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Sow now for a riot of colour in June?

I am holding a large garden party on 15th June and would like my garden to be a riot of colour!  I have bought a lot of packets of annual seeds -  cosmos, petunia, busy lizzie, marigolds etc, but many of them state to sow March - April for flowers in July.  I have tried sowing some cosmos on a windowsill in the hope of getting them to flower earlier, but they have come up really leggy and I don't hold out much hope for them. I have a greenhouse but it is unheated.  Am I wasting my time sowing earlier?  Are there any seeds I can sow now for flowers in June?  
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  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,940
    To be honest, yes you’re wasting your time, you still can’t plant out your annuals until the end of May, or beginning of June.  by then they will be far too leggy and will also need time to settle in before flowering.

    If you can afford it, you’d do better to buy a few trays of plants already in flower, they will have been grown in the best conditions light and heat and so on,  but mid June is pushing it for any annuals to be at their best.
    I grow annuals to fill in spaces later in the year, cosmos will flower from end of July to October.  
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 31,667
    I'm afraid the hardest lesson in gardening is patience
    Devon.
  • Lyn said:
    To be honest, yes you’re wasting your time, you still can’t plant out your annuals until the end of May, or beginning of June.  by then they will be far too leggy and will also need time to settle in before flowering.

    If you can afford it, you’d do better to buy a few trays of plants already in flower, they will have been grown in the best conditions light and heat and so on,  but mid June is pushing it for any annuals to be at their best.
    I grow annuals to fill in spaces later in the year, cosmos will flower from end of July to October.  
    … is not the answer I was hoping for, but was as I had suspected!  Guess I'll have to pay a bit more and go for plugs instead.  At least the roses should be in bloom.  Thanks Lyn!
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,940
    If you are thinking of doing the same next year you can start preparing now, this is a part of my garden on the 7th June last year, everything there is perennial. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Lovely!  Yes, if the event is successful I haven't ruled out it becoming an annual event.  I will do the same this year - photograph the garden on the day and then plan ahead to fill the gaps for next year.  I do have a bit of a rose fetish so at least they should be flowering by then, but I want even more colour.  I guess plugs are the answer.
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,227

    Commercial growers provide heat and light to make the seedlings think they are in their natural home and season. People like us can do it if we have the money and time but generally, it's easier to buy plugs or flowering plants.

    Lyn, your garden is beautiful.

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,940
    Thank you posy, it’s always the best, I think early in the season, I love the pastel pinks and blues.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,618
    That garden is gorgeous. Well done.
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 6,393
    Yes beautiful border, well maintained.. and I like the obelisk..

    If you can afford it, buy in trays of bedding Begonias, the whites and pinks go well with roses I find, but not the red... and small pots of Nemesias... they were all in full bloom on 8th June last year..  a modest outlay for a riot of colour...  Nemesia 'Easter Bonnet' is really very good, and scented too as you walk past... 

    Foxgloves, which you can buy early in March as leafy plants in pots will be in full flush, as will Sweet Rocket [Hesperis] and Verbascums..  all can be bought at garden centres in early Spring to flower from mid May onwards... another is Geum… the red 'Blazing Sunset' and yellow 'Lady Stratheden'...    a few pots of any of these will help you out …  best of luck..

  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,458
    Lovely borders, @Lyn, do those borders go all round your garden?
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
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