By Sophie Warren-Smith published
May is the month when the risk of overnight frosts typically disappears for many of us, which means that it's now possible to direct sow your flower seeds in the garden.
This takes the fuss out of growing your favorite blooms as you can simply plant the seeds straight in the ground where you want the flowers to grow. You can also sow more than once for repeated flowering throughout the summer.
If you're in need of some inspiration on what to include in your flowerbed ideas this year, keep scrolling for five stunning varieties that you can get in the ground this month.
We think of cornflowers as being blue, but you can get them in pretty shades of rose, scarlet, purple and burgundy, too. They are a classic choice for your cottage garden ideas, adding color to your borders and your vases as cut flowers.
Sow from March to May for flowers in June to September. If you want to be organized for next year, sow again in September for blooms from the following June to August.
Always a favorite amongst children, the sunflower is a fabulous plant to sow this month. This variety will give you super-sized blooms of up to 50cm in diameter and grow up to 3.5m!
Wildlife loves them and they will most certainly add height to the back of a border. Sow under glass from March to April and direct sow from April to June – they will start to flower from July through to the end of September.
There's more tips on how to grow sunflowers in our guide.
3. Himalayan blue poppy
If you’re a plant collector then this stunning variety would definitely go on your list. The exquisite violet petals are eye-catching and will stand out in your garden borders wherever you plant them.
You can sow them until June this year – though sowing them sooner rather than later is better if you want to enjoy flowers this summer. Alternatively, you can sow them in September and October ready for next year. They particularly like shady borders and dappled sun.
There's more ideas for shade loving plants in our guide.
Another hardy perennial, this beautiful variety comes in shades of blue, mauve, rose, salmon and crimson. The plant’s prolific and will produce masses of flowers in two flushes, but remember to cut down spent flower heads.
Sow now until the end of June in good seed compost and they will bloom until the frosts appear at the end of autumn. They are a great choice for providing late summer color in your garden.
To create interesting borders you need a variety of shapes and colors, and this is where a flower like echinacea comes in. They grow up to a height of 80cm so will work well for your garden wall ideas or garden fence ideas.
The blooms are white with a yellow and acid-green cone, and will look great as cut flowers. Bees love them too!
As a perennial they are hardy and will flower year after year. Sow them before the end of June and plant them out in either full sun or a partially shaded area.
Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 20 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time, both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor for indie magazine, 91, she trained to be a florist last year and recently launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for weddings and events.
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