Hardy annuals requiring no protection
These hardy annuals may require protection in northern parts of the UK, or even in southern parts if winter is harsh. Keep an eye on the weather, and if hard frosts are forecast, protect sowings with cloches or horticultural fleece.
Ammi majus: Creamy white lace-like flowers in summer and ferny foliage.
Calendula officinalis: Single or double daisy-like flowers in shades of orange, gold, cream or yellow from summer to autumn.
Centaurea cyanus (cornflower): Dark blue daisy-like flowers from late spring to mid-summer.
Limnanthes douglasii (poached egg plant): Numerous cup-shaped yellow-centred white flowers from summer to autumn.
Linum grandiflorum (flax): Saucer-shaped rose-pink flowers with dark eyes in summer.
Hordeum jubatum (squirrel tail grass): Long silky tufted flowers on grassy stems from early to mid-summer.
Nigella damascena (love-in-a-mist): Saucer-shaped pale blue flowers surrounded by a ruff of ferny foliage.
Lunaria annua (honesty): White or pale purple flowers in late spring and summer followed by flat, round, silvery seedpods.
Papaver commutatum, P. rhoeas, P. somniferum (corn and opium poppies): Large cup-shaped blooms with black centres in shades of orange, red, pink, mauve and white.
Briza (quaking grass): Nodding spikelets of flowers that move in the wind with grassy foliage.
Consolida (larkspur): Delphinium-like spikes of flowers in shades of pink, blue or white.
Hardy annuals needing some protection
These hardy annuals will need some protection from frosts, even in milder parts of the UK. Cloches and horticultural fleece should do the job. In colder parts of the country, consider sowing these in pots under glass.
Lathyrus odoratus (sweet pea): Fragrant climber with flowers in most colours except yellow from summer to early autumn; best sown in pots.
Eschscholzia (Californian poppy): Cup-shaped flowers of yellow, orange, red or white in spring or summer, with ferny foliage.
Gypsophila elegans: Clusters of numerous tiny white or pink flowers on slender stalks in summer.
Lavatera trimestris (mallow): Cup-shaped flowers of pink or white in summer.
Cerinthe major var. purpurascens: Deep purple bell-shaped flowers held in a cluster of dark blue bracts in summer; blue-green foliage.
Salvia viridis (annual clary): Showy pink, purple or white leaf-like bracts in summer.
Matthiola longipetala subsp. bicornis (night-scented stock): Pink, purple or mauve flowers in summer, strongly scented at night.
Orlaya grandiflora: Lacy white blooms produced all summer long.
Nemophila: Saucer-shaped white or blue flowers in summer, with blue spots on the tips of the petals.
Adonis aestivalis: Ferny foliage and cup-shaped red flowers with dark centres in mid-summer.