Adding Amazing Annuals to a Garden
Here in Northern New Brunswick, winter can be very long, and the growing season very short. As much as I appreciate perennials for their beauty, diversity and their ability to come up year after year, annual are a must. Annuals bring the first breath of brilliant colour of months of white. The blues, reds, yellows, purples, oranges scream out, it is spring and time to get outside and garden.
There are many reasons why people love annuals. Some love annuals because they make excellent cutflowers; some because annuals are easy to grow; some love them for their brilliant colours while others just love to create a new garden every spring.
The reasons do not matter as they are all sound; if you love to garden and enjoy bright vivid colours then annuals will satisfy your needs. I am very fond of annuals and cannot imagine a garden that does not have a few.
They enlarge the palette but perhaps more importantly they enable me to make simple but noticeable changes to my garden and perhaps even better, they provide the push that takes me outside to enjoy the spectacle of the garden awakening from its months long sleep.
Annuals allow you to adjust your garden’s colour palette all through the growing season. Add a few to your herb garden, vegetable patch or along the borders of your perennial bed. Put them in containers on a step, balcony or in a window box. You can add annuals to your garden, quickly at any point through the season. For the most part, annuals are easy to care for and rather inexpensive.
Annuals bloom continuously and produce prolific amounts of seed and this requires the production of many flowers; all making a win-win situation for any gardener.
Some personal favourites:
The sunflower is an attention grabber. The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is an annual herb that can withstand mild frost as a seedling, but requires at least 100 frost free days for normal development. Intolerant of shade, sunflowers can be successfully cultivated in many countries.
The sunflower is easy to grow. They will do well in most soils and need to grow their roots deep and wide, to enable them to withstand strong winds.
Cosmos or Cosmos bipinnathus is a fast growing plant and some varieties will reach six feet in height. Cosmos work best at the back of borders or grouped along fences. They are great for adding the ugly spot, the side of a shed that needs repair, for example.
I am very fond of marigolds and insist they are placed in any garden I grow. The Portuguese first discovered marigold during the 16th century in Central America. They are responsible for introducing them into both Europe and India where they are widely cultivated.
The list could go on and on, there are annuals for every situation, for every garden. Colour is a vital part of gardening and annuals bring it first.
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