Darsham Nurseries Cafe, potager, kitchen garden, vegetables from seed, harvesting vegetables,
The Daily Dibber

Kitchen gardener for the Darsham Nurseries Cafe. Seedaholic. Grower and lover of food and flowers.

Ready, Steady, Sow. Part 2. Hardy Annuals.

I hope that the first lot of tomatoes and peppers are making germination plans in the ‘Hot Box’. I have to be patient , and wait for these to sprout before the next batch can be sown.

Fortunately, this means I can turn my attention to the hardy annual (HA) seed box. Hardy annuals are plants that germinate, grow, flower and die within six months or so. Their frost hardiness differs; fully hardy varieties can be sown in autumn and will survive freezing conditions. These usually self-seed. The less hardy varieties can be sown in early spring. These can be sown directly outside in late March, but if you have a polytunnel , greenhouse or a spare windowsill then they can be sown now. The seeds sown in the autumn will flower first, but the spring-sown seedlings will then pick up the baton and extend the flowering season.

Hardy annuals are invaluable if you yearn for your own cut flowers.  I personally find it difficult to cut the blooms of perennial plants. I have waited so long for their return. These seeds are inexpensive, the germination rate is high and the seedlings are tough little critters.

This year we have chosen many new varieties. It is an eclectic mix of cut flowers, edible flowers and companions for our vegetables, here’s a selection of what got sown this week:


Trachelium 'Pandora'

Trachelium ‘Pandora’

Gypsophila elegans 'Covent Garden'

Gypsophila elegans ‘Covent Garden’







Limonium suworowii

Limonium suworowii

Helianthus 'Velvet Queen'

Helianthus ‘Velvet Queen’







Orlaya grandiflora

Orlaya grandiflora

Gypsophila elegant 'Deeprose'

Gypsophila elegans ‘Deeprose’







Ammi majus 'Queen of Africa'

Ammi majus ‘Queen of Africa’

Matthiola incana 'Vintage Copper'

Matthiola incana ‘Vintage Copper’







Salvia "Marble Arch Blue'

Salvia “Marble Arch Blue’

Gypsophila elegans ' Kermesina'

Gypsophila elegans ‘ Kermesina’


Viola 'Heartease'

Viola ‘Heartease’

Malope trifida 'Vulcan'

Malope trifida ‘Vulcan’

Calendula 'Lemon Daisy'

Calendula ‘Lemon Daisy’





Helianthus 'Earthwalker'

Helianthus ‘Earth walker’





limegarden@sky.com • 6th March 2016

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