Gardening Annuals Provide Variety from Year to Year

There are many different elements that blend together to make an interesting garden. The use and placement of annuals can vary the look of a garden from year to year and from season to season. When a gardener refers to annuals he is talking about plants that will be planted, grow and die in the same year. Other types of plants are bi -annuals or perennials.

Some plants that have only a one season life may reseed themselves each year but they are not the same plants as the year before. It is not uncommon for annuals to produce large amounts of seed as nature’s way of ensuring they are replaced the next year. This can actually prove to be a problem if you make a change to the flowers you plant in the same spot as a prolific seed plant found in free seed catalogs.

The need to produce seeds makes annuals bloom prolifically. This can be a very useful quality for a gardener looking for plants that will add lots of bright color. He may want to use them in interesting patterns in a large bed that will grow and full more each week of the growing season. Or he may want a thin line of color along a walkway or garden path. He will find no shortage of these versatile plants to choose from.

It is common for gardeners to purchase their annuals found in free seed catalogs from a reliable plant nursery. The average person may not have a greenhouse or the proper growing conditions to start them from seed. This also allows him the chance to select many different types of plants as nurseries introduce them to the market.

New Annual Flowers Provide Durability

Among the many excellent and interesting flowers that appear each new year, 2011 has some outstanding offerings. Three of them belong to that group of award winners known as the All-America Selections which have been tested nationally and received high ratings. They will be readily available from mail-order seed catalogs or as seeds or started plants in nurseries and garden centers as the planting season arrives.

Purple Wave‘ petunia is worth noting if you are looking for a low edging or massing plant in a sunny location. This new petunia variety grows only 6 to 8 inches tall and remains low and spreading. In a good location they can spread as much as 4 feet in a season. They flower prolifically and appear to have good resistance to some of the more common petunia pest problems. Start seeds indoors very soon if you plan to grow your own plants.

Celebrity Chiffon Morn‘ is another new award-winning petunia. It belongs to a newer classification of petunias called floribunda petunias. These are improved multiflora types with somewhat larger flowers. The flower coloration of this variety blends from pink to cream to white in the throat.

The third flower is a Black-eyed Susan variety called ‘Indian Summer‘. Some of the older varieties of this group we know as Gloriosa daisies, but this variety has larger flowers which may be from 6 to 9 inches in diameter. This is a plant for full sun which is tolerant of many different soil types. Plants are bushy and vary somewhat in height up to about three and one-half feet tall. Flowering should begin in about mid summer and will continue until frost.

In recent years there have been many improvements in flowering vinca (Catharanthus) varieties. Clear pink varieties appeared a few years ago and continue to be developed. This season a red variety named ‘Pacifica Red‘ has become available. It is described as the first true red vinca. It is a carmine-red with good flower size and form similar to the variety introduced a few years ago as ‘Parasol’ which was white with a red eye. The flowering vincas need full sun and warm temperatures. Plant them outdoors only after soils have warmed and there is no threat of frost or very cool night temperature.

There are so many good impatiens varieties for shady locations that already exist that it is difficult to imagine that any new ones might be found. Still, there are new ones appearing. ‘Pink Swirl‘ (formerly sold as ‘Super Elfin Swirl’) was the first to introduce flowers of light color with darker margins, called picotee coloring. New to this color blending, the varieties ‘Coral Swirl‘ and ‘Peach Swirl‘ add new pastel landscape possibilities. Among the asexually propagated double impatiens with variegated foliage, nurseries and garden centers may have a new variety called ‘Pink Ice‘. This member of the Summer Ice series has flowers that blend from a center of pink fading to light pink as the flowers open.

An interesting new variety among geraniums is called ‘Starburst Red‘ It produces variable flowers striped in red, white and pink. Flowers are single, but produced abundantly on compact plants. This variety will not be available from seeds, but you may find them as potted plants in nurseries and garden centers.

As in most years, these are only a few of the many new flowers that are being introduced. Some varieties will be in short supply, so it may take a little extra searching to locate them in some areas. Others will be readily available to give extra interest and enjoyment to the summer landscape.

Annual Flower Seeds are a Favorite

Of all the seeds available for your garden, the ones producing annual blooms are by far my most favorite. The riotous color resulting from an annual garden in unsurpassable.

There is no end to the variety of free seed catalogs offered through gardening and seed companies all over America. Whether you are looking for flower seeds, vegetable seeds, herb seeds , heirloom seeds or bulbs there is a seed source to be found that will help in your garden planning. Which is wonderful news when you consider the benefits and assortment of gardens offered. Perhaps you enjoy planting vegetable seeds to enjoy the wonderful rewards fresh produce has to offer or planting flower seeds to turn your yard into a visual delight.

There really is no end to the types of gardens and plants you can have. Popular flower seeds found in many gardens is that of the annual garden plant. Some points and tips to know about annuals can include; complete their life cycle in just one year, from seed to seed than dies; by deadheading or removing dead flowers before seed matures will produce more flowers and more seed; hardy annuals are able to withstand a little frost without dying and will bloom and set seed into the next year (eventually dying); there are two varieties of annuals, cool season and warm season.

The wonderful advantage of planting annual flower seeds in your garden is the chance to completely change your garden each year. Some popular annual flower seeds you may recognize are baby’s breath, California poppy, pansy, African daisy, petunia, sweet peas and aster.