We are huge fans of growing plants by seed. Not only is it tremendous fun to grow your own seedlings, but they allow you to try new plants and fill in any awkward planting gaps. In fact there is almost no end to the uses of annuals, they serve as tasty treats to pollinators as well as wonderful additions to any cutting garden.
At Butterworth Horticulture we are suckers for a luscious herbaceous border. However after young perennials have been planted with the appropriate amount of space, it is common to find that the borders look slightly sparse – it can take a while for a perennial to fill its allotted space.
If, like us, you’re an advocate of variety and change in a garden, annuals will certainly work their advantage. They are an inexpensive solution and can be used in multiple ways to enhance perennial beds.
Annual planting is a brilliant way to make a herbaceous border look luscious in its first year or two. They will bloom more freely, and over a longer period of time than most perennials, making them exceedingly useful in tiding your garden over between perennial blooming cycles. Annuals aren’t simply nifty space-fillers, but a fun way to add interest to your borders year after year.
Our range for this year sees the return of a few of our favourites, such as Lathyrus ‘Beaujolais’, a deliciously scented sweet-pea that featured in Jamie’s gold medal-winning garden, scrambling through espalier fruit trees.
Like the designers that we work with closely, we are huge fans of umbellifers of all shapes and sizes and have noticed an increasing demand. Our range includes the usual suspects, namely Daucus carota, Ammi majus and Anethum, that are indisputably brilliant space fillers that supply borders with an abundance of delicate lacy texture.
However for 2020 we have also included some brilliant varieties that are new to our collection. These include Ammi visnaga ‘Green Mist’ that ticks all of the boxes with its textural, feathery foliage and large lacelike flowers that emerge as a lime-green and mature to a greenish-white, the blooms appearing more domed as they open. This year we are also growing Anethum ‘Mariska’, a popular variety of Dill which is particularly great for cutting as it boasts tighter, more robust umbels – not to mention is gorgeously heady fragrance.
Although annuals are generally considered as a means of vibrant summer colour, we are growing Lunaria annua for is gorgeously translucent seedheads that are unpreceded for delicate winter beauty.
If you would like more information on our selection of annuals, please get in touch with a member of the team.
Written by: Gaby Pill
Images: Lynn Keddie & Jonathan Ward