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Flower Border full of Annuals

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Garden Beds and gate
Page 14
 Annuals-Flowers for a Summer Display. 

Annual Flowers.   

                     Permanent plants, like shrubs and herbaceous perennials take some time too fill their alotted space. However it not difficult to create instant borders full of summer colour, by inter planting the shrubs with blocks of annuals. You may  occasionally need to trim  back the annuals a little  to ensure that they do not inhibit the growth of the more permanent subjects.

Lavatera:  From  July to October, graceful, pastel-coloured  cups stand out against  the blue-green  foliage of the mallow Clusters of stems that can reach  6Ocm in height make a handsome,  branching  clump.
  • Marigolds: The marigold (Calendula)  is a favourite in the country garden  for its pretty orange-yellow,  sometimes  pink-tinged, single or double flowers.  The plants flourish for   many months,  even managing a few flowers in most months  of a mild winter.
Avoid seed mixtures:  Assortments  are a bad idea  invented by seed merchants.  The pack may contain  an odd mix of varieties called 'scented', 'wild', 'for shade'  or 'for dry ground'.  Often,  the pack doesn't provide specific information  on each  variety,  so you won't  know the correct conditions  for successful planting. The result tends  to be disappointing,  with one or two prolific varieties taking over.
Don't use fresh manure:  Even if it is well decomposed,  fresh  manure contains too much nitrogen  for seeds. This makes the plants produce too much leaf and stem growth, at the expense of robust flowers.  Sow  on ground that was manured two years previously,  or follow a centuries old gardening practice and enrich the soil with a green crop such as mustard  or clover.
Buy some plants in plugs: Some  plants are difficult to grow from seed. Plugs are a better option for gerbera,  calceolaria,  Bells of Ireland (Molucella), lisianthus  and aster (Callistephus).  Verbena, petunia,  busy  lizzie (Impatiens)  and Begonia semperflorens are often available as young plants.
Newspaper  encourages germination:  Seeds  sprout more easily  when they are covered  in daytime with damp newspaper,  especially  in very hot weather.  Keep the paper in place  with tent pegs  or markers stuck in the ground.  This covering will also prevent the birds  from pillaging your seeds.
Cool-loving  plants:  Digitalis and primula  seeds  like to be covered  with a fine layer of organic  matte! such as leaf-mould  or garden  compost, which keeps the soil cool  and damp. Professionals  use vermiculite,  a light expanded mineral.
Sow an annual border from the centre  out: To sow a large bed without compacting  the freshly dug soil, start in the middle. Stand  on a plank and move it outwards  towards  the edges as you work. Rake over the flattened  strips of soil left by the plank each time you reposition  it.
  • If you are growing annuals for cutting, sow seeds  in rows. Sow  four rows,  then leave a space  before sowing another  four, and so on. The spaces will serve as paths so that you can pick the flowers  without  trampling  on them.

The colours of annuals and biennials
              Annuals and biennials come in nearly  every colour imaginable. Combine flowers and foliage  to make eye catching combinations, to complement  and contrast, and to provide a theme for your planting schemes.


Plants raised Cheaply from Seed.

Many  plants  can be cheaply and easily raised from seed, under  glass or in the ground.

For Autumn.
Hardy annuals,  such as sweet alyssum, candytuft, Californian poppy, cornflower, clarkia, larkspur (delphinium), linum, marigold, nemophila, nigella, poppy, rudbeckia,, scabious, silene, and sweet pea. Transplant the plants when they reach 3-4 cm in height, planting them directly in place. They will need to be in a sheltered corner of the garden. In spring these young plants will have a very feeble root system. Do not move them again or you might lose two-thirds of your crop.
Plant in their final position:
March to April: Gaillarda, Callifornian poppy, Chrsanthemum carinatum, clarkia, cornflower, everlasting flowers(Helipterum),lobularia, and marigolds
May: Convolvulus,  cosmos, everlasting flowers(Ammobium), godetia, love in a  mist, nasturtium, Virginia stock and zinnia.

Mini Index
 Skips pages. Gets you to a general area.
Garden Bulbs.
Lillies& Alliums.
Flowers until Frost.
Annuals For Summer.
Borders Full of Colour.
 Collecting Seeds.
Foliage Plants.
Garden Gate and flower borders
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