Lavatera: dawn to dusk

naturalised sunrise4

This spring I had a plan. There was a large, ‘wasteland’ area that was basically rough weeds and I had the idea to fill it with annuals. It is a rather exposed spot and next year I will put some young native trees in to offer some shelter for other areas but for this year I wanted a quick fix. Because of structural works the area could not be sown until late and the area was covered in subsoil – not good. I sprayed the area with glyphosate to kill off perennials first and sowing did not take place till late June. There then followed a hot, dry July and germination was slow because I was not able to irrigate. More perennials such as creeping thistle and couch grass had a chance to grow, along with a carpet of creeping buttercup seedlings. My hopes were not great at this point.

I had masses of seeds because last year I grew lot of hardy annuals and I collected seeds from white and pink lavatera, calendulas, Papaver rhoeas and Leonurus cardiacea. I know orange calendulas and pink lavatera may not be a match made in heaven but I thought they would at least be showy. The cool, wet August was not great for everything but it was the saviour of this area and allowed the annuals to make some  growth and they are now at their peak. So here they are in their glory, on the same day, photographed at 8am and 8pm.


naturalised sunrise3

naturalised sunrise2

naturalised sunrise



naturalised sunset

naturalised sunset2

naturalised sunset3

This winter I will strim the dead plants, spray again in early spring to kill winter-green weeds and hope the organic mulch will help with self-seeding and I will plant the young trees in spring. I hope some seeds from the annuals will give a repeat display – or maybe a better one.




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