.
Echium plantagineum, l ft. The best variety is Blue Bedder, which has spikes of bright blue flowers in June, while the dwarf hybrids have an attractive colour range.
ESCHSCHOLZIA (CALIFORNIAN POPPY)
Finely cut blue-green leaves with masses of glossy vivid flowers of orange, red, yellow, white and pink from June onward, likes a poor, sandy soil in a sunny position. Sow seed early April where plants are to grow, thin out to 9 in. apart, for earlier flowering, sow in September, frequently seed themselves in the garden.
Eschscholzia californica, l ft. Deeply saucer-shaped flowers in many colours, bloom in profusion all summer. Many named varieties, single and semi-double, exist and the Monarch Art Shade mixture is one of the most effective semi-doubles.
A small plant carrying a mass of little daisy-like blue flowers from June onward. Can be used for bedding out and makes a good pot plant in the greenhouse. Sow seed in greenhouse in March, harden off mid-April, plant out late May, 9 in. apart.
F. bergeriana (kingfisher daisy), 6 in. Has a low creeping habit, and yellow-centred blue flowers on 4 in. stems. The petals curl back on themselves in dull weather and at night.
GAILLARD1A (BLANKET FLOWER)
Showy, daisy-like, single or double flowers very useful in the border and for cutting. The colours are mostly yellow and red or variations of them. Sow seed in the greenhouse in March, harden off in April, and plant out in May, l ft. apart.
Gaillardia pulchella. 1-1/2ft. Many varieties have been developed from the species; the G.p.picta Indian Chief, a coppery red single, and G.p. picta lorenziana double mixed are particularly well worth growing. Flowers from July to October.
Charming and valuable garden plants. Grey-green foliage, covered from summer to autumn with pink, purple, crimson, white or lavender slightly scented blooms. Likes a sunny, sheltered spot. Sow seed in early April where plants are to flower. Thin out to l ft. apart.
Godetia grandiflora, 2 to 3 ft. and 9 to 18 in. The taller varieties are the tall doubles which are well suited to cutting, while the dwarfer are most useful for bedding out. The dwarf forms are divided into dwarf singles, semi-dwarf singles and the double or azalea-flowered, and the last. In particular, make a very good show.
GYPSOPHILA (CLOUD PLANT)
Stems and leaves are grey-green, and the small, white, pink and deep red flowers produced in light, graceful sprays in June are very useful in flower arrangements. Sow in an open, sunny spot, in drifts in September or mid-March. Thin out to 9 in. apart.
Gypsophila elegans, 1-1/2ft. The large-flowered Covent Garden white is a very good plant, and the crimson and rosea forms have delicate cloud-like flowers.
Huge disk-like flowers from July to September, usually yellow, but also available in other colours. Sow seed early April in a sunny spot where plants are to flower, and thin to 2 ft. apart.
Helianthus annuus (common sunflower), up to 10 ft., with huge, single yellow flowers with a dark disk from July to September. Varieties of varying heights and colours are available.
H. debilis (syn. H. cucumerifolius) (cucumber leaf or miniature sunflower), 3-1/2 ft. Has a dwarf bushy habit and smaller flowers in a range of colours which make it useful for the border.
HELICHRYSUM (STRAW FLOWER, EVERLASTING FLOWER)
Showy clustered flowers, red, orange, mauve, yellow and white in colour and papery in texture when mature. Sow seed in early April where plants are to flower, and thin out to 9 in. apart. Cut flowers when half open, and hang in bunches to dry for 2 or 3 weeks in a dry, dust-proof place to provide flowers for decoration all winter.
Helichrysum bracteatum, 3 ft. Erect plant with flowers up to 2 in. across from July to August. Many varieties available, and there is a dwarfer 18-in. mixture.
HELI0TR0PIUM (CHERRY PIE, HELIOTROPE)
A half-hardy perennial often treated as an annual. The large attractively scented flower heads are useful for bedding in a mass or using as dot plants. Sow in a greenhouse in February or March, harden off in late April for planting out in late May.
Heliotropum arborescens, 1 to 1-½. A number of single-colour summer-flowering varieties are available: among the best is Marine, deep violet, with massive heads. Regale Hybrids make a good mixture.
A group of everlasting flowers, the two best types normally being listed in catalogues as Rhodanthe and Acroclineum. Both bear white, red and rose-coloured flowers, which are papery-petalled and can be dried. Does well in a sunny position on a poor soil. Sow seed in green-house in March, harden off in April, plant out in late May, l ft. apart.
Heliplerum manglesii (syn. Rhodanthe manglesii), 15 in. A neat plant with clusters of dainty, hanging, conical flower heads of pink, white and rose.
H, roseum (syn. Acroclineum roseum), 1-½ ft. Pink, rose and white flowers, at their best in the double mixtures, on long stems on bushy plants; useful in the garden and for cutting.
Brilliant, sweet-scented flowers of white, red, pink, purple or lilac from early summer onward. Plants do best on light, well-drained soils in open, sunny spot. Sow seed early April in the open, and often they will seed themselves for the following year. Thin out to 6 in. apart.
amara (hyacinth-flowered candytuft), 15 in. Upright-growing plants with long 6-in. Spikes of white flowers, good for cutting.
I. umbellata, 6 to 12 in. There are many good named varieties and of the mixtures the Dwarf Fairy Mixed is the best.
Two forms of balsam are commonly grown in this country: the camellia-flowered type and the busy Lizzie. Both make good pot plants, and the latter is good also for bedding in shady damp spots outdoors. Sow seed in the greenhouse during March or April, harden off, and plant out in late May, 1 ft. apart.
Impatiens balsamina (garden balsam), 1-½ ft. The camellia-flowered type is the most important form, and bears large double camellia-like flowers close to the thick fleshy stems. A bushy form holding the flowers above the leaves is also available.
I. holstii (busy Lizzie), 2 to 3 ft. The new Fl Hybrid ‘Baby’ forms, 1 to 1-1/2ft, are a great improvement in this class both as pot plants and for bedding out. They are compact, floriferous and have a good colour range with attractive foliage. Summer-flowering.
IPOMEA (MORNING GLORY)
Half-hardy and hardy
Climbers which grow well in warm, sunny situations on fences and other supports outdoors, or in the greenhouse. The flowers are large and trumpet-like. Sow seed in the greenhouse in March or April, after soaking the seed overnight and chipping any unswollen hard seeds.
Harden off, and plant out in late May.
Ipomea purpurea (syn. Convolvulus major) is the hardiest species and a number of varieties and mixtures are available which have heart-shaped leaves, hairy stems, and make a good covering on trellis work with flowers all summer. Can be sown outdoors in April.
I. tricolor (syn. I. Rubro-caerulea). Heavenly Blue has beautiful sky-blue flowers -4 in. across, which will cover the plant each morning from July to August in a good summer, only to fade in the afternoon, ready for the next morning’s flowers. Other colours are now available.
KOCHIA (BURNING BUSH, SUMMER CYPRESS)
This feathery, light green, shrubby-looking plant is often used as a dot plant in bedding schemes. Sow seed in a greenhouse in March, harden off in April, plant out in late May 1-1/2ft. Apart or where they are required. May also be sown outdoors in April.
Kochia scoparia, 2 ft. An oval or rounded bush with finely divided light green foliage.
K.s. trichophylla gradually deepens to red in autumn.
K.s. Childsii is green throughout its life.
A tall-growing plant covered with attractive trumpet-shaped flowers, which makes an interesting show at the back of a border or as temporary screening. Sow seed in the flowering position in early April, and thin out to 1-1/2 ft. apart.
Lavatera trimestris, 3 ft. A strong branching plant with light green leaves and pink and white flowers from summer to autumn in the varieties Loveliness and Splendens alba.
Leplosyne stillmanii (syn. Coreopsis stillmanii), 1-½ ft. has large daisy-like yellow flowers on long stems in summer and early autumn. Golden Rosette, a double, is the best form, and makes a good cut flower. Sow in April, thin out to 1 ft. apart. Flowers about 10 weeks after sowing.
An attractive annual which looks like a small spurred snapdragon. A bushy plant well suited for edging or blocking in borders. Remove dead flower heads to promote prolonged flowering. Sow in flowering positions in March or April, and thin out to 6 in apart. Flowers in June.
Linaria maroccana, 9 to 15 in. Available in a dwarf form of excellent colour range known as Fairy Bouquet, and also a taller Excelsior mixture. Both contain rose, red, orange, yellow, mauve and white flowers.
Beautifully showy plants which do well in a light soil and sunny spot. Sow seed in September, March or April in flowering positions. Thin out to 9 in. apart.
Linum grandiflorum (scarlet flax), l ft. An erect plant with pointed leaves, and l-in. diameter scarlet flowers in the L.g.rubrum variety. Other colours are available. Flowers in June and July.
L usitatissimum (common flax), 2 ft. A plant with thin wand-like growth, and small sky-blue flowers in July and August.
This biennial or perennial is widely grown for edging or bedding, and is thus treated as a half-hardy annual. Excellent for edging when used in combination with other plants, or in its own varied colours. Sow seed in February or March in a healed greenhouse, harden off during late April, plant out in late May.
Lobelia erinus 4 to 6 in. and trailing. Two groups of varieties have been developed: the compact varieties such as Blue Stone, Cambridge Blue, White Lady and Mrs. Clibran (a deep blue with white eye), which are well suited to bedding and edging; and trailing varieties like Sapphire, which are good for window-boxes and hanging baskets. Summer-flowering.
Lychnis coeli-rosa is usually listed as Agrostemma coeli-rosa, while L. c-r. occulata is found as Viscaria occulala. Both are showyfor a sunny border, and should be sown in flowering positions in March or April and thinned out to 9 in. apart.
Lychmis coeli-rosa (rose of heaven), 1 ft. plants covered with rose-coloured white-centred flowers from June to August.
L.c-r. Occulata (viscaria), 8 to 15 in. A number of dwarf and tall varieties are available in an excellent colour range 1-½ high includes blue, red, while and pink.
MALCOM1A (VIRGINIAN STOCK)
Malcomia maritima, 6 in. Usually grown as a mixture of colours. Small flowers of crimson, mauve, red, yellow and white cover the plants, which grow easily on any soil. Sow in April where they are to flower in summer. May be mixed with night-scented slock (Matthiola bicornis).
Produces showy trumpet-like flowers of pink, red, rose and white from July to September; good for cutting. Likes a sunny situation and a rich soil. Sow seed early April out-of-doors where plants are to flower. Thin out to 12 in. apart.
Malope trifida, 3 ft. A branching plant with attractive leaves and a number of different-coloured varieties, including M.t. grandiflora. A rose-red. Flowers from July to September.
Really a form of Chrysanthemum parthenium. But is usually listed as Matricaria. Is grown for both foliage and flower. Likes a warm, sunny situation and a good rich soil. Sow in greenhouse in March, and plant out in May, 9 in. apart.
Matricaria eximea. 1 ft. Dwarf bushy plants that flower for a long time, with quilled button-like blooms. Excellent for bedding and edging, especially the Silver and Golden Ball varieties.
Hardy and half-hardy
The popular sweetly-scented stocks, and the night-scented stocks belong to this class. They flower in summer, the former in shades of red, pink, yellow, blue, mauve and white, and like a deep well-manured soil and sunny position.
Matthiola bicornis (night-scented stock), 1 ft. Pretty single lilac flowers. Good for edging, especially when mixed with Virginian stock. Flowers open in evening and are strongly fragrant. Sow seed in April where plants are to flower, and thin to 6 in. apart.
M. incana (stock), l to 2-½ ft. A number of classes have been developed, including: large-Flowered Dwarf Ten-Week, l ft. Compact branching plants in large colour range. The fully double forms are germinated in a greenhouse, thethen put in a frame for I days, and the light green seedlings pricked out and the dark green discarded. This will yield all double plants.
Giant Excelsior Column, 2-½ ft. Non-branching type in a good colour range, well suited to cutting.
Giant Perfection Ten-Week, 2 ft. Erect plants good for bedding and cutting.
All the above types may be sown in the spring in the greenhouse and planted out; or sown outdoors in April.
East Lothian or Intermediate, 15 in. Dwarf bushy plants, seed of which can be sown in summer for flowering the following year, or in early spring for bloom the same year.
A great many species make up this class.
Mesembryanthemum criniflorum (Livingstone daisy), 4 in. The best-known species and one of the most brilliant annuals, with 1-in. diameter daisy flowers with glowing petals of red, yellow, pink, orange and salmon, which cover the thick succulent foliage. The flowers close at night and in dull weather. Sow seed in its flowering position in April or May, or sow in the greenhouse in March and plant out in late May to flower in summer.
MIMULUS (MONKEY FLOWER)
Thickly covered with two-lipped, often bicoloured and spotted flowers from July to August. Sow seed in greenhouse in March, harden off in April and plant out late May 12 in. apart.
Mimulta tigrinus (syn. Hybridus grandiflorus), 1 ft. The name usually given to the hybrid forms listed in catalogues, among which the Monarch Mixed and Queen’s Prize give a good colour range. Plants do well in a damp spot on good soil.
Used for bedding out; brilliant and dainty flowers of orange, red, yellow and blue from July to September. Sow seed in greenhouse in March, harden off in April, plant out in late May, 6 in apart.
Nemesia strumosa, 6 to 12 in. The dwarf compacta varieties are good for bedding, have an upright habit and good colour range, especially the Triumph mixed; the Carnival type has larger flowers. The taller Suttonii types are more straggly.
Narrow leaves, and deeply saucershaped white or blue flowers in summer. Does well on a sandy soil rich in humus, and in a slightly shaded position. Cut flowers last well in water. Sow seed in mid-March where plants are to flower, thin out to 6 in. apart. In the south of Great Britain they can be sown in September.
Nemophila menziesii (baby blue eyes), 6 in. Often listed as N. insignis. A pretty annual covered in masses of white-centred, sky-blue flowers.
NICOTIANA (TOBACCO PLANT)
Largish hairy leaves, and purple, red, pink and white flowers from July to September. The flowers are sweetly scented, and therefore often placed near the house. Does well on a rich soil in a sunny, sheltered spot. Sow seed in greenhouse in March, harden off in April, plant out mid-May, 1-½ ft. apart.
Nicotiana alata, 2 to 3 ft. N.a. Grandiflora is usually listed as N. affinis, and the present hybrids do not close their flowers in the daytime as did the older varieties. The tubular 2-in. diameter flowers are borne in clusters of various colours, from white to yellow, mauve, rose, red or crimson in the Sensation Mixed, and are also available as separate colours.
NIGELLA (Love-in-a-mist, Devil-in-the-Bush)
Peculiar rose, white or blue flowers, in July and August. Good for cutting. Sow seed late in March in open sunny spot where plants are to flower, or sow in mid-September and thin out to 9 in. apart. The balloon-like seed heads and spiky leaves can be used for floral decorations, and when dried may be gilded.
Nigella damascena, 1-½ to 2 ft. Finely divided leaves and showy blue, white or rose double flowers on a bushy plant. Miss Jekyll is a very attractive blue.
Showy plant with large, somewhat soft open flowers in summer. Prefers a good sunny spot and light soil, but will succeed almost anywhere. Sow mid-March where plants are to flower. Thin out to 1 ft. apart. Plants will seed themselves.
Papaver rhoeas (Shirley poppy), 2 ft. A development of the scarlet cornfield poppy. The single and double Shirley types are most attractive and popular, with their delicate range of colours.
P. somniferum (opium poppy), 3 ft. Pearl-grey lobed leaves, with large, double 5-in. Blooms in carnation and paeony-flow-ered forms, which last better than the singles.
Very extensively used for bedding, making a wonderful show of trumpet-shaped flowers in many different colours from July to September. Prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny spot. Does best in a hot, dry summer. Sow seed early March in greenhouse, harden off in April, plant out late May, l ft. apart.
Petunia hybrida. Many types and sizes of bloom are available under this heading, including: Balcony or Pendula, trailing. Large-and small-bloomed types, excellent for window boxes.
Giant of California. 5- to 7-in. diameter ruffled blooms in tall (15 in.) and dwarf (10 in.) varieties. Good for pots.
Grandillora, l ft. large, slightly ruffled blooms, good for bedding.
Grandiflora Double, 1 ft. Large double flowers like a carnation, excellent in pots.
Multiflora, 1 ft. Excellent for bedding, very floriferous, especially the new F.1 hybrids. Large colour range.
Superbissima, 15 in. Large-flowered with veined throat-markings.
Produces attractive bell-shaped flowers in profusion from July to September, in a sheltered, sunny spot. A great favourite of the bees. Sow in September or early April where plants are to flower. Thin to 9 in. apart.
Phaceliacampanularia, 9 in. Compact early-flowering plants with royal-blue bell-shaped flowers l in. across.
Beautiful plant for bedding out. Produces flat heads of flower in red, pink, purple, blue or white from July onward. Likes a rich soil in a sunny spot. Sow seed in greenhouse in March, harden off in April, plant out late May, 9 in. apart.
drummondii, 6 to 18 in. The P.d. Grandiflora varieties are tall and rather open-growing. For bedding or edging the P.d. Nana compacta forms are preferable, the Cecily mixed and Dwarf Globe being very good forms. There are also a number of single-colour selections, and the star-like stellatas, such as Twinkle mixed.
Low-growing, fleshy plants with red, yellow, rose or white single or double flowers from July to September. Likes a dry and even poor soil. Thrives in a sunny position. Sow seed in greenhouse in late March, harden off in May and plant out in June.
Portulaca grandiflora (rose moss, sun plant), 4 in. A creeping plant with narrow cylindrical leaves, and bright flowers-opening as the sun rises. The double forms are the most showy. Excellent for edging.
Grown for its unusual and distinctive scent, it also attracts bees. Sow seed in early April in a soil which is not short of lime. Thin out to 9 in. apart.
Reseda odorata, 15 in. A number of varieties varying from bright red to light yellow are available, and all have loose spikes of heavily scented flowers, June to October.
RICINUS (CASTOR OIL PLANT)
A useful foliage plant with large leaves, unusual flowers and seed pods. Sow the bean-like seeds in the greenhouse in March and plant out where required in late May, or sow outdoors in late April.
Ricinus communis, 4 to 10 ft. A very attractive rapid-growing plant in its Cibsoni form, which grows to 4 ft. and has dark red leaves and stems. A number of taller types and different colours are available.
RUDBECKIA (CONE PLOWER)
Striking plants with daisy-like flowers and a prominent, dark, raised centre. Likes a rich soil and a sunny spot. Sow seed in greenhouse in March, harden off in April, plant out l ft. apart in May.
Rudbeckia bicolor, 1-½ to 2 ft. A number of varieties in various colours are available, all flowering in July on long stems suitable for cut flower arrangements.
R. hirta (black-eyed Susan), 2 ft. A biennial usually grown as an annual, the hybrid mixture and golden-yellow My Joy are good varieties. The very large-flowered Gloriosa types are excellent for the back of a border. Summer-flowering.
SALPIGLOSSIS (PAINTED TONGUE)
Beautiful trumpet-shaped flowers,splendid for cutting. Likes a rich soil and sunny, sheltered spot outdoors, though often flowered in the greenhouse. Sow seed in greenhouse early March, harden off in April, and plant out late May, l ft. apart. Salpiglossis sinuata, 1-½ to 2 ft. Bears pale green, hairy,sticky leaves; its flowers, 2 in. long and 2 in. across, appear in August. The mixed strains such as Emperor Gloxiniaflora or Bolero have blooms of crimson, scarlet, blue, yellow and primrose, often veined, marked, and slashed with gold.
Hardy and half-hardy
A very large genus of which the hardy Salvia horminum (often listed as clary) and the half-hardy S. splendens are best known. Salvia horminum (clary), 1-1/2ft. Makes a bushy plant, with spikes of showy bracts useful for cut flower arrangements from June to August. Pink, purple, blue and white forms are available, and all are found in the Monarch Bouquet Mixed.
S. splendens (scarlet sage), 8 to 12 in. Well-known brilliant scarlet bedding plant. At its best in the Blaze of Fire (l ft.) and dwarfer Scarlet Pigmy (8 in.). Salmon, pink and violet forms are also available. Summer-flowering.
SCABIOSA (ANNUAL SCABIOUS, PIN CUSHION FLOWER)
A lovely flower, in a number of colours, from late July to September. Good for cutting. Likes light soil, sunny position. Sow seed early April where plants are to flower and thin out to l ft. apart, or sow in the greenhouse in March and plant out in May for earlier flowering.
Scabiosa atropurpurea, 2 to 3 ft. Long-stemmed flowers of blue, crimson, pink, maroon, salmon, yellow, pink and white in separate colours or as a mixture, of which the cone-shaped Cockade is best. A dwarf 1-1/2 ft. mixture is also available.
TACETES (AFRICAN and FRENCH MARIGOLDS)
Brilliantly coloured yellow, golden, orange or red-bronze flowers, with a pungent scent some people find objectionable. Often used for bedding. Sow-seed in greenhouse in March, harden off in April and plant out late May.
Tagetes erecta (African marigold), 1 to 2-1/2 ft. Tall, intermediate and dwarf varieties available in a range of, carnation, quilled and regular double forms. A selection is best made from a catalogue. The tall varieties are ideal for the back of a border and the dwarf, such as Spun Gold, for edging. Flowers in July.
T. patula (French marigold), 9 to 15 in. A dwarf range of plants with double and single flowers in August on compact plants; ideal for bedding out and edging. The Petite range are very good dwarf doubles; Dwarf and Dainty Marietta are excellent singles in yellow and crimson.
T. signata, 8 in. Normally listed simply as tagetes; the pumila varieties such as Golden Gem, Gnome and Lulu (canary yellow) cannot be excelled as edging or bedding plants. Summer-flowering.
Has brilliant, showy, scented flowers, in both dwarf and climbing types. The latter are used to cover fences and sheds. Sow seed in April where plants are to flower, thin out to l ft. apart.
Tropaeolum majus, l ft. and climbing. The popular summer-flowering garden nasturtium, climbing and trailing, with yellow, orange and scarlet spurred flowers. Many dwarf and compact types have been developed, and they are divided into dwarf Tom Thumb, semi-tall Gleam, and dwarf double or Globe. All are best on a poor, dry soil otherwise the flowers are hidden by the foliage. On rich soil, the varieties Cherry Rose and Jewel Mixed are good, as their flowers are held above the leaves.
T. peregrinum (canary creeper). Climbs up to 7 ft., attractive on a trellis. Golden-yellow green-spurred flowers in summer.
URSINIA (JEWEL ON THE VELDT)
Members of the daisy family with brilliant colours of orange and yellow. Plants flower at their best from July to September in full sun. Sow seed in greenhouse in mid-March, harden ofFin April, plant out early May, 9 in. apart, or sow outdoors in late April.
Ursinia anethoides. 15 in. Finely cut foliage and vivid orange daisy-like, purple-centred flowers on thin stems.
VENIDIUM (NAMAQUALAND DAISY)
Brilliant orange, daisy-like flowers borne in profusion from July to September. Good for cutting. Sow seed in green-house in April, harden off and plant out in late May, 1-½. apart, or sow in flowering positions in late April.
Venidium fastuosum, 2 to 2-½ ft. Brilliant orange flowers 4 in. across, with a large shiny black disk. Leaves and buds covered with silvery white hairs. A number of hybrids and varieties are available.
Good bedding-out plant with brilliant red, blue, pink, lilac or white flowers from July to October. Sow seed in greenhouse in late February, harden off in April and plant out late May in well-manured soil.
Verbena canadensis (syn. V. aubletia), 1 ft. The compacta form has rosy-mauve heads of flower on a neat, open plant.
V. hybrida is really a perennial but is usually grown as an annual. Bushy plants with clusters of flowers l ft. high in the V.h. Grandiflora Mammoth types, and 9 in. high in the Sparkle forms, which are the neatest and best for edging and bedding.
Brilliant, tall and dwarf varieties for bed-ding and cutting, with yellow, red, pink, lilac, mauve, orange and white flowers. Sow seed in greenhouse in March, harden off in May and plant out in early June, or sow outdoors in early May, after treating the seed with a seed dressing.
Zinnia angustifolia (syn. Z. mexicana, Z. haageana), 1 ft. A number of attractive free-flowering types which do well from an outdoor sowing, especially the double-flowered Persian Carpet Mixed, which has many unusual bicolours.
Z. elegans, 6 in. to 2-½ ft. A number of types flowering in summer and autumn have been developed; these include three divisions: ‘tall’ 2-½ to 3 ft.; ‘intermediate’ 1-½ to 2 ft.; ‘dwarf’ 6 to 18 in.
Tall: Giant dahlia-flowered, a regular double form. Giant of California, larger and more domed than giant dahlia type. Super Giants have quilled petals and chrysanthemum-like flowers.
Intermediate: fantasy, very heavily quilled petals. Scabious-flowered, crested scabious-like flowers. Gaillardia, like double annual gaillardia.
Dwarf: Pumila, 1-½ ft., regular double flowers. Lilliput, 1 ft., dwarf with double regular flowers. Thumbelina, 6 in., very dwarf form excellent for edging.