On holiday in France I saw a verge of brightly coloured flowers - not wild flowers but a mixture of annuals.

I spotted marigolds, zinnias, stock and alyssum, but there were lots of others all mixed together. It looked like they had been scattered - not planted. Are mixtures of annuals available or do you have to buy packets of individual flowers and mix them together?

A: It is difficult to get truly successful combinations of annuals by chance mixing seed, so I suggest you look at Euroflor's mixtures. A new approach to management of amenity areas, these mixtures are available from Rigby Taylor and include blends of annuals for ground cover (dwarf), areas of low rainfall, stunning colour and to attract bees. There are also mixtures containing biannuals and perennials.

Euroflor mixtures can be sown in many situations - rural or urban - but avoid areas of heavy shade, sandy soils and steep slopes. The flowers do not need fertiliser and their water requirements are low. Intervention may be necessary when weeds have started to grow but otherwise the plants will generally look after themselves.

Sally Drury has been reporting on product developments and testing kit for 30 years. The advice given in this helpline is independent.

Email your questions to sally.drury@haymarket.com

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