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Sowing tender annuals

Frost tender annuals may be sown outdoors now in prepared beds and borders. The soil should be dug, weeded, firmed, and raked level so that there is a fine tilth. Take out a drill, just as you would in the vegetable garden, and sow seeds according to the instructions on the packet. These include everything from ageratum to zinnia, with dozens in between.

Plant of the Week: Doronicum

Plant of the Week: Doronicum

The showy golden daisies of this brassy look-at-me perennial are a welcome surprise in late spring: most daisies flower much later in the year, but this is out with the last of the daffodils: it makes a fabulous combination with tall, elegant pheasant’s-eye daffs, and is a great way to disguise unsightly daffodil foliage as it dies down.

It’s an easy-going plant that is happiest in a spot with a little dappled shade. It grows to around 60cm tall, with handsome heart-shaped leaves: for containers, though, try the compact version ‘Little Leo’, smothered in bright little golden yellow flowers and a magnet for bees.