The ultimate in warp-speed gardening, annual climbers shoot up fences and walls like rockets, smothering them in brilliantly-coloured flowers. They're easy to grow from seed – choose from the wide selection in our garden centre in St Albans – and let you create a new display every year, each one more colourful than the last. Here are our favourites:
Spanish flag (Ipomoea lobata): brilliantly tropical-looking relative of morning glory, but with pennants of tubular flowers in flaming shades from red through orange to yellow.
Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus): the easiest of all the annual climbers, sow pretty, fragrant sweet peas direct at the foot of a wigwam or in pots in October to overwinter for earlier flowers next season.
Purple bell vine (Rhodochiton atrosanguineus): heart shaped green leaves covered with large deep red-purple flowers all summer.
Black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata): masses of simple, open flowers in all sorts of colours from brick red to bright orange, all with a perky black eye.
Cup and saucer vine (Cobaea scandens): large inky purple flowers like bells with a frill of green behind are held on stems long enough to cut for flower arranging
Please ask the staff in our St Albans garden centre for more information and advice about growing annual climbers in your garden.