Ipomoea – image zoom’s edible plants
You might have missed sowing early seed, but here are a variety of robust annuals for containers, which benefit from being sown in late spring, are inexpensive to grow, provide a variety of heights to create a tiered effect and will really brighten up your garden space, if like me you have a small courtyard garden. These plants could be especially good in urban gardens, in pots on balconies and steps, patios, or within a larger garden.
Silene armeria ‘Electra’ – image ecosia
This hardy annual has fantastic vibrant pink flowers, likes to be in full sun and grows to a height of 40cm. It will self sow, and does very well in containers. You can save the seed and sow them the next year, they are fast to germinate, which is always a bonus.
Ipomoea lobata – image stuff.co.nz
Ipomoea lobata, otherwise known as ‘Spanish Flag, ‘has an attractive leaf with red, orange and yellow arching flowers. It requires a full sun position and will grow up to 5m in height, and can look incredible growing near a door, window or in a corner. It will flower up to the first frosts.
Dolichos lablab ‘Ruby Moon’
Dolichos lablab, or Lablab purpureus is another fast growing climber. In summer and autumn it produces stunning purple pea-like flowers, followed by edible pods. It needs plenty of space to grow, and will climb up to 4m, and needs a full sun location.
Mirabilis jalapa – image etsy
Mirabilis jalapa, the ‘Four o’clock flower,’ germinates easily and produces good sized bushy plants with trumpet shaped flowers. It’s called the four o’clock flower due to its scent in the afternoon. It is a perennial but is often grown as an annual – seed can be saved and sown the following year. It likes to be in full sun and grows up to 1m height and spread.
Nicotiana alata ‘Crimson Bedder – image about-garden.com
Nicotiana alata, otherwise known as the flowering tobacco plant, has deep red flowers between July and September. It likes full sun to partial shade and is highly fragrant during the early evening. They are pollinated by moths, which is the reason for the early evening scent, which attracts the insects. They grow to a height of 1m. These are a winner for every garden!
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Purity’ – image heirloom & perennial ltd
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Purity’ is a British garden classic. The white flowers on tall stems look attractive when placed near Nicotiana alata ‘Crimson Bedder.’ Cosmos require a moist but well drained soil in full sun. They grow to a height of 1.2m and 0.5m spread. You may need to stake them or give them some kind of support. They flower up to the first frosts.
Dried, Limonium sinuatum ‘Apricot Beauty’ – image Wilton Way House
Limonium sinuatum, or Sea lavender are a well known flower used in dried flower arrangements. It produces beautiful flowers between June and August and requires a full sun spot. It likes a moist but well drained soil, but is drought tolerant making it perfect for pots. Will grow to a height of 0.6m.