This week I have heard several complaints about this summer in the UK. Whilst I agree that it wasn’t a patch on last year regarding high temperatures I can’t agree that it’s been a bad year for gardens. Here’s why:
My shrubs and perennials have performed exactly as I expected. We have had loads of flowers and now the fruits are ripening. There are apples, damsons and blackberries for us plus rose hips and all manner of seeds for the wildlife. The fruit is lovely but without doubt the stars of our garden this year have been the annuals, some hardy, others tender.
I’ve been taking a few photos in the sunshine this morning and the colours are still vibrant and summery.
To say that I am thrilled to bits with my annual flowers is an understatement. They have been brilliant all summer and now autumn is almost here some of them are still going strong. Last week several people asked me how on earth I still had Sweet Peas in bloom.
So what’s the secret?
Successional Sowing. That’s what does the trick!
- Sow in autumn for early flowers in spring.
- Sow again in early spring (March) to fill any gaps.
- Sow again in May for flowers later on in the year.
It doesn’t have to be hard work. There are many hardy annuals that you can sow directly into the soil this autumn and they will look after themselves. As long as they have the right growing conditions in a sunny spot then a few plants will produce hundreds of flowers for you next year.
Don’t just take my word for it. Garden bloggers all over the UK are singing the benefits of autumn sowing. Plants produce good root systems in autumn and winter then as soon as temperatures rise and days lengthen in spring wooosh the plants start sending out shoots and beautiful flowers.
Some annuals are particularly lovely at this time of year. Dahlias for instance and my current favourite Scabiosa atropurpurea. (Which is actually a short lived perennial grown as an annual) It’s great to have plants to extend the flowering season. Summer is drawing to a close but we don’t have to say goodbye to our flowers just yet. Woo Hoo!
I’ve cut some Scabiosa atropurpurea (actually Tall Mixed – but I just wanted the blue flowers today) to go with some Ammi visnaga in a little vase for the house. Heaven.
I hope the sun is shining wherever you are. Happy Gardening.