The annuals in the original patch have been fairly useless, lousy germination and lousy growth. I think I was too optimistic too early and they just couldn't compete. Even the cosmos has baulked. Those I sowed later in the patch we started using this year are so much better, the soil is better there, more heavily mulched and moister underneath so it doesn't seem so much like the unreconstructed clay the main patch threatens to turn into as soon as I turn my back. Next year all annuals are going in the newer area, and the original patch will be all perennials. But it will probably still be a year or two before it looks just like a couple of giant borders, there's a way to go!
We planted out some sunflowers in the newest patch this week. All the original sown seed germinated well and within two days of germination had disappeared thanks to rabbits and birds. Very very disheartening. The phacelia has competed well, it germinates running, and there is a reasonable crop of marigolds appearing among the docks, but the sunflowers were a disaster so we sowed some in pots and have transplanted them. A bit of a faff but if they survive it will be worth it. This new acre will be partly tulips next year, partly tough perennials I think. We'll see, it's easy to dream but not always so easy to realise the dream!