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Sow next year's spring display

Sow next year's spring display

Sow next year's spring display of wallflowers, forget-me-nots, hollyhocks and foxgloves – all of which are biennials, meaning they flower in their second year. Start them now and by autumn they'll be fat clumps of leaves, ready to throw up flower spikes to brighten up your garden next April and May.

You'll find dozens of varieties on sale in your favourite garden centre right now as seed. Hollyhocks come in single or exotic-looking double blooms; and there's a huge choice of vibrantly -coloured single-coloured wallflowers: 'Blood Red' is deepest crimson, while 'Fire King' is a pyrotechnic orange (there's 'White Dame' too if you prefer calmer colours). As for foxgloves, the range is increasing all the time: 'Sutton's Apricot' is a subtle shade of peach, or you can go for purest white 'Alba' to shine out from a shady corner.

Sow in seed trays to prick out, or simply set aside a section of the vegetable garden as a nursery bed where you can sow seed direct. Thin them out to around 10cm apart and grow on the seedlings until August, when you can dig them up with as much root as possible and transplant them into your main borders where you want them to grow.