Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Annual delights.

Having spent a few evenings browsing through seed catalogues mulling over which annuals to grow this coming season, I decided finally upon a mixture of flowers, herbs and salad crops and have in my possession now several packets of seed including poppies, cornflower, corncockle, convolvulus, violas, nasturtium, sunflowers, calendulas, dill, fennel, sage and artichokes.

I like to see a combination of cultivated and wild flowers growing cheek by jowl in our garden as my interest in gardening grew from first admiring the beauty and simplicity of wild flowers growing in the countryside as a child. It has something to do with the idea of marrying the wild flowers with the cultivated garden plants, thereby ensuring continuity and harmony with nature.

In the early years of the garden it was easy enough to sow the seeds in situ where I wanted them to grow, as there was a fair amount of space between the perennials, thus allowing sufficient sunlight and rain to reach the tiny seeds and help nurture them to maturity. At the end of the season when the annuals had finished blooming, I would collect some of the seed-heads and store them in order to repeat the pattern the following Spring.


Iowa Gardening Woman said...

What a beautiful photo of nasturtiums! Do you ever include the flowers and leaves in your salads? I have never tried them but understand some folks do.

A wildlife gardener said...

Occasionally I add them, though it's more to beautify the look of the dish! Whenever I grow them the cabbage white butterflies lay their eggs on them, which I allow because I'm a believer in the conservation of butterflies. However, nature makes sure some of the caterpillars are eaten by the birds and I love having birdsong in the garden too.