Annuals

Liven up your garden instantly with annuals. Called annuals because they complete their life cycle in one season – many are hardy, simple to grow and add stunning colour to your garden without fuss. There are many benefits to the temporary nature of annuals and a huge variety available. Great for filling gaps in a perennial border or even helping you to decide on a colour scheme without commitment in a new flowerbed or garden. You can sow many annuals directly where you want them to grow in spring and enjoy them throughout the summer months. Some annuals make colourful companion plants in vegetable beds.

Lathyrus - Sweet peas growing up wigwam  - © Victoria Firmston/GAP Photos

Lathyrus – Sweet peas growing up wigwam – © Victoria Firmston/GAP Photos

Add height
For a quick lift plant climbing sweet peas – these fast growing, scented plants make lovely cut flowers. Plant the plugs or seeds in a flowerbed with a wigwam or canes and watch them grow.

Marigolds and Cornflowers - © Heather Edwards/GAP Photos

Marigolds and Cornflowers – © Heather Edwards/GAP Photos

Make a meadow
Annuals can be used for mass planting or bought in mixes to produce a summer meadow in your garden, large or small. Colourful and great for wildlife.

Cosmos bipinnatus Sonata mix - © Pernilla Bergdahl/GAP Photos

Cosmos bipinnatus Sonata mix – © Pernilla Bergdahl/GAP Photos

Flower arranging
Not only can annuals bring colour to your garden, they can brighten your home too.  Some make lovely cut flowers – Cosmos have lovely long stems and cutting and deadheading will prelong flowering.

Kitchen garden with Calendula officianalis - Heveningham, Suffolk - © Zara Napier/GAP Photos

Kitchen garden with Calendula officianalis – Heveningham, Suffolk – © Zara Napier/GAP Photos

Great companions
The strong colour of calendulas attracts hoverflies, lacewings and ladybirds. Bringing in good insects rather than repelling the bad will in turn help keep the aphid numbers down and they look great.