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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.
Sunflower 'Shock-o-Lat' F1 Hybrid
Helianthus annuusThis striking sunflower produces rich chocolate coloured blooms with gold-rimmed edges over a long period in summer. Multi-headed and boasting large pollen-free flowers up to 15cm (6") in diameter, Sunflower 'Shock-o-Lat' is ideal planted en masse at the back of a border. The tall, sturdy stems make fabulous cut flowers for a vase indoors too. Height: 1.8m (6'). Spread: 50cm (20").
Companion planting: Try growing sunflowers with chives to deter aphids.
Useful links:More info
Sunflower 'Helios Flame' F1 Hybrid
Helianthus annuusA lovely tall stemmed, bicolour sunflower! Each large golden bloom of Sunflower 'Helios Flame' is embellished by a dark mahogany ring at its centre that makes this a particularly eye catching variety. The tall, sturdy stems each support a single bloom - perfect for bringing height to the back of sheltered borders and wildlife gardens. Like all sunflowers, this superb variety makes an excellent cut flower with a good vase life. Height: 180cm (71"). Spread: 50cm (20").
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