10 Hardy Annual Plants to Plan for Now

Now is the time to plan and even plant for next year’s spring and summer beds! If you grow cut flowers, there are several varieties that fall under the category of hardy annuals. This means they can be sown in colder temperatures because they are frost-resistant. Sowing these hardy annual plants in cooler months will mean an earlier flowering next spring and larger plants, because their root systems will already be in place.

You can plant these outside with mulch if you have mild winters or in an cold frame, polytunnel, greenhounse or under a cloche. If your first frost has yet to land, and your soil is still workable and warm, you can sow now. Or, you can plant the seeds in a warm greenhouse for more protection.

Cut flowers from hardy annual plants

The beautiful flowers shown were grown and styled by British flower farmer, Lara Smith of Manor Farm Cottage Flowers in Somerset, England

Here are a few of my favorite hardy annual plants for the flower borders, garden focal points, cut flower arrangements and to use in the kitchen! I’ve been working with British flower farmers this year and assisting in sowing seeds for next year’s harvests! These are a few of the hardy annuals from the previous year at Manor Farm Cottage in Somerset, England.

1. Cornflowers

Easy to grow, cornflowers are lovely added to salads or wildflower-style flower arrangements. That look sweet paired in a patch with Shirley Poppies and Ammi.

2. Nigella

Also called Love-in-a-Mist. The flowers are sweet in arrangements but the seed pods, which dry beautifully, are even more stunning come the end of summer.

3. Calendula

A great flower to plant in the veggie patch to aid in attracting beneficial insects to the garden as well as getting whiteflies away from your tomatoes. I love using calendula in salads and in flower arrangements.

4. Sweet peas

Sweet peas are so gorgeous in flower arrangements. Who can resist their delicious fragrance?! They can be planted now to encourage early flowering, or you can plant once the daffodils have bloomed. Sweet peas should be plantedĀ in pots and will need some protection over the winter.

5. Poppies

This double variety, ‘Ooh La La‘ are gorgeous for flower plots or mixed in with vegetables. If you keep cutting them, they will continue blooming all summer. After the flowers are gone, the seed heads offer late-summer and fall interest. Opium poppies and California poppies can both be sown in the fall, and will need some protection over the winter.


6. Larkspur

Sow in Autumn for early summer blooming. These are lovely in flower arrangements and tend to dry well.

7. Scabious

Sow Scabious now for larger plants and earlier flowering. Keep them deadheaded throughout the summertime for continuous bloom.

8. Ammi

A beautiful white lace-cap flower, perfect for summer flower arrangements. It holds up well as a cut flower, lasting around a week.

9. Euphorbia

These chartreuse flowers are lovely in spring flower arrangements to pair with colorful blossoms.

10. Nasturtium

These yellow, coral, and orange flowers look spectacular in container plantings and are also edible, perfect for salads and as garnishes.

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