Spring Flowers

Five Favourite Annuals to Sow Now

Easy growing annuals are some of the simplest plants to grow, as you can sow them straight into the ground. These are some of my favourites for filling in gaps in the borders.

1. NIGELLA DAMASCENA or Love-in-a-mist is one of the first plants I remember as a child with its lovely flowers and fantastic seed pods. Go for ‘Mrs Jekyll’ a lovely sky blue, or ‘Persian Jewels’ a sugary pastel mix. Grows to 45cm (18in) tall.

2. QUAKING GRASS or Briza maxima isn’t the brightest of bloomers, but the shimmering seed heads are an absolute delight - especially when combined with other annuals in a vase. Grows to a tidy 45cm (18in) tall.

3. POPPY ‘LADYBIRD’ is that vibrant classic scarlet of wild field poppies with a lovely black splodge at the base of each petal. Combine that with ferny green foliage and it looks great anywhere in the garden, especially as it’s a neat 38-45cm (15-18in) tall.

4. POT MARIGOLD or Calendula is a firm favourite of mine with its bright green leaves topped with bright orange or yellow flowers to a height of 38-45cm (15-18in) tall. Brilliant for bees.

5. POACHED EGG PLANT or Limnanthes douglasii looks just as it sounds, with cheery round flowers of yellow and white on dense mounds of fresh green leaves only 15-20cm (6-8in) tall. It will grow almost anywhere and seeds itself freely so you may only have to sow it once yourself!