Flowers

Uplifting annuals

December 2009

With sustainable gardening, the focus is naturally on growing productive, edible plants, but there’s also a role and place for vibrant annual flowers. In spring, their colours give us a not-to-be underestimated emotional lift after the dolorous winter days, while as summer approaches they hum with bees and other insects, creating a rich, almost sensual place.

Super sunflowers

December 2009

As a child I used various seed mixes for feeding my pet budgerigar, mice and gerbils. Curious to see what sort of plants these blends contained, one Easter holiday I sowed some of each. When the summer school holidays started in my London backyard I had my first crops of chilli, millet, sorghum and sunflowers. Those first sunflowers really caught my eye, just as they did with Francisco Pizarro, a Spanish conquistador, who recorded seeing them being cropped in 16th century Peru.

Pages