Many hardy annuals can be sown in autumn and will over-winter successfully. You will be rewarded by an impressive early flowering display next year. Varieties suitable include Love-in-a-Mist, Calendula and Cornflower.
Sow directly into the soil, either by broadcasting (scattering seed over the soil surface) or sowing more precisely in rows, this method makes it easier to tell the seedlings from the weeds. No matter which method you choose, prepare your bed making sure the area to be sown is free of weeds.
Plan the area by marking the soil with grit or Sand or score the ground with a cane to mark out sowing areas. Rake gently over the soil to cover the seeds and water with a fine rose. You can cover with Fleece if winter weather turns exceptionally cold.
In the flower border, dead-head flowers that have gone over, and cut down the spikes of Antirrhinum and Penstemons when they have finished flowering. Leave seed-heads on some of your plants, they will provide much needed food for birds and also look quite good in the winter garden when interest is sparse.