Annuals for picking
One of the great luxuries of gardening is collecting armfuls of cheerful flowers for filling vases to overflowing with colour and scent for the house. Some of the best flowers for picking are easy-going annuals, and we've picked our top ten from the wide range available in our St Albans garden centre.
Bupleurum: lime-green flowers and foliage, contrasting perfectly with brighter colours
Cosmos: graceful daisy-like flowers on 90cm tall stems: 'Purity' is exquisite white, and 'Dazzler' is vivid pink
Ammi majus: frothing umbels of pure white flowers, like an elegant cowparsley
Tobacco plant (Nicotiana): tall, airy flowers in colours from white to pink to lime green
Snapdragons (Antirrhinum): pretty cottage-garden flowers with generous blooms
Cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus): blue is the classic colour, but they come in white, pink or darkest purple
Sweetpeas (Lathyrus odoratus): choose Spencer types for scent, and Grandifloras for big, blowsy flowers
Love-in-a-mist (Nigella): exquisite starry blue or white flowers are followed by architectural seedheads
Larkspur (Consolida): a rich royal blue flower with tall spikes produced till the first frosts
Bells of Ireland (Molucella laevis): curious curving spikes of vivid green bell-like flowers veined with cream
Please ask the staff in our garden centre for more information and advice about annual flowers you can pick for the house.