Waterperry is a small village eight miles east of Oxford. It lies on the River Thame (not to be confused with River Thames), though the Thame does end up feeding into the Thames. The extensive gardens and river-side setting offer a combination of formal gardens, flowing herbaceous borders and wildlife meadows by the river.
Sunflowers can be excellent fun to grow. Given the right conditions they can grow quickly and provide excellent height and flower in late autumn.
Sunflowers are considered easy to grow and are often considered to be a good plant for children. (see: Growing sunflowers with children) However, to get the best out of sunflowers requires a few careful points.
Grow as a Fence. Sunflowers can make an excellent impromptu screen for late summer. The height can divide a garden creating a natural sense of rooms. – something top garden designers often go for.
H. ‘Pastiche’: available in mixed shades of reds, and yellows. The flowers appear on multi-stemmed plants that make an effective multicoloured fence in late summer – from 1.2m to 1.5m (4ft to 5ft) high.
Membership of a garden society can be a good source of good value seeds.
Not all seed companies are the same and many have distinctive specialties.
The big well known brands generally have a full range of annuals, perennials and odd selections. Most now offer higher value items including plugs and kinder or pot plants.
Many brands are now owned by the same company and the niche suppliers often offer more seed or better products in a narrower focused range.
Choice Seed Companies
Thompson & Morganwildflowers and thousands of varieties of seeds with useful germination guide available online.
Boston Seeds – Online seed shop offers grass seed mixtures for lawns, paddocks, sport, plus agricultural seed and wildflower seed. Volume orders
The Chilli Company – Sells a variety of hot chilli seeds including ‘Brain strain’ and collections to take advantage of a current trend for growing Hot Chillies
Chiltern seed new web site but the old catalogue has flowery descriptions and an excellent range – no photos but great mail order catalogues