Sunflowers are fast becoming one of our most popular annuals - for borders, for cutting, for containers, for being big and beautiful, and for wildlife. At the forefront of the creation of new sunflower varieties is Norfolk breeder Peter Denney. Some of his varieties are available through the familiar seed companies but all his varieties, all thirty of them, including his very latest introductions, are available to the home gardeners only through Seed N Grow, whose range of sweet peas from Keith Hammett I featured last time.
Peter's varieties cover the full range: single and double plus some with more unusual flower forms; familiar sunny colours and less common rich and pastel shades; short bushy types and tall single-stemmed varieties. Many are pollen free so don't stain the furniture when cut for the house.
‘Double Dandy' is a well branched, dwarf double red just 60cm/2ft high which is ideal for containers or borders in small gardens. ‘Golden Cheer', naturally branching, is a green-eyed double reaching 1.8m/6ft which is ideal for the back of the border or for cutting. ‘Stella Gold', with its whirlygig flowers of slender petals is bred for cutting and grows up on single stems