Less obvious annuals for cutting
Generally grown as an annual green manure, phacelia makes a surprisingly good cut flower – those curving, lavenderblue flowers not only look good, but they also last ages when picked. It’s fast-growing, too. HxS: 27x20in (70x50cm).
Seek out tall varieties with long stems, rather than short bedding ones. ‘Appleblossom’ (right) is a good choice, with pale-pink flowers that bumblebees love to push their way into. HxS: 32inx1½ft (80x45cm).
Amaranthus caudatus ‘Viridis’
This exotic halfhardy annual has fabulous long and dangling flower tassels in a fresh pale green. When arranging, strip away all the leaves and allow to trail over the side of a tall vase. HxS: 39x20in (1mx50cm).
While perennial rudbeckias are popular border plants, there’s a range of half-hardy annuals that are great for cutting. Look for ‘Sahara’, ‘Autumn Shades’ and ‘Cherry Brandy’ (right). Sow in March, in welldrained compost. HxS: 2ftx16in (60x40cm).