Marmalade has been around for decades. With golden orange petals and a dark central cone, it grows no taller than 45cm, and at 750 seeds for £1.99 represents good value. Rustic Dwarf Mix is 60cm, with flowers in bronze, red and gold, and 45 seeds for £1.99 is still cheap.
The same longevity of flowering and adaptability to vases makes cosmea, aka cosmos, another favourite. It has a toughness that belies its delicate appearance.
Sensation Tall Mix is ideal for a back-of-border placement at almost 1m, and there are 150 seeds in the £1.99 packet. Sonata Dwarf Mix, 60 cm, has pink, rose and white blooms. Rubies in Sunshine is a newcomer I’ve not grown yet.
Suttons has mixed the seeds of two varieties, 50 per cent of each. These are the pale yellow Xanthos and red/pink Rubinato. The cost, 25 seeds for £3.49, suggests it’s special and worth trying.