Adding A Splash
Annuals are the capstone of summer landscape color. They provide the consistency of color in high traffic areas and focal points, around which the rest of the landscape pallet evolves from spring through fall. Choosing well is not difficult. These time tested annual flower species provide a wealth of color through adverse conditions, with little care required once established.
- Petunia is a classic annual for bedding or containers. Many of the new varieties require no dead heading and hold up well to both heat and light frost.
- Vinca is a wonderful choice for warm, well drained soils. They reward your “careful neglect” with a riot of color in the hottest part of summer.
- Geranium is a traditional container choice, though the old fashioned zonal varieties can be somewhat needy. Ivy types are beautiful for hanging baskets and the hybrid types bloom in hot sun all summer into fall.
- Verbena offers a low, mounding or trailing option in shades of red, white, blue, purple and multicolors. Use them in containers or bed edges.
- Angelonia is also known as the summer snapdragon for it’s likeness in habit to the cool weather favorite. Add these blue, pink and white spikes to the rear of your beds or center of containers for heat-loving awesomeness.
- New Guinea Impatiens make a fantastic statement in dappled sun annual gardens or pots. Keep them lightly moist and use them in masses or combined with lush foliage of caladium or coleus.
- Torenia is a low growing mound or trailer that works very well at the edges of mixed containers or standing alone in hanging baskets. The bell shaped flowers come in shades of blue, pink and yellow.
- Begonia is the plant to choose if moisture is questionable. These succulent leaved annuals bloom in red, white or pink, with foliage that is green, bronze, or variegated. They are quite flexible in their light tolerances as well.
- Fuchsia needs consistent moisture, and the intricately shaped multi-colored flowers are best observed up close. Use them in hanging baskets, containers and intimate garden settings.
- Impatiens are the classic for shade. When happy, they are known to reseed themselves in near perpetuity. They come in a rainbow of colors and only require warm temperatures and slightly less than drought situations to perform well. If impatiens downy mildew is a concern, be sure to wait until the soil has warmed to plant. If you have experienced IDM, refrain from planting impatiens in the same location for several years.
Take A Chance
Unlike perennials and shrubs, annuals provide the opportunity to have a completely different look each season and year to year. Have fun and be adventurous! You only get to keep them for one summer.