A gardening journalist has championed the delights of using hardy annuals in the garden.
Clare Cooke of the Times has claimed that you cannot beat hardy annuals for ease, variety and colour from summer to autumn.
Ms Cooke said once the “fireworks” of early summer have finished, gardeners need a “few tricks” up their sleeve to carry on the colour up until the initial frosts.
She explained that hardy annuals – which go through their life cycle within a year – can help to add “drama and colour”.
“They are fantastic value for money: an inexpensive way to give a new garden an air of instant maturity,” the writer added.
For those who employ a gardener, or those looking to employ the services of a garden designer, now is the time to act as they are best sowed between now and the end of April.
Meanwhile, the Royal Horticultural Society says that, as well as being ornamental, some annuals provide “nectar and pollen for bees, hoverflies and butterflies”.