BEST ANNUALS AND BEDDING PLANTS TO GROW

These might well be called display plants for they are used very largely to supply the garden with extra colour at particular times of the year. As I have explained already, annuals by nature have a short life and a merry one. They grow quickly from seed, produce their flowers followed by seeds to start a new generation, after which they die.

There are many plants, not strictly annuals, which can be reproduced so readily from seed, and come to (lowering size in so short a span of time that they are frequently treated in the same way as annuals. From the garden standpoint annuals are of two kinds, hardy and half hardy, but, as with so many other things in the garden. The distinction between them is not clear cut. Broadly speaking, hardy annuals are those kinds sufficiently resistant to cold to be sown outdoors, usually directly into the ground.

This may be done in spring, or in the case of some of the very hardiest, in early autumn. In which case they will germinate quickly. Pass the winter as small seedlings and come into flower in late spring or early summer. The spring-sown plants will naturally tend to bloom a little later, the precise time depending partly on the weather, partly on the time of sowing. But in general, annuals have a fairly extended flowering season and if several sowings are made at different times there should be no difficulty in having flowers all the summer.

Half-hardy annuals are similar in every way except that they are not sufficiently tough to stand the cold weather that can be experienced in many places in spring. In mild places they can be sown outdoors just like hardy annuals and even in colder places it may be possible to sow them outdoors in late spring, but then they may start to flower much later or not even have time to flower at all. So in most places they are sown in early spring under glass, are then hardened olT, and planted outdoors in late-spring or early summer.

“Bedding plant” is a term which includes a great many annuals, especially those kinds that are commonly started under glass and then planted out later on. It also includes many perennial plants, mostly too tender to be left outdoors in winter, but worth growing because of their ability to make a tremendous display for a considerable period. The bedding ‘geranium’ (it is really a pelargonium) is of this kind and so is the dahlia.

There is a third class of bedding plant which is very useful for spring and early summer display. This is the biennial, or plant treated as such by gardeners. Biennial literally means two-year and indicates that the plant grows from seed the first year, flowers and produces seed the second year and then dies. Despite its two-year cycle the biennial must be raised anew from seed every year if one is to have flowers every year. In this respect it is exactly the same as the annual, the difference being that one has to wait longer for results. As a rule, seed of biennials is sown outdoors in late spring or early summer. The seedlings are planted a few inches apart in some out of the way part of the garden where they can be grown on undisturbed during the summer. Then, in autumn or very early the following spring, they are transplanted where they are to flower, which they do in spring or early summer, after which they are discarded. Wallflowers, Bromplon slocks and forget-me-nots come into this category and are very useful because they provide extra ground colour in spring when it is particularly needed to set off the spring-flowering bulbs.

Annuals, whether half hardy or hardy, have suflicient points in common for some generalization about their treatment to be useful. Perennial bedding plants, by contrast, are so diverse in character that to generalize about them would be misleading. I have therefore given the necessary instructions for these individually, together with the name and description of the plant.

What can be usefully said about all these plants is that they have a wide range of utility in the garden. Traditionally they are used for massed displays and the term “summer bedding” conjures up pictures of great areas of scarlet geraniums or purple petunias, or multi-coloured dahlias in the parks. They can be used in just the same way. On a smaller scale, in gardens, but this is not the only way to use them. A few can be put in here and there amongst the shrubs and herbaceous plants to brighten things up. They can be planted in pots and tubs and window boxes or in baskets suspended from anything that offers a sufficiently substantial support. The smaller kinds can even be used in the rock garden, though 1 never feel that they look entirely at home there. Many of them are so very obviously man-made plants and the aim in the rock garden should be to simulate nature.

Cultural Requirements

Because annual and bedding plants mostly (lower for weeks or even months on end, they need a little assistance from the gardener. Most important of all, faded flowers should be removed regularly, not only because this improves the appearance of the plants, but also because it helps them to go on flowering. In dry weather they should be watered, and though they need not be fed while they are actually in growth, it certainly does pay to fork some manure or compost into the soil and give a scattering of bonemeal or fertilizer before sowing or planting them.

Once annuals and biennials have finished flowering they should be pulled up, for they are of no further use. The treatment of perennial bedding plants after flowering will depend on their nature and the facilities available for keeping them.

Recommended Annuals and Bedding Plants

Ageratum One of the most popular of dwarf summer bedding plants and a particular favourite for edging beds. It has masses of small, fluffy-looking, blue, lavender or white flowers and keeps on producing them all the summer. Ageratum is best grown as a half-hardy annual, seed being sown in a warm greenhouse or frame in early spring and the seedlings planted out in late spring where they are to flower. For a really good display space them 6 in (15 cm) apart. They will grow well anywhere but do best in a sunny position.

Althaea, see Hollyhock

Alyssum The sweet alyssum, Alyssum mariti-nmni, is a low-growing annual with white. Lilac or purple honey-scented flowers, produced during summer. It is a favourite edging plant, often used with blue lobelia, and is raised from seed sown in spring where the plants are to flower. Alternatively seed may be sown in a greenhouse in early spring, the seedlings being pricked off into boxes as they are ready and planted out in late spring.

Amaranthus (Love-lies-bleeding, tassel flower, prince’s feather, Joseph’s coat) Two kinds are grown primarily as flowering plants, a third as a foliage plant. Ainaranthus caudatus has long slender trails of crimson or lime-green flowers and is the kind known as love-lies-bleeding or tassel flower. It makes a bushy plant 2 to 3 ft (60cm to 1 m) high. A. hypochondriacus has similar small crimson flowers but in branched, upright spikes, hence the popular name prince’s feather. The third kind, A. Iricolor or Joseph’s coat, has large, sometimes deeply lobed leaves in various shades of red, crimson, yellow and green, and is 18 in (45 cm) high.

All three can be grown as half-hardy annuals sown in a warm greenhouse in spring and hardened off for planting out 1 ft (30cm) apart in a warm sunny place in late spring or early summer. Alternatively, A. caudatus and A. hypochondriacus can be treated as hardy annuals to be sown outdoors in mid-spring where they are to flower, in which case the seedlings should be thinned or transplanted to at least 9 in (23cm) apart.

Antirrhinum (Snapdragon) One of the most popular of all summer bedding plants that can be raised easily from seed. The antirrhinum is sometimes called snapdragon because of its peculiar, pouched flowers which can be opened like mouths if they are pinched at the sides but nowadays there are varieties which do not show this typical shape, having, instead, trumpet-shaped or double flowers. There are dwarf, medium and tall varieties from 6in (15cm) to 3ft (im) in height, and a wide colour range, including some very bright shades of scarlet and flame as well as pink, yellow, apricot, orange and white. Antirrhinum seed is usually sown in a warm greenhouse in late winter, the seedlings being pricked off into boxes in early spring and gradually hardened off for planting out in late spring. Alternatively, seed sown in early autumn will give seedlings that can be overwintered in an unheated frame and planted out in spring.

These plants are really perennials and in mild places and well-drained soils will occasionally live for years, but it is more satisfactory to treat them as half-hardy annuals.

Antirrhinums succeed best in a sunny, open place and a well-drained soil. If rust disease is troublesome, as it may be in hot, dry places, plants should be sprayed frequently with a copper fungicide, or special rust-resistant varieties of antirrhinum should be grown. The disease causes rusty-looking raised spots to appear on the undersides of the leaves and plants may wither and die as a result.

Aretotis These are amongst the loveliest of South African daisies, mostly with long stems which make them useful for cutting. Though most are rather short-lived perennials in warm places, the best-known kinds are treated as half-hardy annuals and are raised anew each year from seed which is sown in a warm greenhouse in early spring, the seedlings being pricked off into boxes as soon as large enough to handle and planted outdoors in a sunny place in late spring.

One of the loveliest kinds, Arctotis grandis, has flowers which are silvery white above and very pale blue beneath. There are also hybrid strains with flowers of various colours, including yellow, orange, red and wine. See also Venidium.

Aster (Callistephus) This is one of the names that has caused a lot of confusion, for the showy annuals most gardeners know as asters are Callistephus to the botanists and the botanists” asters are what gardeners call Michaelmas daisies. There are a great many varieties of annual aster, some with single. Some with double flowers. The doubles are further subdivided according to the character of their flowers, the very shaggy. Narrow-petalled kinds being known as ostrich plume asters, the neater and broader-petalled kinds as comet asters. There are also miniatures, varieties with very compact flowers, and many more types with a height range from 1 to 3 ft (30cm to 1 m).

All are raised from seed sown in a green-house or frame in early spring, or outdoors in mid- to late spring. Glasshouse-raised seedlings are pricked off into boxes and hardened off for planting out in late spring. The single-flowered kinds will tolerate some shade, but in general annual asters like open places. They are not fussy about soil.

Balsam, see Impatiens

Begonia There are a great many different kinds of begonia, but for summer display outdoors the most popular are the many varieties of Begonia semperflorens. Although these are perennials which can be kept for a long time in a greenhouse, when used outdoors they are treated as half-hardy annuals, seed being sown in early spring in a temperature of i8°C. (65°F.), the seedlings pricked out, hardened off and planted out in early summer. Plants average about 9 in (23 cm) in height and the sprays of small white, pink or crimson flowers are pro-duced all summer and into the autumn until plants are killed by frost. Some varieties have bronze or purple leaves.

The large-flowered tuberous-rooted begonias in almost all colours except blue, are also used for summer bedding, especially in cool, partly shaded places, and the so-called multiflora begonias with smaller but more numerous flowers have the same origin and are grown in the same way, from seed or tubers. For cultivation see Greenhouse Plants.

Bellis (Daisy) The common daisy, which is such a troublesome weed of lawns, has produced numerous double-flowered varieties which are excellent garden plants, the smallest-flowered kinds for the rock garden, larger-flowered varieties for spring bedding displays. The largest flowered are usually listed in seed catalogues simply as Giant Red, Giant Pink or Giant White and are readily raised from seed sown outdoors in late spring. The plants are popular as a carpet for taller flowers such as tulips, and are usually thrown away after flowering, though they can be split up, replanted and kept for further use if desired.

Brachycome (Swan River daisy) This lovely South African annual (its full name is Brachycome iberidifolia) has dainty blue, pink or white daisy flowers produced all summer on a compact plant. It is not fully hardy, so seed should be sown in a warm greenhouse or frame in early spring, seedlings being pricked out and hardened off for planting outdoors in late spring or early summer. Alternatively, seed may be sown in late spring outdoors where the plants are to flower. In either case they should have a sunny place, preferably in rather light, well-drained soil.

Busy Lizzie, see Impatiens

Calceolaria The calceolaria with very large pouched flowers, often brilliantly spotted or blotched with one colour or another, is a greenhouse plant not suitable for growing outdoors, but it has a relative of a much stiffer, more shrubby habit of growth and with smaller yellow or chestnut-red flowers, which is almost hardy and an excellent summer bedding plant. Its name is Cal-ceolaria integrifolia, though it is sometimes listed as C. rugosa, and it grows about 18 in (45 cm) high, flowers all the summer and does well in full sun or partial shade. It is raised from cuttings in late summer or early autumn, or by seed sown in a greenhouse in spring and should be kept in a frame or greenhouse in winter except in the mildest places.

Calendula (Pot marigold) This familiar orange daisy is often referred to simply as a marigold, but it is less confusing to use its proper name, calendula, to distinguish it from the African and French marigolds which are not only very different in appearance, but need different treatment in the garden.

The calendula is one of the hardiest of annuals; a plant that, once admitted to the garden, is likely to reproduce itself year after year from its own self-sown seed. This will germinate equally well in spring or autumn, the only difference in results being that the autumn seedlings start to bloom earlier, but for best results self-sown seedlings should be discouraged as they usually deteriorate in quality. Instead, a fresh start should be made each year from good, pur-chased seed or seed carefully selected from flowers of good quality. There are yellow as well as orange varieties, and the best have fully double flowers with either broad and flat or quilled petals. Seedlings should be thinned to 9 in (23 cm) so that the plants have room to make a good display.

Californian poppy, see Eschscholzia

Calliopsis, see Coreopsis

Callistephus, see Aster

Canary creeper, see Tropaeolum

Candytuft There are perennial rock garden candytufts usually referred to by their botanical name, Iberis, as well as the annual kinds described here. The annuals have either flattish heads of white, pink or mauve flowers on 9-in (23-cm) stems in summer or, in the rocket candytuft, /. amara, broad foot-high spikes of white flowers in summer. They are easily grown from seed sown in spring or early autumn where the plants are to flower and like a sunny place and almost any soil.

Canna Handsome plants with broad, tropical-looking leaves, often deep red in colour though some varieties are green leaved, and bearing, in summer, spikes of large, gaudy flowers in shades of red, yellow and orange, often with one colour splashed on another. They are more familiar in the elaborate bedding schemes seen in public parks than in private gardens, but there is no reason why they should not be more widely grown as they are not difficult to manage provided the fleshy roots can be started in a warm greenhouse each spring. At this stage they like a temperature of around i6°C. (6o°F.) and plenty of water. They must be removed to a frame in late spring to become sufficiently hardened to be planted outdoors in a sunny place in early summer. Before frost occurs in autumn the plants must be lifted, brought back into the greenhouse and gradually dried off. Throughout the winter they can be kept in their pots without water and with no more heat than is needed to ensure complete protection against frost.

Division of the roots in spring is the easiest way to increase cannas, as seed needs a lot of heat for satisfactory germination.

Canterbury Bell This is a biennial cam-panula, properly known as Campanula medium, which must be renewed from seed annually. This is sown in late spring or early summer, preferably in a frame, though it can be sown outdoors. The seedlings should be pricked out a few inches apart into a nursery bed to grow on into sturdy plants to be placed in their flowering quarters in autumn. Space them at least ift (30 cm) apart and give them rather good soil and a fully sunny or partially shaded position. They will flower early the following summer. They are usually about 3 ft (im) tall and the flowers are long bells with a handsome saucer-like appendage in the cup-and-saucer varieties. Colours are blue, mauve, pink and white and there are double forms. All come true from seed.

Carnation, Annual The so-called annual carnations are derived from the greenhouse perpetual-flowering carnations and are really short-lived perennials, but it is convenient to grow them from seed sown in a greenhouse in early spring, the seedlings then being pricked off into pots or boxes and transferred to a frame to be hardened off in time for planting outdoors in late spring or early summer.

They like a warm, sunny place and reasonably good soil, and are usually sold as Giant Chabaud carnations with an average height of 18 to 24 m (45 to 60 cm) in a mixture of colours including crimson, scarlet, rose, pink, salmon, yellow and white, but there are also dwarf varieties 9 to 12 in (23 to 30cm) high.

Catchfly, see Silene

Celosia (Prince of Wales’s feather) There are two very different forms of celosia, both varieties of Celosia argentea. One kind, known as the feathered form, and often sold as C. plumosa, has scarlet, crimson or yellow flowers in silken plumes; the other, known as cockscomb or crested type, and often sold as C. cristata, has its flowers tightly packed in curious sinuous clusters. Both plants are half-hardy annuals, easily raised from seed if this can be given a min1 mum temperature of 18 C. (65 F.), in late winter. The seedlings are pricked off into small pots and are cither removed to a frame in late spring to be planted outdoors in a warm, sunny place in early summer, or are moved into 4-in (10-cm) pots to be grown on in the greenhouse. The cockscomb type is usually only grown as a greenhouse pot plant.

Centaurea, see Cornflower and Sweet Sultan

Cheiranthus. See Wallflower

Cherry pie. See Heliotrope

Chilean glory flower, see Eccremocarpus

Cineraria, see Senecio

Ciarkia Hardy annuals which are readily raised from seed sown throughout the spring or in early autumn where the plants are to flower. The seedlings should be thinned to 9 to 12 in (23 to 30cm) apart. The garden varieties of Ciarkia elegans produce slender spikes of double flowers which may be pink, red or white. They vary in height from 11 to 3 ft (45cm to 1 m) and will grow in full sun or in partial shade, in practically any soil.

Clary, sec Salvia horminum

Cleonie (Spider flower) Cleome spinosa is an unusual and attractive half-hardy annual which is grown from seed sown in a warm greenhouse or frame in late winter or early spring. The seedlings are pricked oil’ into boxes or small pots and are later placed in a frame so that they can be hardened off in readiness for planting out in a sunny place in late spring or early summer. They should be placed about 18 in (45 cm) apart. The plants eventually grow about 3 ft (1 m) high. And produce big heads of pink (or occasionally white) flowers, notable for their narrow petals and long stamens which give them a curiously spidery appearance.

Cobaea (Cup and saucer vine) Cobaea scandens is a very quick-growing climbing plant with purple and green, or white flowers shaped rather like those of a Canterbury bell. Though a perennial, it is usually treated as an annual, seed being sown in a warm greenhouse in early spring and the seedlings potted singly and removed to a frame to be hardened off for planting outdoors in late spring.

Cobaea likes sun and warmth, but is not fussy about soil. In very mild districts or in a greenhouse it may survive for many years and grow into a large plant.

Collinsia A pretty hardy annual, 9 to 12 in (23 to 30cm) high, with clusters of small purple and white flowers in summer. It is easily grown from seed sown throughout the spring or in early autumn where the plants are to flower. The seedlings should be thinned to 5 or 6in (13 to 15cm) apart. Collinsia likes a sunny place but is not fussy about soil.

Coneflower, sec Rudbeckia

Convolvulus The annual convolvulus, often listed as Convolvulus minor, though its correct name is C. tricolor, is a sprawling plant with broadly funnel-shaped flowers which may be purple, blue, lavender, pink or cherry red. It is grown from seed sown in spring where the plants are to flower, the seedlings being thinned to about 9 in (23 cm) apart. It likes a sunny place and is not fussy about soil. Other plants sometimes known as convolvulus will be found under Morning Glory.

Coreopsis (Calliopsis) The annual coreopsis closely resembles some of the perennial kinds and produces a profusion of flowers which are usually deep yellow blotched with maroon, but in some varieties are all yellow and in some bronzy red or chestnut red throughout. They are carried in sprays on rather slender 2-ft (60-cm) stems all summer. Seed should be sown in spring or early autumn in ordinary soil and an open place where the plants are to flower. The seedlings are thinned to 9 in (23cm).

In catalogues this plant is often listed as calliopsis, though Coreopsis liiictoria is the correct name.

Cornflower The common cornflower is botanically Centaurea cyanus. A hardy annual easily grown in any fairly open place from seed sown in spring or autumn where the plants are to flower. All that is necessary afterwards is to thin the seedlings to about 1 ft (30cm) apart and stick a few twiggy branches around them for support.

In addition to the familiar blue cornflower there are pink and white varieties. There are also dwarf varieties 9 to 12 in (23 to 30cm) high which need no support and can be grown 6in (15cm) apart.

Cosmos Popular half-hardy annuals also known as cosmca. Varieties of Cosmos bipinnatus have fine, fern-like foliage and daisy flowers, in shades of pink. Rose. Purplish red and white. The plants grow 3 to 5 ft (1 to 1-5111) tall and flower in late summer and autumn. They should be given a fully open and sunny position, as in shade they are apt to produce a great quantity of foliage and lew flowers.

Varieties of C. sulphureus are stiffer in habit with yellow or orange flowers and are only I\ ft (75cm) high. Seed of both kinds is sown in a warm greenhouse in early spring and the seedlings are pricked oil” and later hardened olT for planting out 1 ft (30cm) apart in late spring in an open, preferably sunny place.

Cup and saucer vine, see Cobaca

Cypress, Summer, see Kochia

Dahlia Although dahlias are tender plants. Likely to be damaged by the slightest frost, they can be grown quite satisfactorily without a greenhouse or frame because they have tuberous roots which can be stored dry throughout the winter. These roots are lifted in autumn when the foliage has been blackened by frost and, after the stems have been cut off a few inches above the tubers. They are placed in boxes or simply stacked on the floor in any dry, frostproof place. A spare room, cupboard, loft, shed or cellar will serve, but it must be frostproof. It is wise to sprinkle the tubers with flowers of sulphur as a protection against disease. The following year in mid- to late spring, the roots are planted outdoors in rather rich, well-cultivated soil and a sunny position. If desired, the roots can be carefully divided before being planted.

Alternatively, dahlias can be grown from cuttings. For this purpose the tubers are placed in a warm greenhouse in early spring and are just covered with soil. Shoots will soon appear and are severed when about 3 in (8cm) long and inserted as cuttings in a close frame. When rooted they are potted singly in small pots, grown on in the greenhouse for a few weeks and then removed to a frame to be hardened off in time for planting outdoors in late spring or early summer.

Yet a third way to grow dahlias is from seed sown in a warm greenhouse in early spring, the seedlings being pricked out into boxes or potted singly and hardened off for planting out when there is no longer danger of frost. This method works especially well with the short bedding varieties.

There are a great many varieties of dahlia, differing in height, and in shape, size and colour of flower. These different types are distinguished by names such as decorative, cactus, pompon, collerctte, bedding, etc. Some are only 18 in (45cm) or so in height, but most are from 3 to 5 ft (1 to 1-5111) high and must be well staked and tied to prevent breakage of the rather brittle stems.

To obtain the finest flowers, buds are restricted to one per stem, the end bud being retained and side buds removed, but when varieties with small or medium-sized flowers are grown solely for garden display this disbudding need not be carried out. It is important that faded flowers should be removed regularly, both for the sake of appearance and to keep the plants flowering.

Daisy, see Bellis

Dianthus, see Carnation, Pink, and Sweet William

Digitalis, see Foxglove

Dimorphotheca (Star of the veldt) These are amongst the most beautiful of daisy-flowered annuals. Plants are about 1 ft (30cm) high and the quite large flowers can be had in all shades from pale beige or lemon, through apricot and salmon or orange.

For flowers in early summer, seed should be sown in a greenhouse in early spring, the seedlings being pricked off and later hardened off for planting out in late spring. Flowers from mid-summer onwards can be obtained by sowing directly outdoors in mid-spring, where the plants are to flower, and thinning seedlings to 9in (23cm). In either case a sunny position should be chosen, for preference in well-drained soil.

Dusty Miller, see Senecio

Eecremocarpus (Chilean glory flower) Ec-cremocarpus scabcr is a beautiful and unusual climber which can be grown very easily from seed. Growth is slender and the leaves have an elegant, ferny appearance, but it is the tubular orange-scarlet flowers. Produced in long sprays, that are really striking.

Seed should be sown in a warm greenhouse in spring and the seedlings potted singly and hardened off for planting out in late spring or early summer. The plants should be given a warm, sunny, sheltered place and some good support to climb on such as a trellis against a south-facing wall. In such a place they will live for years and flower profusely every summer, though they may be killed right back to their fleshy roots each winter. Because it blooms so readily from seed and is not fully hardy, it is often treated as an annual and renewed from seed every year.

Echium In some very mild gardens giant echiums may be grown from seed. These carry tall still” spikes of blue or pink flowers and are biennial species from the Canary Islands. They must be renewed annually from seed sown in a warm greenhouse and can only be overwintered in a greenhouse or in an almost frost-free place.

Far more useful for the ordinary garden are the varieties of Echium plantagineum, a bushy hardy annual about 1 ft (30cm) high with clusters of blue, lavender, rose or white flowers all summer. It is easily grown from seed sown in spring where the plants are to bloom, seedlings being thinned to 6 or 8in (15 to 20cm). It is a plant that enjoys warm. Sunny places and well-drained soil.

Eschscholzia (California!! poppy) Annuals of sprawling habit with grey-green, ferny leaves and poppy-like flowers produced in profusion throughout the summer. The commonest variety has orange flowers, but there are others ranging from ivory white, through pink to crimson, double as well as single.

All can be raised from seed sown in spring or early autumn in sunny places outdoors where the plants are to flower. Thin the seedlings to at least 8 in (20cm) apart. Self-sown seedlings usually appear freely, especially in warm, well-drained soils, but they usually revert fairly rapidly to the wild, orange-yellow single type.

Flax, Scarlet, see Linum

Forget-me-not In addition to the common forget-me-not, which is used for spring bedding or as a carpet plant beneath trees and shrubs, there are various other kinds, such as the alpine forget-me-not (Myosotis alpcstris), which is more dwarf and compact, and the water forget-me-not (A/. palustris), which is looser in habit and has a yellow eye to the small blue flowers. Both these are commonly grown as perennials and increased by division after flowering.

The common forget-me-not is usually grown as a biennial, seed being sown each year in early summer, and the seedlings planted out 4 to 6 in (10 to 15 cm) apart to grow on into sturdy plants which can be transferred to their flowering beds in autumn. This forget-me-not will grow in practically any soil and sunny or shady place and if some of the old plants are scattered over the ground when they have finished flowering they will usually seed freely and produce an abundance of seedlings.

Foxglove These plants, derived from a native plant known botanically as Digitalis purpurea, are usually treated as biennials, seed being sown outdoors each spring to provide plants which will flower just over a year later. The seedlings are pricked off into a nursery bed. Preferably in a shady place, and are transferred in autumn to their flowering quarters. Sometimes plants will continue for several years, but usually they die after flowering and producing seed. Once established they will often renew themselves by self-sown seed.

Foxgloves like cool, rather moist soils and partially shaded places, but will grow practically anywhere. The Excelsior varieties have large flowers standing out all round the stems instead of hanging down on one side to form the typical spike of the wild foxglove. Colours range from white and pale pink to crimson, often heavily netted or spotted with one shade on another. There is also a variety that will flower the same year if sown in a warm greenhouse in early spring.

Gaillardia One very popular kind of gail-lardia is a hardy perennial but another, Gaillardia pulchella, often listed as G”. picta, is a half-hardy annual with large single or double, daisy-type flowers, usually orange red and yellow, but in some varieties entirely blood red or chestnut red.

Seed is sown in a greenhouse or frame in early spring, or outdoors in late spring. Gaillardias like sunny places and well-drained soils. Their average height is 15 in (38 cm) and their flowers are useful for cutting.

Galania Very showy perennials which are not quite hardy enough to be grown outdoors reliably in winter and summer, though they do survive in many seaside gardens. They are trailing in habit and the daisy flowers are produced during most of the summer. They may be lemon, orange, bronze, rose or purple, often with a band of a darker, almost black colour.

They like light, well-drained soils and hot sunny places, and are ideal for planting on dry banks, terrace walls and rock gardens. Or they may be used for carpeting formal beds. They can be raised from seed sown in spring or from cuttings of firm young shoots taken at almost any time from spring to autumn.

Geranium, see Pelargonium

Gloriosa daisy, see Rudbeckia

Godetia Hardy annuals easily grown in practically any soil and sunny or shady position. There are two main types, the tall godctias with spikes of flowers 2 to 3 Ft (60cm to 1 m) high, and the dwarf or azalea-flowered varieties which make bushier plants around I ft (30cm) in height with the flowers in clusters. The colour range is from white to crimson with many lovely shades of pink.

All godetias are grown from seed sown in spring or early autumn where the plants are to flower. Seedlings should be thinned to 6 or 9in (15 to 23cm).

Gypsophila The annual gypsophila, Gypso-phila elegans, has much larger flowers than the perennial gypsophila, but they are borne in loose sprays on equally slender stems and are as useful for mixing with other heavier flowers. It grows to a height of about 1 ft (30cm) and typically has white flowers, but there are varieties with pink flowers.

All are grown from seed sown in spring or early autumn where the plants are to flower and it is desirable to make several sowings to ensure a succession of flowers. The seedlings are thinned to about 6 in (15cm). The annual gypsophila likes sunny places and well-drained soils.

Helianthus, see Sunflower

Helichrysum There are several grey-leaved helichrysums which are shrubby plants, but the plant which most people know under this name is Helichrysum bracteatum, a showy, hardy annual with ‘everlasting” flowers, that is, flowers which, being composed of rather chaffy petals, can be dried and used for winter decoration. For this purpose the flowers are cut just before they are fully open and are suspended head downward in a cool, airy shed or room for a few weeks to dry.

The annual helichrysum is grown from seed sown in a warm greenhouse in early spring, the seedlings being pricked out and later hardened off for planting out 9 in (23 cm) apart in late spring or early summer in a sunny place and well-drained soil. In warm places seed can also be sown outdoors in mid-spring where plants are to flower, seedlings being thinned to about 6in (15cm).

The varieties grown are all double flowered, \\ to I\ ft (45 to 75cm) high and in a variety of colours including red, crimson, pink, yellow, orange and white.

Heliotrope (Cherry pie) A favourite plant used for summer bedding or as a greenhouse pot plant. It is famous for the perfume of its lavender-purple flowers, though some forms have less of this than others.

Heliotrope is a half-hardy perennial which can be grown from seed or cuttings. Seed is sown in a warm greenhouse in late winter or early spring, the seedlings being pricked off or potted singly and subsequently hardened oif for planting outdoors in early summer. Cuttings are prepared from firm young shoots in spring or early summer, and are rooted in a propagating frame with bottom heat.

Heliotropes like a sunny place and a fairly good soil and at the end of the season plants can be overwintered in a greenhouse with a minimum temperature of 7 C. (45 F.), but when used for summer bedding they are usually discarded in the autumn, new stock being raised annually from seed.

Hollyhock The botanical name of the common hollyhock is Althaea rosea. Typically it grows 6 to 8 ft (2 to 25 m) high with spires of large showy flowers, single or double in a good range of colours including yellow, orange, pink, rose, red, crimson and mauve. There are also short varieties only 2 ft (60cm) high.

Though strictly a perennial, it is usually grown as a hardy biennial or as a half-hardy annual. If grown as a biennial, seed is sown outdoors or in a frame in late spring or early summer. Seedlings are pricked out 6in (15cm) apart in a nursery bed and later are removed to the places where they will flower the following year. If grown as a half-hardy annual, special strains, known as annual hollyhocks, must be used and seed sown in a warm greenhouse in late winter or early spring. Seedlings are pricked out or potted singly and hardened off for planting in their flowering positions in late spring or early summer.

Hollyhocks like warm sunny places and well-drained soils. Many strains are sus-ceptible to a rust disease which disfigures their leaves but this can be controlled by occasional spraying with a fungicide such as benomyl or triforine.

Iberis, see Candytuft

Inipatiens (Balsam, busy Lizzie) The balsam is Impatiens balsamina, a half-hardy annual with spikes of flowers, always double in the cultivated varieties and anything from 9 to 18 in (23 to 45 cm) in height according to variety, with pink, salmon, scarlet, crimson. Mauve or white flowers in summer. It can be planted outdoors in summer but is most popular as a pot plant for a sunny greenhouse.

The busy Lizzie is /. walleriana (in cata-logues it usually gets called /. Iwlstii or /. sultani) which is a half-hardy perennial, nowadays usually grown as a half-hardy annual. Like the balsam it makes an excellent pot plant for greenhouse or room but it is also a first-class summer bedding plant which will thrive in partially shady as well as sunny places. The colour range includes pink, scarlet, purple, orange and white. Heights vary from 4 to 18in (to to 45cm) and in a warm greenhouse plants practically never stop flowering. Outdoors they can be expected to flower all summer.

Plants of both balsam and busy Lizzie are raised from seed sown in a warm greenhouse in spring, seedlings being pricked out and then either hardened oif for planting outdoors in late spring or early summer, or potted singly and grown on in the greenhouse. Plants of busy Lizzie can also be grown from cuttings of young shoots rooted in a warm propagator in spring or summer and this is the only way of increasing varieties with variegated leaves (there is one with an excellent white variegation) as this is not transmitted by seed.

Outdoors, plants should be given reason-ably good soil and should be well watered in dry weather.

Ipomoea, see Morning Glory

Joseph’s coat, see Amaranthus

Kochia (Summer cypress) A half-hardy annual grown for its foliage and distinctive habit. It makes a neat, egg-shaped bush with narrow leaves which become crimson in the autumn.

Kochia is grown from seed sown in a warm greenhouse in spring, seedlings being pricked out and hardened olT for planting out in late- spring or early summer. They can be used as a little hedge or as dot plants to emphasize a pattern. The sunnier the position the better the autumn colour.

Larkspur The annual larkspurs are really delphiniums, derived from a species named Delphinium ajacis, but in gardens the name delphinium is almost invariably reserved for the perennial kinds.

The larkspurs are quite hardy and very easily grown in any reasonably good and well-drained soil. Seed can be sown where the plants are to flower, the seedlings being thinned to about I ft (30cm) apart. If seed is sown in late summer or very early autumn, plants will start to flower late the following spring, whereas if seed is sown in spring, flowering will commence about mid-summer. The flower spikes are long and narrow, 1 to 3 ft (30cm to 1 m) high, and colours range from white, pale blue and pink, to dark blue and scarlet.

Lathyrus, see Sweet Pea

Lavatera There is a shrubby lavatera, but the kind most commonly seen in gardens is an annual, Lavatera trimestris, which makes a bushy plant 2 to 3 ft (60cm to 1 m) high, covered with large rose-pink flowers throughout the summer.

It is easily grown from seed sown outdoors in spring or early autumn where the plants are to flower. Seedlings should be thinned to 18 in (45cm) and the plants will grow in almost any soil and an open, sunny place.

Limonium, see Statice

Linaria (Toadflax) There are perennial kinds of linaria, but one of the prettiest and most useful is a hardy annual. It is named Linaria maroccana, and it has slender 12-in (30-cm) spikes of flowers, rather like tiny antirrhinums, produced all summer in a great variety of colours. It is grown from seed sown in spring where the plants are to flower; seedlings being thinned to about 6 to 8 in (15 to 20cm). It likes sunny places and is not fussy about soil.

Linum (Flax) The annual or scarlet flax, Linumgrandtfiorum, is a rather fragile, foot-high plant with sprays of vivid scarlet flowers in summer. It likes sunny places and well-drained soils and is quite hardy, so it can be grown from seed sown outdoors in spring or early autumn where the plants are to flower. Seedlings should be thinned to about 6in (15cm) apart.

Livingstone daisy, sec Mesembryanthemum

Lobelia Everyone knows the blue lobelia, Lobelia erinus. One of the most popular summer-flowering plants and a favourite for edging beds, either by itself or in company with white alyssum. There are light blue. Dark blue, purple, rose and white varieties and also trailing kinds, often sold as L. pendula, which are excellent for window boxes and hanging baskets.

Though all are actually half-hardy peren-nials which can be overwintered in a frost-proof greenhouse, they are usually grown as half-hardy annuals from seed sown in a warm greenhouse in late winter or early spring, seedlings being pricked out and hardened off for planting out, or, in the case of the trailing lobelia, planting in hanging baskets and window boxes, in late spring. They will grow practically anywhere and should be spaced 6in (15cm) apart for a good display.

Love-in-a-mist, see Nigella

Love-lies-bleeding, see Amaranthus

Lunaria (Honesty) This is a hardy biennial grown both for its branching 3-ft (1 m) sprays of purple flowers in spring and early summer and for its curious seed vessels like oval parchment discs. These can be cut when ripe and dried for winter decoration. There is also a variety with white-variegated leaves which comes true from seed, a rather unusual thing with leaf variegation. All kinds must be renewed annually from seed sown outdoors in spring or early summer to give flowering plants the following year. Once established, honesty will often seed itself about freely so that nothing further need be done except thin out or transplant the seedlings. They need 9 to 12 in (23 to 30cm) each.

Lupin The most familiar lupin, and in many ways the best for the garden, is the herbaceous lupin, but there are also annual kinds with shorter, less showy spikes of flowers in summer produced on plants which are rather too coarse and leafy. The average height is 3 ft (im), but there are dwarf varieties about 1 ft (30cm) high. Colours are shades of blue and rose as well as white.

Annual lupins are grown from seed sown outdoors in spring or early autumn where they are to flower, the seedlings being thinned to at least 1 ft (30cm) apart. They flower in summer.

Malcomia, see Stock, Virginian

Malope Ma/ope trifida is a hardy annual. Not unlike lavatera but with magenta flowers. It makes a big, leafy plant 3 ft (1 m) high and flowers all the summer.

Seed should be sown in spring or autumn where the plants are to flower, the seedlings being thinned to 15in (3*8cm). Malope likes a sunny place but will grow in practically any soil.

Marigold The two popular kinds of marigold are the French marigold. Tagetes panda. And the African marigold. T. erecia: the first with yellow and crimson or chestnut-red flowers, single or double: the second all orange or yellow and so double that they look rather like balls of foam rubber. However, the two types have been so interbred that it is impossible to distinguish clearly between them and choice will be determined largely by height and size of flower. The shortest may be no more than 6in (15cm) high with flowers to match; the tallest 3ft (im), with blooms 4 or fin (10 to 13 cm) across.

There is also another species, T. signata. Which is not known popularly as marigold and is always listed as tagetes. This is understandable since it is very different in appearance from the other two. Making low mounds of finely divided leaves, covered in small, single, daisy-type flowers which may be lemon, yellow, orange or bronze red according to variety.

All are half-hardy annuals flowering in summer and are raised from seed sown in a greenhouse or frame in early spring. Seedlings are pricked out and hardened off for planting out in late spring or early summer. The French and .African marigolds prefer rather rich soils and sunny places, and the dwarf Tagetes signata likes well-drained soils, but all will grow almost anywhere.

Marigold. Pot, see Calendula

Matthiola. See Stock

Mcsembryanthemum Succulent plants which can be grown outdoors in winter only in the milder parts of the country, but are quite safe in the open during the summer, and are then most useful as display plants. They delight in sun and warmth, will thrive in the sandiest of soils, and have flowers which bear a superficial resemblance to those of daisies, though they are quite unrelated. Colours are varied and often extremely brilliant, as in Mesembryanthemum rosen which is a vivid rose pink, and M. auran-tiacum, which is reddish orange.

Most kinds are perennials and can be increased by cuttings in summer or early autumn, but there are also a few annuals of which the most popular is the Livingstone daisy, M. criniflorum, a prostrate plant with flowers in a variety of colours including apricot, pink, carmine, purple and red. Seed of this is sown in a greenhouse or healed frame in spring, and the seedlings are pricked out into boxes and hardened olT in time for planting outdoors in late spring or early summer in a warm, sunny place. It makes a brilliant bed on its own but its colours do not associate too well with those of most other plants.

Mignonette This highly fragrant, though not very showy, flower is a hardy annual grown from seed sown in spring where the plants are to flower. Seedlings should be thinned to 6in (15cm) or thereabouts.

Mignonette likes a sunny place and will grow in practically any soil wilh a preference for those containing lime or chalk. Its botanical name is Reseda odorata.

Morning Glory These vigorous twining plants, botanically rather confused, are usually listed as varieties of ipomoea. Some are perennial in places where there is no frost but one of the best. Ipomoea purpurea, is a half-hardy annual. This has a particularly lovely variety named Heavenly Blue, with broadly funnel-shaped, sky-blue flowers, produced from mid-summer onwards. Flying Saucers is similar but blue and white. And Scarlet O’Hara is rosy crimson.

They can be grown as greenhouse pot plants trained around three or four slender bamboo canes, or can be planted outdoors in early summer in a warm, sunny spot. In either case they are grown from seed sown in a warm greenhouse in late winter or early spring, the seeds being sown two in a pot. And grown in this until planting-out time.

Myosotis, see Forget-me-not

Nasturtium The common nasturtium is botanically named Tropaeolum niajus. And is one of the most easily grown annuals, thriving in any fairly open place, however poor the soil. There are climbing and dwarf forms and some with semi-double flowers. All in bright shades of yellow, orange. Pink and red.

Seed should be sown thinly Un (icm) deep in spring where the plants are required to flower.

Nemesia Pretty half-hardy annuals up to I2in (30cm) in height, producing flowers in many colours throughout the summer. The range is from white, pale yellow and mauve, to orange, blue and red.

Seed should be sown in a warm greenhouse in spring, the seedlings being pricked out and hardened off for planting outdoors, 6in (15cm) apart, in late spring or early summer, preferably in a sunny place and a rather rich soil with plenty of moisture in summer.

Nemophila (Baby blue eyes) A charming hardy annual, 6in (15cm) high with small sky-blue flowers freely produced in summer. Seed should be sown in spring in a sunny place where plants are to flower and seedlings thinned to 6in (15cm).

Nicotiana (Tobacco) The smoker”s tobacco is not an ornamental plant, but the white-flowered. Sweet-scented or jasmine tobacco, Nicotiana affinis, (N. a lata) is a popular summer-flowering annual which grows well in shady as well as in sunny places. The red-flowered tobacco. N. sanderae, is a similar plant with carmine flowers and there are numerous garden varieties from 1 to 3 ft (60cm to 1 m) high with white, lime green. Pink, carmine or crimson flowers.

All are raised from seed sown in a warm greenhouse in early spring, the seedlings being pricked out into boxes and later hardened off for planting out in late spring or early summer. All will grow in any reasonable soil in sun or partial shade. By nature they close their flowers by day and open them in the evening but garden varieties have been produced which remain open during the daytime.

Nigella (Love-in-a-mist) Pretty hardy annuals with fine, ferny foliage and blue, mauve, purple, rose, pink or white flowers a little like cornflowers but surrounded by lacy bracts. All are raised from seed sown outdoors in spring or early autumn where the plants are to flower, preferably in a well-drained soil and a sunny position. Seedlings should be thinned to at least 9 in (23cm) apart.

Pansy Pansies belong to the viola family and are perennial plants, but they are commonly treated as annuals or biennials and raised anew each year from seed. This can be sown in a frame or greenhouse in early spring. Seedlings are then pricked out and hardened off to be planted out as soon as they are large enough, and will flower from late spring onwards. Better plants can be obtained by sowing the seeds in a frame or greenhouse in early summer, pricking them out into boxes or a frame and then planting them outdoors in early autumn to flower the following spring and summer. So-called winter-flowering varieties are available which, treated in this way, even if they do not produce many flowers actually in winter, will certainly start to make a display very early the following spring. Alternatively, cuttings of pansies can be rooted in a frame in early autumn and overwintered in the frame until the spring.

The colour range is very wide including lavender, blue, purple, orange, yellow. Primrose and white, sometimes with dark. Almost black markings.

All pansies like good rich soil and sunny places and should be watered freely in dry weather.

Papaver, see Poppy

Pelargonium (Geranium) These plants are commonly, though erroneously, called geraniums. Some are purely greenhouse plants but some are much used for summer display in beds and borders. There are two principal groups for this purpose: the zonal-leaved pelargoniums, bushy plants with scarlet, carmine, pink or white flowers and popular both for summer bedding and as pot plants, and the ivy-leaved pelargoniums which are sprawling in habit, usually pink flowered though there are red, purple and blue varieties, and useful in hanging baskets, window boxes, tubs, or trained as climbers.

All likesun and warmth and need complete protection from frost. They are easily raised from cuttings of firm young shoots taken in spring or late summer. They are not fussy about soil but flower best in warm, sunny places. There are varieties of the zonal-leaved type with elaborately variegated leaves in which yellow, green, red and silver may appear in varying combinations. These also make good bedding plants.

Because of their susceptibility to frost, pelargoniums should not be planted outdoors until late spring or early summer and should be returned to the greenhouse to overwinter before frost threatens in the autumn. Some varieties can also be raised from seed sown in a warm greenhouse in late winter or early spring and later potted individually and hardened off for planting out in early summer, but seedlings are sometimes slow in coming into flower. Varieties have been bred to overcome this difficulty.

Penstemon. (Hardy Perennials)

Petunia Half-hardy annuals with very showy flowers produced all the summer. Petunias like sun and warmth and do particularly well in light, well-drained soils. They are raised from seed sown in a warm greenhouse in late winter or early spring, seedlings being pricked out and hardened olT for planting out in late spring or early summer.

There are a great many varieties which fall into two main groups; one known as grandiflora, with very large flowers, the other, known as multiflora, with smaller flowers more freely produced. The colour range includes practically everything except deep yellow and orange and some varieties have two sharply contrasted colours such as purple or carmine and white. There are also double-flowered varieties but these are. On the whole, most suitable as pot plants for greenhouses or in window boxes and on balconies.

All kinds flower throughout the summer, and though the flowers of many are readily damaged by rain, some varieties recover quickly.

Phacelia Pretty hardy annuals of which the best is Phacelia campdnularia, a low-growing plant with intensely blue flowers rather like those of a campanula. It likes sun and a well-drained soil and is grown from seed sown in spring where the plants are to flower in summer. Seedlings should be thinned to about 6in (15cm).

Phlox In addition to the herbaceous phlox, and the moss pink, there is an annual phlox, known as Phlox drwnmondii, a sprawling plant with a long flowering season in summer and a colour range from white, pale pink and lavender to scarlet, crimson, violet and purple. Heights range from 6 to 15in (15 to 38cm). The annual phlox is half hardy and so is grown from seed sown in a warm greenhouse in spring, the seedlings being pricked out into boxes and hardened off for planting out in late spring or early summer in a sunny place and any reasonable soil.

Pink In addition to the perennial pinks, there are the so-called Chinese or Indian pinks, varieties of Dianthus chitiensis and a form of this known as heddewigii. All are showy plants with line single or double flowers, usually with red, crimson or maroon blotches on a while background, though there are also all-red, all-white, pink and salmon varieties.

All are best grown as half-hardy annuals to be raised from seed sown in a greenhouse or frame in early spring or outdoors in late spring. Seedlings raised under glass are hardened off for planting out in late spring or early summer. These annual pinks like sunny places and well-drained soils.

Polyanthus The polyanthus is a particular kind of primrose which carries its flowers in clusters on fairly stout stems. It has been wonderfully developed to give a vast colour range from white, pink and pale blue, to scarlet, crimson and violet, and including many unusual coppery shades. It is a hardy perennial which will live for years in good rich soil and partly shaded places, but it is fairly easily raised from seed and is usually treated as a biennial, especially some modern large-flowered strains which appear to be less winter hardy than the old polyanthus.

Seed is sown in spring or early summer in a frame, the seedlings are pricked out into boxes or a frame, and planted out in early autumn where they are to flower the following spring.

They make fine beds on their own or may be used as a groundwork for spring-flowering bulbs, or be grown in groups in shrubberies or herbaceous borders. If plants are kept from year to year it is wise to lift and divide them after flowering every second year.

Poppy (Papaver) In addition to the herbaceous perennial poppies, there are annual poppies and poppies which are usually treated as biennials. All like sunny places and fairly well-drained soils.

The most popular annual poppies are the Shirley poppy, Papaver rhoeas, and the peony-flowered poppy, P. somniferum. The first is a rather slender plant with a wonderfully delicate colour range, the second is more robust, grey leaved, with big flowers often very double and in a wider range of often rather rich colours. Both are readily grown from seed sown outdoors in spring or early autumn where the plants are to flower, the seedlings being thinned to at least 9 in (23 cm). The average height of Shirley poppies is 2 ft (60cm). Peony-flowered poppies, 3 ft (1 m). Both kinds are liable to reproduce themselves freely by self-sown seedlings, but as a rule the range of colours and quality of bloom quickly diminishes.

The lovely Iceland poppy, P. nudicaule, is really a perennial, but is short lived and is usually grown either as an annual or biennial. In the first case, seed is sown in early spring in a greenhouse with a temperature of about 13 C. (55 F.) and the seedlings are planted out in late spring to flower in late summer. If the plant is to be treated as a biennial, seed is sown in a frame in early summer, the seedlings being planted out in late summer to flower early the following summer. The colour range is mainly in yellow and orange, but with some pink and white as well. Average height is 2 to 3 ft (60cm to 1 m).

Portulaca Half-hardy annuals with succulent leaves and very showy single or double flowers in a wide range of colours including scarlet, carmine, purple, pink, orange and yellow. They delight in sun and warmth and look well on top of a terrace wall or raised bed in reasonably good but very porous soil.

Seed should be sown in early spring in a warm greenhouse and seedlings pricked out and hardened off for planting out in late spring and early summer when there is no further danger of frost.

Pot marigold, see Calendula

Primrose The common yellow primrose is usually only planted in woodland and wild gardens but the cultivated varieties, which are available in a good range of colours including pink, red, crimson, lavender and blue, are first-rate spring bedding plants grown in exactly the same way as the polyanthus.

Prince of Walcs”s feather, sec Celosia

Prince’s feather, see Amaranthus

Reseda, see Mignonette

Rocket candytuft, see Candytuft

Rudbeckia (Cone flower, gloriosa daisy) In addition to the cone (lowers which are grown as hardy perennials, there are other kinds mainly derived from Rudbeckia hirta which, though perennial, are either not fully hardy or are naturally short lived and so are usually grown as annuals or biennials. The daisy-type flowers are yellow or chestnut red or a combination of these colours. The plants are rather coarse leaved, I to 3 it (10cm to 1 m) high and they flower all summer.

Seed can either be sown in a greenhouse or frame in spring; seedlings being pricked out, hardened off and planted out in late spring or early summer, or seed can be sown outdoors in early summer and plants transferred to flowering quarters in early autumn to bloom the following year.

They like sunny places and will grow in practically any well-drained soil.

Salpiglossis Half-hardy annuals with trumpet-shaped flowers in a wide range of colours, often with veinings of gold on a purple, rose or scarlet base. The flowers are carried in loose sprays on 3-ft (1 m) stems and are excellent for cutting.

Seed should be sown in a warm greenhouse in early spring, the seedlings being pricked out and eventually hardened off for planting out in late spring or early summer in good soil and a sunny, sheltered position. The plants should be spaced at least 9in (23cm) apart. Alternatively, salpiglossis can be grown as a pot plant for the cool greenhouse in summer, in which case the young plants should be potted singly in 5- or 6-in (13- to 15-cm) pots instead of being planted outdoors.

Salvia Some salvias are herbaceous peren-nials and one is the sage, a popular herb, but here we are concerned with two very different plants, one. Salvia splendens, a half-hardy perennial, and the other, S. horminum, a hardy annual. Both are grown for their great flower displays in summer.

Though perennial. S. splendens and its varieties are nearly always grown as half-hardy annuals, seed being sown in a greenhouse with a temperature 16 to 18 C (60 to 65 F) in late winter or early spring, and the seedlings potted singly in small pots and eventually hardened off for planting out in early summer after all danger of frost is past. This salvia likes sun and warmth but is not fussy about soil. It makes bushy plants 9 to 18 in (23 to 45cm) high, according to variety, and its spikes of vivid scarlet, pink or purple flowers are produced non-stop from mid-summer to the first frost of autumn.

Salvia horminum is popularly known as clary. Its flowers are also borne in spikes about 18 in (45 cm) high but it is not the flowers themselves but the leaf-like bracts surrounding them that make the display. They may be blue, purple, pink, rose or white according to variety and they last a long time. Clary is grown from seed sown outdoors in spring or early autumn where the plants are to flower, seedlings being thinned to about g’m (23cm).

Saponaria (Soapwort) The annual soap-wort, Saponaria vaccaria, is a graceful plant with loose sprays of pink or white flowers in summer. It is quite hardy and is grown from seed sown in spring where the plants are to flower, seedlings being thinned to 6in (15cm). A sunny place is desirable but it will grow in almost any soil.

Scabiosa (Scabious, pincushion flower) In addition to the hardy perennial scabious, there is a useful hardy annual kind, Scabiosa atropurpurea. I\ to 3 ft (45 cm to 1 m) high with sweetly scented, pincushion-shaped flowers in a variety of colours including lavender, blue. Pink, red, crimson, purple and white.

Seed can be sown outdoors in spring or early autumn where plants are to flower. Seedlings being thinned to at least 9in (23cm). Alternatively, seed can be sown a little earlier in a frame or greenhouse, seedlings being pricked out and hardened off for planting out in late spring.

It is a plant which enjoys sunny places and reasonably well-drained soil and its llowers are excellent for cutting.

Senecio (Dusty miller) Senecio cineraria, a plant sometimes called Cineraria maritima, is grown for its deeply divided silvery-grey leaves. In time it will make quite a big bushy plant. 3 or 4 ft high, but it is smaller, younger plants that are most useful as a foil to the stronger colours of such plants as salvias and geraniums.

Plants can be grown from cuttings rooted in a frame or greenhouse at practically any time in spring or summer, or from seed sown in a greenhouse in spring. S. cineraria is not fully hardy, though it will overwinter safely in mild winters. Usually it must be removed to a frost-proof greenhouse or frame in autumn or be renewed annually from seed or cuttings. It likes light soils and warm, sunny places.

Silene (Catchfly) There is one excellent annual catchfly. Si/ene pendula, a slender plant with sprays of single or double flowers in summer in shades of pink, salmon. Scarlet, lilac and white. It is hardy and is grown from seed sown in spring where the plants are to flower, the seedlings being thinned to about 6in (15cm). It likes sun but is not fussy about soil.

Snapdragon, see Antirrhinum

Soapwort, see Saponaria

Spider flower, see Cleonie

Star of the veldt, see Dimorphotheca

Statice There are both hardy perennial and half-hardy annual statices, but all have sprays of small flowers prized because they can be dried for winter decoration.

The flowers of the annual statice, Limo-nium sinuatum, and the yellow statice, L. bonduellii, are larger than those of the perennials and together give a range of blue, pink, white and yellow.

Seed should be sown in a warm greenhouse in early spring, the seedlings being pricked out and hardened off for planting out in late spring or early summer at least 9 in (23 cm) apart in 18-in (45-cm) rows in good soil and a sunny place. The flowers should be cut with long stems just before they are fully open and suspended head downwards in a cool, airy shed or room to dry.

The candelabra statice, L. suworowii, is a more tender annual with narrow pink spikes in a candelabra-like formation. It is usually grown as a cool greenhouse pot plant from seed treated as for^ the other annual kinds.

Stock Matthiola incana is the botanical name of the plant that has produced the most popular races of spring- and summer-flowering stocks.

Ten-week stocks are half-hardy annuals from 1 to 3 ft (30cm to 1 m) high, grown from seed sown in a moderately heated greenhouse in spring. Seedlings are pricked out and grown on with plenty of light and ventilation for eventual hardening off and planting out in late spring or early summer. There are many colours, from white, cream and palest mauve and pink to deep crimson and purple; all are fragrant.

Since it is the double-flowered plants that make the finest display, considerable ingenuity has been displayed by breeders in either increasing the number of doubles produced from seed, or by making it possible to differentiate between doubles and singles at an early age so that the singles can be discarded. In some strains the double-flowered plants have yellowish-green leaves in the seedling stage, the singles being a deeper green. This difference can be accentuated, making it easier to pick out the doubles, if the seed is germinated at about 15°C. (60 P.). but the temperatureisdropped for a week to io°C. (50rF.) directly the first pair of true leaves have been developed.

Bromptonstocksare2to3ft(6ocmto 1 m) high with a less extensive colour range, and they are grown very much like wallflowers as biennials, seed being sown outdoors or in a frame about mid-summer to produce plants which can be placed in their final beds in autumn or early spring to flower in late spring or early summer. They need a sunny, sheltered place in well-drained soil.

East Lothian stocks are intermediate between the other two types. Sown in a greenhouse in late winter, they will flower in late summer; sown in late summer and overwintered in a frame, they can be planted out in spring to flower in summer.

The night-scented stock, M. bicomis, is a very different plant; a hardy annual [ft (30cm) high with dingy purple flowers that are intensely fragrant at night. Seed can be sown thinly any time in spring where the plants are to bloom and little or no thinning is necessary.

Stock, Virginian This pretty and easily grown annual has a totally different parentage to the ordinary stocks described above and is botanically Matcomia marilinia. It is a plant 6in (15cm) high, producing small pink, lilac or white flowers throughout the summer. All that is necessary is to sprinkle seed very thinly in spring or early autumn where the plants are to flower. No thinning of seedlings is necessary.

Summer cypress, sec Kochia

Sunflower There are both annual and perennial sunflowers. Most spectacular of the annuals is the giant sunflower. Helianllnis animus, with 7- or 8-ft (2-25- to 2-5-111) stems carrying huge flowers largely composed of a central, pad-like, brownish-purple disk which later produces a crop of large seeds, often used for poultry feeding. The disk is surrounded by a fringe of yellow petals.

The seeds should be sown in pairs a foot or so apart in spring where plants are to flower and later the seedlings should be thinned to one at each station. There are also smaller annual sunflowers from 3 to 4 ft (1 to 1-25111) in height, with flowers from pale to deep yellow, and bronze and crimson which can be grown in the same way. All like reasonably good, well-drained soil and warm, sunny places.

Swan River daisy, sec Brachycome

Sweet Pea These popular annuals can be treated in several different ways. To obtain the finest flowers, seed is sown in early autumn in small pots in a frame, the seedlings being kept in this until the following spring, when they are planted out in deeply worked, well-manured ground and an open. Sunny place. They are spaced 1 ft (30cm) apart, usually in a double row 1 ft (30cm) wide, with a 4- or 5 ft (1 -25- to I -5-111) alleyway between this and the next double row. Each plant is given a tall bamboo cane and is restricted to one stem only, which is regularly tied to the cane. All side growths and tendrils are removed. When the plant reaches the top of the cane it is untied. Lowered, laid along the rows for several feet and then tied to the bottom of another cane which it can continue to ascend. This is known as the cordon system.

The natural system is to allow the plants to grow unchecked and climb into bushy hazel branches stuck into the ground as for staking culinary peas. The seed can be sown in pots or boxes in a frame or greenhouse in late winter or directly into the open ground in spring: in the former case the seedlings are planted out about 6 in (15cm) apart in mid or late spring. In the latter, the seeds are spaced 2 or 3 in (5 to 8cm) apart and there is little or no subsequent thinning of seedlings.

Another way to grow sweet peas is to sow in small groups and place a few canes wigwam fashion or some bushy hazel branches to each group, so making columns or cones which can be very decorative.

There are a great many varieties and new ones are added to the list every year. There are dwarf varieties growing only about 1 ft (30cm) high and needing little or no support, and other varieties only a few feet high.

Sweet Sultan This pretty hardy annual, with bright yellow, mauve or purple flowers rather like those of a cornflower in shape. Is related to the cornflower and is botanically Centaurea moschata. The plants grow about 18 in (45 cm) high, flower in summer and like sunny places and well-drained soils.

Seed may be sown in spring or early autumn, seedlings being thinned to about 9in (23cm). All varieties are excellent for cutting.

Sweet William These charming plants, with their big, flattish heads of flowers in early summer, belong to the pink family and their botanical name is Dianihus barbatus. They are usually grown as biennials, though in favourable positions and well-drained soils they will often continue for a number of years. But the usual practice is to sow seed outdoors in late spring, prick out the seedlings 6in (15cm) apart in a nursery bed of good soil in a sunny position and grow on until autumn, when they are transferred to their flowering quarters. After flowering the plants are destroyed.

Sweet Williams will grow in practically any soil, though they prefer those that are reasonably well drained. There are numerous varieties, differing in height from about 9 in to 2 ft (23 to 60cm), and in colour from white and pink to crimson. The auricula-eyed sweet William has rings of colour on a white base.

There are also annual strains of sweet William which can be sown in a greenhouse in early spring, hardened off and planted out in late spring to flower the same summer.

Tagetes The plant listed in catalogues as Tagetes signata is a dwarf marigold with single yellow or orange flowers. See Marigold.

Tassel flower, see Amaranthus

Toadflax, see Linaria

Tobacco, see Nicotiana

Tropaeolum (Canary creeper) This is the proper name of the showy annuals which every gardener calls nasturtium. There is also a climbing kind which is never called nasturtium but appears in catalogues as Tropaeolum peregrinum or T. canariense. This is the Canary creeper, a slender annual climbing plant with fringed, curiously shaped canary-yellow flowers all the summer. It is a hardy annual to be grown from seed sown in spring where it is to flower. Seedlings being thinned to about 1 ft (30cm). It likes a warm, sunny place and well-drained soil and should have some brushy branches pushed into the soil around it or be provided with some support.

Ursinia Brilliant half-hardy annuals, with orange daisy flowers, often with a central zone of crimson, maroon or black and produced throughout the summer.

Ursinias are raised from seed sown in a warm greenhouse in spring, the seedlings being pricked out and hardened off for planting out in well-drained soil and a warm sunny place, in late spring. They should be spaced about 1 ft (30 cm) apart and will reach a height of 12 to 18 in (30 to 45 cm).

Venidium Showy half-hardy annuals with large orange and black daisy flowers in summer. Seed should be sown in spring in a frame or greenhouse, the seedlings being pricked out and hardened off for planting out in late spring in a sunny place and well-drained soil. Heights vary from 2 to 3 ft (60cm to 1 m).

Some remarkable hybrids, known as Venidio-arctotis, have been raised from a cross between these plants and Arctotis, with flowers in a range of pink, orange. Copper and wine red. They are sterile and so cannot be raised from seed. Instead they are increased by cuttings in spring or summer but these cuttings must pass the winter in a frame or greenhouse as they are not hardy.

Verbena Some verbenas are hardy perennials. Others are more tender and. Though also perennial, are usually grown as half-hardy annuals and raised anew each year from seed sown in a warm greenhouse in late winter or early spring. Seedlings are pricked out and hardened off for planting out in late spring in a sunny place. Some selected varieties, such as the scarlet Lawrence Johnston, are raised from cuttings taken in late summer or early autumn and rooted and overwintered in a frame or greenhouse. All are rather sprawling plants with flat-tish heads of flowers which make a great display all summer. Colours available include many shades of pink to scarlet and crimson, also pale blue, lavender and deep blue.

Viola These low-growing spring- and summer-flowering perennials are very like pansies to which they are so closely allied and with which they have been so interbred that it is impossible to draw a firm distinction between them. Colours range from white. Pale lemon and mauve to deep yellow, purple and violet. All make good bedding or edging plants, as they flower for a long time. Violas are quite hardy and will grow in any reasonable soil. They appreciate a little shade, but will also grow well in full sun. All can be increased by cuttings in early autumn or by division in spring, but they are also readily raised from seed which is treated exactly like that of pansies

Wallflower All wallflowers are perennials. But the familiar varieties of Cheiranthus cheiri used for spring bedding are usually treated as biennials.

Seed is sown each year in late spring, the seedlings are pricked out in a sunny nursery bed for the summer, are planted in early autumn where they are to flower and, after flowering, are pulled out and thrown away. This is because they tend to get straggly with age and are then frequently killed by wet and cold in winter. There are numerous colours, including ivory white, primrose, yellow, orange, orange scarlet, carmine, blood red, coppery red, purple, rose and rosy chamois and heights vary from 9 to 18 in (23 to 45 cm).

All thrive in sunny places and well-drained soils particularly on chalk. • The Siberian wallflower, Cheiranthus allionii, flowers a little later and goes on flowering for a longer time than the common wallflower. Another notable point of difference is that its vivid orange flowers are scarcely scented. It is grown in exactly the same way as the common wallflower.

Zinnia Half-hardy annuals with brilliantly coloured daisy-type flowers in summer. The colour range is from lemon and pink to orange and crimson and the flowers are very variable in size and form. Most are fully double, though some single or semi-doubles are likely to be produced. There are dwarf varieties only 6in (15cm) high with flowers to scale, as well as taller varieties up to 3 ft (im) high, some with quilled or shaggy petals more like chrysanthemums.

Seed may be sown in a frame or greenhouse in spring, the seedlings being pricked oil’and finally planted out in late spring in fairly rich soil and a sunny position. The plants should be spaced at least 1 ft (30cm) apart. Alternatively, seed can be sown in late spring outdoors where the plants are to flower. Thin seedlings to 1 ft (30cm).

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