One of the things gardeners find most appealing about annual plants is their diversity and variety. Annuals allow creative growers to put together eye-popping combinations of colours that will last a whole season. From bright eye-catching flowers such as Mexican sunflowers and zinnias to the pastel hues of lavatera, annual plants give you a great palette to choose from!
Many herbs take well to growing in a sunny kitchen window, although some will bolt, as in send up a flower stalk and try to set seeds, much earlier at room temperature. Constantly harvesting indoor-grown herbs can keep them in a constant state of renewal.
A greenhouse is a perfect place to get herbs started for the season, and also to grow more tender or tropical selections like basil, bay leaf, marjoram, and lemongrass.
We're all tempted to grow the extremes, the biggest or most flavourful and with chilli peppers, the hottest. But do think it through, there's little point in putting a lot of effort into growing a pepper that is so hot you can't actually use it. A milder variety means you can add flavour as well as heat to a dish where even one of the super-hot chillies can be too hot to taste and just makes the dish hot.
To maximise the growing season, start tomato seedlings off indoors on a south facing window sill in February. Because the day length is still short and the light weak, the seedlings can be drawn and leggy. To help avoid this put a piece of cardboard covered with aluminium foil behind the seed tray to reflect light back onto the seedlings.