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what summer annuals to grow

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Cobaea scandens the cup and saucer plant

February is nearly out and the Wisteria is still waiting for a prune. It is a job I really dislike, mainly because it has now grown as high as the upstairs windows, which has taken about 7 years, and I hate going that far up a ladder. Driven by the knowledge it needs pruning to flower, I decided to give it a go. It’s now half pruned, the freezing cold and wind decided to develop snow showers, and enough is enough. Cannot prune if cannot feel fingers....


Still spring is around the corner and I am thinking of plants for the summer. Three annual climbers I love and will be growing;  Cobaea scandens for its unusual flowers and you can see from the image left why it is called the Cup and Saucer plant; Ipomoea, common name 'morning glory' great flowers but germinate early as it needs a growth to flower; and Sweet peas for their lovely colours and perfume and check out the best scented sweet peas.

I am looking for scented annuals, a few heliotropes for the vanilla scent and this year I am going to try Heliotropium Scentropia Dark Blue (Helioblue) and H. Scentropia Silver (‘Heliosil). In previous years I have been disappointed by Nicotiana, it never seems to carry any scent. The RHS recommends growing N.sylvestris and there is a new, apparently scented, Nicotiana alata.

I also sow a few Nasturtiums just because I don’t seem to be able to get through a summer without them. I think Nasturtiums look great trailing through lavender and/or Nepeta, Cat mint.

There are also a number of scented Begonia and Petunia, it is important to check the descriptions carefully as none will be scented unless described as such. Often there is a huge array of annuals for summer colour, and garden centres and on line retailers are all vying for our money.

For 2015, I am planning on the annuals above which are mostly scented, and wildflowers.  I love to grow wild flower and don’t be put off by the complexity of making a wildflower meadow, which is hard work, settle for a wildflower patch, which is really easy anyone can do it. Find out how tips on making a wildflower patch.



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