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My Favourite Autumn Sown Annuals for Beginners

Now is the perfect time to start experimenting with your autumn sown annuals. "But why not wait till spring?" I hear you cry... well if you get them going now you're looking at the potential for earlier flowering plants which will be stronger sooner in the year.

What to Grow

These are my best 7 seeds to sow now for early summer flowers next year...


This is my favourite beginner seed to sow, it rarely lets you down and gives such amazing colour in profusion of repeat flowering glory right through to the first frost. There are so many colours to choose from as well, try 'Sunset Buff", "Cantaloupe" or "Sherbert Fizz" for beautiful peachy tones, "Snow Princess" for pale yellow and "Indian Price" or "Neon" for that classic zingy tone.

(Calendula "Cantaloupe")


I just love the candy colours of larkspur, make sure to sow them indoors and keep an eye on the temperature if you can to make sure they germinate. These are also one of the best things for some colourful dried flowers come winter.

(Larkspur "Misty Lavender")


I love the pom pom heads of these flowers, they come in so many colours and they add so much lovely movement to bouquets. Try a seed packet that's a 'Mix' to get lots of different colours out of smaller spaces.

(Scabious "Black Knight")

Sweet Peas

When I smelled my sweet peas for the first time this year I cried with happiness, so the earlier they come, the better in my opinion. Sow these inside in tall, thin seed trays to promote long, strong roots - you can use kitchen roll cardboard inners for a great recycling option.

(Sweet Pea "Geoff Hughes")


Another staple of the cutting garden, these little beauties are perfect for flower crowns, buttonholes and bouquets both in their flower version and when they transition to seed heads. I actually prefer the seed heads myself so getting these started early is a priority. These will also do ok outside if the temperatures haven't dropped too much - always check your seed packets to make sure the temperature is right for germination.

(Nigella "Miss Jekyll")


This will be going into seed trays in the green house. I usually prefer the Ammi Majus for my summer arrangements but I always grow both as I love both for their seed heads to dry in autumn.

(Ammi "Visnaga")


I'm going to start sowing these this week and probably put some outside as well. I've got these Blue Boy variety as well as some called Jewel Mix which give lovely pops of pink, purple and white - as with the scabious, getting a "Mix" is great for a variety in a smaller space.

(Cornflower "Blue Boy")

Want to Know More?

If you want to know more about planning for and growing your own flowers, then you can check out my book "Cut Flower Growing" - Available here, and all good book shops.

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