Getting plants to flower late

Hi, o am after advice on how to ensure bush type sunflowers and lavender are in flower for end of first week in October. We are getting married then, and having small reception at ours. I have a conservatory and can generally grow from seed, if a bit haphazard. I know October end of flowering season, but wondering if plant late in pots can transplant a couple of days beforehand. We are Dorset so quite mild, fingers crossed.
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  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 6,457
    I don't think there is a way to guarantee what you want.
    My tea's gone cold I'm wondering why I
    Got out of bed at all
    The morning rain clouds up my window
    And I can't see at all
  • Hampshire_HogHampshire_Hog Hampshire Coast 100m from the seaPosts: 731
    Commercial growers use temperature and light to delay or bring on plants, that's how you see all those magnificent plants at garden shows well out of there true flowering time. you could try and do the same on a smaller scale and sowing late might help but as Punkdoc says no guarantee, I would have a standby plan just in case.

    "You don't stop gardening because you get old, you get old because you stop gardening." - The Hampshire Hog
  • serena_bowerserena_bower Posts: 4
    Thankyou. They are not essential, we are doing other things as well, i will try though.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 2,565
    Sunflowers are probably possible being a late summer plant anyway but I'm a bit dubious about lavender still flowering in early October. A Plan B might be to nip down to your GC and see what is in flower the week before and cheat!
  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 66
    My lavenders were still flowering in mid-October last year (I think they finished in November but I am not really sure). This can be very location and weather dependent.
    For sunflowers, the best chance would be to try succession sowing, sowing every two weeks. Some could be flowering in October.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 12,894
    I got married the middle of October, and the local fruit/flower/veg shop had bunches of teddy bear sunflowers  in the week before. They were grown locally ( Castle Donington, East Midlands), but the owner of the shop said they were the last, so you would be right at the end of the growing season, even allowing for successional sowing and a field.  Try repeat flowerers such as dahlias instead. I had gladioli as well, again planted in succession. Always have a Plan B .

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 12,894
    To give colour through the garden in September, can I suggest Verbena bonariensis, white cosmos to give an airy look,  Nicotinia to give night scent. All are easily grown from seed.  Pack them in about a foot apart, closer than usually recommended.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • serena_bowerserena_bower Posts: 4
    Thankyou. I will try repeat seeding. I have verbena and some other late flower seeds in the pipeline. Yes, garden centre might be an option. 
  • WillDBWillDB Posts: 1,343
    edited 15 April
    Asters would be in flower; A. Monch is a really good one with lavender blue/mauve flowers; or A. Little Carlow. You'd have to buy them as 2-3L plants to have good impact in October.
  • serena_bowerserena_bower Posts: 4
    Thankyou
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