An annual is a flowering plant that germinates, grows, flowers and then sets seeds within a single growing season.
Annuals provide attractive and prolific blooms that give much needed interest and colour in formal bedding displays or as an eye catching infill in beds and borders.
Hardy Annuals (HA) are annuals that can survive a certain level of frost and once established will usually survive outside in a normal British winter. Hardy annuals are normally raised from seed in the spring for summer/autumn flowering in the same year, however many can be sown outdoors from April onwards, in the position where they are to flower. Certain Hardy Annuals are also tough enough to be sown outdoors in September for over-wintering; which will then flower much earlier the following summer. However, a really bad winter with severe frosts can still kill Hardy Annuals.
The following selection of Hardy Annuals are suitable for domestic gardens in Great Britain (England/Scotland/Ireland):
Poached egg plant
Love in the mist
Common Garden Poppy
There are many varied HA types available and every year seed producers create new strains with ever widening ranges of flower shape, size, colour and growth habits. Most varieties of Hardy Annuals are not difficult to grow. Generally all they need is frequent watering, some feeding and regular dead-heading to provide a continuous display all summer long.