Annuals Add Pizzazz to the Landscape
June 22, 2020
Annuals are full of excitement, color, and instant viewing gratification for the homeowner. Most annuals share the benefit of having lasting impact all season long with interesting shades, textures, and shapes. Shopping for traditional annuals used to mean searching through a boring assortment of geraniums, impatiens, and marigolds. Happily, that has evolved with the modern garden center providing hundreds of glorious varieties of petunias, pansy, calibrachoa, ornamental edible vegetables, and tropicals; with many of the plants attracting pollinators and beneficial wildlife.
Mixing annuals with groundcovers, perennials, vegetables, and shrubs in both garden beds and containers can mean an endless celebration of color for your landscapes. Typically, an annual germinates from seed, grows, flowers, and dies all in one season, which is a benefit for quick color changes every season in a homeowner’s garden.
Versatile and Interesting
Annuals allow a unique versatility in the garden; you can choose pollinator-attracting annuals to mix in your containers and beds as well as plant something new every season for the bees and butterflies. There are cool weather annuals like violas, Icelandic poppies, and osteospermum, which bloom brilliantly in the spring and fall but wilt in the heat of the summer. Hot weather annuals like petunias, celosia, cleome, and cosmos seem to explode in celebration from the peak summer heat.
Dual duty annuals are plants that are both beautiful and functional. Herbs such as oregano and globe basil help encourage bees, who love their scented flowers. Besides functioning simply as a beautifying tool in the garden, ornamental herb and vegetable edibles such as Swiss chard, kale, and purple basil can help feed a family. Many annuals such as nasturtium, pansy, and marigold are edible and make an astounding contribution to a salad. Culinary uses for annuals are extensive and this certainly makes a strong argument for having them as a landscaping contribution for modern gardens.
Most annuals are shorter in stature, so they are great in front of perennials and shrubs. Throw colorful petunias and other summer flowering annuals mixed with herbs in front of the garden for a beautiful and impactful design, then pull them out for a switch mid-summer or into the fall for a fresher-upper.
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