Nowadays, the spread and growth of the perennial plants in our garden has left insufficient space for some of the annuals to reach maturity. I have to be careful, therefore, where and how I sow them. Seeds such as poppies, corncockle and cornflower are sown broadcast near the front of borders in areas which have ox-eye daisy and wild campion growing there already.
For smaller seeds such as violas, fennel, dill and marigolds, I grow them firstly in trays, thinning them out when they are about an inch high and potting them up until they are sturdy enough to be planted in the garden. For larger individual seeds, such as sunflowers and artichokes, I use plastic trays called root-trainers, which facilitate the growth of a deep root system on each individual plant. After that stage, I pot them up, and transplant them when they fully grown.
Climbing annuals such as nasturtium, convolvulus and canary creeper are planted in situ, often where they will grow over arches, up trellis or through a hedge. The speed with which these tiny seeds grow, as well as the height they achieve, and, best of all, their vibrant palette of colours, never fails to amaze me.
Flambouyant! - Today's flambouyant (Royal poinciana) blooms take the show. I grew this tree from seeds I collected in Guyana 5 and a half years ago.
10 months ago