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Hardy annuals can be sown directly into their flowering positions in the spring and will tolerate a certain amount of cold. Well-known flowers such as sweet peas, poppies, stocks and sunflowers fall under this category, as do some of the more unusual flowers - gomphocarpus & ratibida for example.You may also like to view our range of half-hardy annual seeds which can be sown in early spring.
Sunflower 'Russian Giant'
A giant among annuals. Give them plenty of room and you will be rewarded with plants up to 3m (10ft) tall with huge yellow flowers often 30cm(12in) in diameter. Useful to grow against an unsightly shed or fence. Birds love the seeds so grow a few plants close to the house and watch them feed in the autumn. Flowers summer. Height 8-10ft.
Culinary note: Some parts of these flowers are edible. For more details about edible flowers click here.
Companion planting: Try growing sunflowers with chives to deter aphids.
Useful links:More info
Lupin 'Avalune Lilac'
Lupinus hartwegiiQuite unlike perennial varieties, this dwarf, hardy annual Lupin has a more relaxed shape that is perfectly suited to growing at the front of borders. Lupin 'Avalune Lilac' forms a low bushy plant with masses of short bicolour flower spikes throughout summer. The contrasting purple and white blooms have a lovely sweet fragrance similar to sweet peas. This quick growing annual flowers in just 12 weeks from sowing making it perfect for bedding displays and filling gaps at the front of borders. Grow it in large drifts for maximum impact. Height: 40cm (16"). Spread: 35cm (14"). More info
Sunflower 'Tall Timbers'
A hybrid form of 'Russian Giant' offering improved vigour. If it's a record breaker you are after, this is the one to grow in 2015! Reaching 4m (13ft) with no special care, 'Tall Timbers' also produces impressive flowers with rich chocolatey centres - the archetypal sunflower. Height: 300cm (118"). Spread: 60cm (24").
Culinary note: Some parts of these flowers are edible. Try toasting the seed kernels for a healthy snack. For more details about edible flowers click here.More info
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