Category Archives: My favourite

5 Annuals Worth Growing

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.

Church View

Gravel path leading towards mature Apple tree, with wooden curved seat at its base, and late summer borders with perennials and grasses on sloping back cottage garden at Church View, Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria NGS - © Fiona Lea/GAP Photos

Gravel path leading towards mature Apple tree, with wooden curved seat at its base, and late summer borders with perennials and grasses on sloping back cottage garden at Church View, Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria NGS – © Fiona Lea/GAP Photos

A country garden the belies its youth in providing fullness, variety and an abundance of colour.

Although Church View is a fine old sandstone cottage, it has a newly developed back garden on a sloping site. Landscape gardener and plantsman, Ian Huckson, transformed the half-acre garden in just 3 years. It took one year of clearance and hard-landscaping followed by two years of planting and cultivation. The planting was carried out from autumn 2007 to spring 2008. The garden belies its youth in providing fullness, variety and an abundance of floral display. Ian takes particular pride in the design and quality of his plantings. Helen and Ian have worked together for many years and as Ian says, ‘we have similar garden tastes, which is great.’

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Breedenbroek

View of house from flowerbed - Breedenbroek, New Zealand - © Steven Wooster/GAP Photos

View of house from flowerbed – Breedenbroek, New Zealand – © Steven Wooster/GAP Photos

A 5 acre plot developed over 12 years to form a beautiful country garden.

Designed with the help of New Zealand Landscape Architect, Ben McMaster, the garden features four broad herbaceous borders sheltered by high hornbeam hedges and formal box-hedged rose beds linked by arches.

Bay hedges enclose a potager garden and beyond, there’s a small orchard. A natural creek meanders through the garden flowing into a large informal pond. A board walk leads you around the pond and through a native area. The garden is open for visitors.

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