The Hundred House is famous for its magical gardens which we know our regular guests adore. We’ve bounced into April which means work in the garden moves up another gear. Seedlings are emerging at an alarming rate, perennials are showing their first tentative leave and the splendour of the spring bulbs has reached it’s peak. That’s before we even think about the delights of the herb garden!

Our bulbs are at their most beautiful at this time of year. 


You might be thinking it’s too late to do anything for your own garden but I have good news ! Now is the perfect time to sow some annuals. Whilst my own garden is not established or as impressive as the gardens at the Hundred House, which has had the benefit of expert attention for over thirty years, I find annuals fill the it with colour and movement. The varieties I choose have the added bonus of being wonderful cut flowers too !

One of my favourite things about growing annuals is having an endless supply of cut flowers.

Cosmos Fizzy Rose was a real success last year. ©kam

All you need create a gorgeous cut flower patch is

  • Seeds – I like Higgledy Garden
  • A well weeded patch of ground that gets plenty of sun. If you’ve only got a patio or a sunny doorstep, a few large buckets or pots will do just fine.
  • Good compost. I use a peat free organic multi-purpose for direct sowing. Mix half compost and half garden soil for a pot. Annuals don’t like too rich a soil.
  • Plenty of water and a good scoop of care.
  • A greenhouse, or just a sunny windowsill. Many annuals can be sown directly so don’t be put off if you haven’t got either of these.


Different seeds have different needs, so check on the website or the packet. Many are incredibly easy to grow. My favourites for direct sowing are Cornflower, Nigella and Aster.

The delicate blue of Nigella contrasts beautifully with the vibrant scarlet Pelargonium. ©kam

If you’ve got space for a few indoor trays then Cosmos is an absolute stunner giving strong stems topped with abundant ballerina-like blooms. It’s a great cut flower too.

Cosmos can be stated undercover right through until mid April. Plant out from mid May. ©kam

The main thing is to wait until the soil has warmed up before sowing outdoors and to wait until all possibility of frost had passed (around mid-May) before you plant out your seedlings.

For more detailed growing guides, as well as an place to buy a range of terrific seeds pop over to 

Where better to relax with a glass of something chilled and delicious. ©kam

And if it all goes to pot, you are welcome to come and bask in the calm that is created by our expert gardeners and relax with a splendid G&T.

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