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Top 10 easy to grow flowers

Do your neighbours’ borders burgeon with colour, and their containers drip with flowers while yours look brown and crispy?

The fact is that some garden plants are easier to grow from seed than others – but your neighbour probably knows that already! Read our list of top 10 easy to grow garden plants and discover the secret to a hassle-free, flower-filled summer garden.

Read on to find out more about the easiest flower plants to grow from seed, or scroll down to see the full infographic at the bottom of the page.

Sunflowers

Always a favourite with kids – they’ll definitely be impressed with Sunflower ‘Mongolian Giant’ growing up to 14 feet tall! Just sow the seeds straight into the ground in a sunny, sheltered spot and watch them grow and grow and grow! Be sure to provide the stems with supports to grow the tallest sunflowers around.

Sweet Peas

Irresistable fragrance and prettiness! And the more you pick, the more flowers they produce! The large seeds of sweet peas are easy to handle, but if sowing sounds complicated then buy them as sweet pea plug plants! A sunny spot, a supportive fence, and regular watering is all these climbers need to produce your own ‘home grown’ cut flowers. Just keep an eye out for mice, slugs and snails – they love the young shoots. Consider covering with a mini cloche, or even a cut-off plastic bottle.

Nigella (Love in A Mist)

Nigella is an incredibly easy plant to grow. Simply scatter nigella seed across a patch of bare soil and let it look after itself! With jewel-like flowers and delicate ferny leaves, nigella is much tougher than it looks. As the flowers fade, this pretty plant will set seed for the following year. What could be simpler!

Aquilegia

Aquilegias are easy plants to grow from seeds and will come back year after year. Start aquilegias in small pots for transplanting later on. Once they’re established they’ll self-seed, so you’ll always have fresh plants each year. They tolerate almost any conditions in sun or semi-shade, and their pretty bonnet-like flowers come in almost every imaginable colour combination.

Eschscholzia (Californian Poppy)

If you are not a fan of watering then Eschscholzia make easy to grow plants for your garden. These colourful little annuals thrive in poor, dry soil and full sun so they are perfect for filling forgotten corners of the garden. Just scatter them where you want them to flower and let them take care of themselves. Each year they will set seed which will grow the following summer, creating effortless drifts of colour.

Nasturtium

Quick-growing and colourful, nasturtiums are easy plants for children to grow. Sow them in borders as ground cover or let them spill out of containers. The large seeds can be sown directly into the soil – just wait until after the last frosts. Their peppery leaves and flowers complement and garnish summer salads.

Marigold

These easy to grow bedding plants are another great choice for young gardeners. Marigold seeds are easy to handle, and grow quickly so you’ll have a short wait for their colourful flowers. From tall varieties for the border to small types for beds and containers, there’s a marigold to suit every sunny spot in the garden.

Hardy Geranium (Cranesbill)

Cranesbill is so popular because it’s a reliable, low maintenance, ground cover that will wander through your borders year after year. Hardy geraniums are not difficult to grow from seed but you can grow them from bareroots which is even simpler.

Fuchsia

Easy to grow patio plants when grown from plugs, and best loved for adding colour to hanging baskets and containers. Fuchsias come in all colours and shapes, from trailing to upright you could even try the climbing fuchsia ‘Lady Boothby’ for an ambitious display. For a really professional look, pinch out the very tips of each stem while the plants are still young to encourage lots of bushy growth. Fuchsia erries are edible, but not always tasty!

Pansy

With their cheery faces, it’s hard to resist the appeal of pansies. These garden favourites are easy plants to grow from seed but even easier from pansy plug plants. Whether you grow them for winter or summer colour, deadheading faded flowers will encourage more and more colourful blooms.

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Written by: Sue Sanderson

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Read our top 10 list of easy to grow flowers to find the secret of a hassle-free summer garden. T&M’s guide reveals which ones are easy to grow.

17 Easy-To-Start Seeds for Beginner Gardeners

Treehugger / Allison McAdams

Starting your own plants from seed is easy. If you’ve tried in the past without success, give these 17 seeds a try this year. Growing your own garden from seed can be less expensive than buying seedlings from the garden center, and cheaper than buying produce from the supermarket.

8 easy edibles to start from seed

Beans: Pole beans or bush beans? It doesn’t really matter because beans are possibly the easiest seeds to start in your garden.

Chard: A nutritious leafy green that every first-time gardener should grow. Chard stalks come in a rainbow of colors, but the part we generally eat is the leaf (at right).

Cucumbers: Easy to start outdoors directly in the soil when the soil temperature warms up.

Radishes: A great crop to plant early in the spring when temperatures can be too cold for anything else.

Carrots: Another easy-to-grow root crop for the beginner gardener. Try some of the colorful heirloom varieties for picky eaters, and shorter varieties like “Round Romeo” to replace packaged baby carrots from the supermarket.

Lettuce: Head lettuces are easy to grow, but growing lettuces you can harvest for salads at the leaf stage is easiest for beginner gardeners.

Squash: Like cucumbers, squash seeds are easy to sow directly into the soil.

Basil: Possibly the easiest herb to start in your garden. There’s a wide selection of cultivars with interesting scents if growing basil for pesto doesn’t interest you.

Growing just a few of these seeds will increase your confidence in your ability to nurture and grow your own food. When you start your own plants from seeds, you know exactly what went into making your food and you can be sure that no harmful chemicals were used to grow what you put on your plate.

9 easy annuals to start from seed

Flowers don’t just beautify your neighborhood and home. A successful garden needs pollinators, and the flowers you plant in your garden should be thought of as the welcome mat of your garden. Entice the pollinators your vegetables and herbs rely on for pollination by planting these easy-to-grow flower seeds.

Cosmos: Airy foliage with daisy-like flowers in shades of white, orange, pink, magenta and yellow. A great annual for gardens with poor soil and for those who want a low-maintenance plant.

Sunflowers: Possibly the easiest annual to start in your garden. Sunflowers don’t like transplanting, so plant the seed directly into the soil where you want them to grow.

Poppies: Annual poppies are easy to start from seed. Sow them directly into a garden bed with poor soil during cool, rainy weather to germinate the seeds.

Zinnias: This tough annual comes in a variety of colors and heights. They can tolerate dry and hot conditions. Pinch the buds back to create bushier plants.

Bachelor Buttons: Charming white, pink, blue and lavender blooms that do well in poor soil and dry gardens.

Marigolds: A classic, easy-to-grow plant that no garden should be without. They’re available in colors and heights beyond the yellow blooms your grandmother grew.

Cleome: A great cottage garden plant with an interesting flower form that resembles spiders to some (at right).

Runner beans: Attractive blooms on fast-growing vines that create privacy and shade. Interesting seed pods at the end of the season that are easy to collect.

Nasturtiums: Blooms come in a variety of colors. Foliage can be green to blue and variegated. The plant’s leafs, blooms and seeds are all edible.

Aside from attracting pollinators, the biggest benefit of growing your own blooms is that you have living floral shop just outside your door. Cut your own bouquets throughout the season and give some to friends and family instead of buying costly flowers that have been grown in other countries and shipped around the world.

Ramon is the original urban garden blogging male espousing a DIY philosophy to gardening and garden projects. Better known online as MrBrownThumb, he’s been demystifying gardening secrets for average gardeners online since 2005. Besides writing the popular MrBrownThumb garden blog he’s co-founder of @SeedChat on Twitter, the creative director of One Seed Chicago, and founder of the Chicago Seed Library.

Think you can't grow anything? Try these easy-to-grow seeds in your garden and you might begin to think you have a green thumb.