Annuals can get a bad reputation with gardeners as they need to be replaced every year. However, one huge bonus of using annuals in your garden is that they grow very quickly and fill up an empty space at a very low cost. Here at GAP Gardens, we are huge fans of annuals. Here are five fantastic annuals that can be sown now, grow quickly and produce fabulous colour.
Nigella – Love-in-the-Mist:
A very pretty annual, with lovely flowers and a romantic name. It goes onto produce particularly ornamental seedpods in late summer to early autumn – so a great choice for flower arrangers.
Tagetes – Marigold:
This isn’t the edible variety of marigold, but this annual is still a useful choice in vegetable gardens. Often gardeners plant marigolds around crops such as tomatoes, that are vulnerable to attack from garden pests. They act as a great buffer between hungry slugs and succulent vegetables and the smell of marigold’s foliage confuses passing bugs. They also are a magnet to pollinators.
Centaurea cyanus – Cornflowers:
Cornflowers are loved by pollinators, produce edible flowers and are one of the few true-blue flowered plants. They are easily grown from seed and make great additions to beds and borders, as well as cut flower arrangements. They are also hardy, so you can start them in autumn and plant them out for earlier colour the following spring and summer.
Tropaeolum majus – Nasturtiums images:
Nasturtiums have multiple benefits, the leaves and flowers are edible, they cover and climb and are available in all sorts of colours. They are grown easily from seed and make brilliant companion plants in vegetable gardens, to discourage pests from going after your crops.
Eschscholzia californica – California poppy:
The vibrant yellow-orange flowers of this annual are breath-taking, especially when grown in mass. As well as being attractive to pollinators, they also do particularly well in poor soil and are surprisingly draught tolerant for such a little plant. A good choice for that hot dry spot where you want a bit of colour.