Annuals For The Gardener

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Annual Plant Recommendations

ANNUALS. These provide the bright displays of colour in our gar­dens. They are the plants which, raised from seed in Autumn, Spring and Summer, give us flowers in season in massed form for cutting and garden decoration, and then die off. No garden, worth-while, can do without its beds of annuals.

Mostly it pays to make up your beds generously to get quality and quantities of flowers. That applies to each rotation of planting, whether of Stocks, Iceland Poppies, Pansies, Violas, Calendulas, Sweet Peas (in mild climates) and Nemesias for Winter and Spring flowering, or Dahlias (treated as annuals), African Marigolds, Zinnias, Phlox, Asters and Amaranthus in Summer. Delphiniums, too, like deeply dug and richly pre­ pared soil, whether treated as late Winter and Spring bloomers, or as Summer beautifiers, as they are in colder climates.

Antirrhinums, or Snapdragons, rub along with less fuss, and Nasturtiums are better for poor soil.

Deep digging is best. Break soil finely, and after each batch of plants is removed, add a ration (about one inch) of cool farmyard manure. A lime dressing is necessary in areas of high rainfall, and with it give a sprinkling of any balanced fertiliser – about a handful to each yard run. Slightly rnore for poorer soils. Turn these all in 5 or 6 inches deep, and mix well through the soil.

Seeds are best sown in seed boxes or beds of light porous soil, prefer­ably coarse sand, with a leavening of mould or very old manure; the latter is merely to hold a little mois­ture. Raise in sunlight.

Rich soil is not advisable for rais­ing seedlings. It is liable to cause soft growth and hasten ”damping­ off” in wet weather. A light, sandy medium allows easy root forage and builds a good ball of fibrous roots. This aids transplanting.


Only a few of the hardier annuals are sown where they are to grow. Such as Alyssum, Portulaca, Ager­atum, Virginia Stock and Celosia can be broadcast and lightly raked. Large seeds of Zinnias and Dahlias can be sown individually, 9 to 15 inches apart, and just buried under a soft soil topping. Constant water­ing is essential to keep the surface moist and prevent ”caking” for this method of sowing, vigilance and attendance is required untill germination in case of dry weather.

Hardy and Half Hardy Annuals

Hardy annuals are those which thrive under cold, frost and heat in most climates. They are many. Half hardy annuals -usually so marked in catalogues-need more coddling and mostly are raised under cover till frosts are past. Then they can be tranplanted to open beds.

Annuals for Winter and Spring Blooming

Sow in Autumn
Acroclinium; Ageratum; Alonsoa; Alyssum; Anchusa; Anemone; Antir­rhinum (Snapdragon); Calcndula; Calliopsis; Candytuft (Iberis); Cen­taurea (Cornflower); Chrysanthemum (annual); Cineraria; Clarkia; Del­phinium; Dianthus; Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis); Freesia; Godetia; Gypophila; Larkspurs; Leptosyne; Linaria; Linum; Lobelia; Lupins; Mathiola (Stock); Mignonette; Nemesia; Nemophila; Nigella (Love-in-a-Mist); Pansies; Polyanthus; Poppies (Ice­ land and Shirley); Primulas; Ranun­culus; Schizanthus (Poor Man’s Orchid) ; Stocks; Sweet Peas; Viola; Virginian Stock; Wallflower.s (annual).

Summer Flowering Annuals

Sow in Spring
Acroclinium (E.erlasting) ; Ager­atum; Alonsoa; Alyssum; Antir­rhinum; Asters (annuals); Balsam; Begonias (Bedding); Brachycome (Swan River Daisy) ; Calliopsis (annual); Capsicum (Ornamental Chili); Cclosia, or Cockscomb; Coleus; Cosmos; Dahlia; Dianthus; Didiscus (litte Lace Flower) : Dimor­ photheca; Eschscholtzia (Californian Poppy) ; Gaillardia (annual type) ; Globe Amaranth (Gomphrcna); Gypsophila; Helichrysum (Straw­ flower, Everlasting) ; Hunnemannia (Mexican Poppy); Kochia Marigold (African); Matricaria (Camomile); Nasturtium; Petunia; Phlox Drum­mondi; Portulaca: Salpiglossis: Salvia ( treat as annual); Saponaria; Seabiosa; Sunflower (annual) ; Tithonia; Torenia; Ursinia; Verbena; Viscaria; Zinnia.

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