Gardening with Annuals


courtesy flickr/fireflies604
courtesy flickr/fireflies604


annuals season long colour

Some people are positively passionate about annuals and each one of them may have a different reason. 

An annual plant is a plant that usually germinates, flowers and dies in one year. 

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 give me a reason to get out in the garden.


You can add annuals to your garden, throughout the growing season.


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.


The choice you have when selecting annuals is quite large so you will need a plan. The first step is to consider your climate, the soil and the amount of sunshine available. Now if you have been gardening for sometime, you will have these answers. So the next step is to answer this question; what function will the annuals serve? Are you creating a cutting bed or adding a splash of colour to the border.


Annuals not only come in many different colours but heights and their foliage will have different textures and shades so if you have an existing garden and want to add some annuals to your perennial border make sure what you add is a comfortable fit with what is already there.


When you visit the plant centre you may become overwhelmed by the rows of annuals stretched out before you so get a plan before you go. Lets take a look at one of m favourite annuals the cosmos.




The cosmos is a rapidly growing plant with delicate and graceful flowers. They will grow to between 4 and 6 feet tall. Some years back we had cosmos planted across the front edge of the front yard, creating a lace like fence between our yard and the sidewalk.


Cosmos will grow well in full sun in most soils. You can start them indoors five to six weeks before the last frost date or you can sow them direct after the danger of frost has passed. The plants should be 12 inches apart and the seedlings will transplant easily. If the location is very windy you may need to stake them.


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Comments 11 comments

compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 9 years ago from London UK

Ooops!!I have just done a double take on hub title and it does not say gardening with animals!!

highwaystar 9 years ago

Hi Bob, thanks for of the best parts of annuals is the anticipated wait for the next bloom, sometimes, the unexpected surprises make the whole experience of gardening joyful bliss!

firefly07 profile image

firefly07 9 years ago from UK

annuals are often overlooked, but they can make such a difference to a garden.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick Author

I enjoy visting the plant centre and checking out the annuals, it has become a late spring ritual.

cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 9 years ago from North Carolina

If I had enough room I would just adopt all these tips :). Would love to have annuals for butterflies.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick Author

That is the big garden problem, enough room and time for all the possibilities

Abhinaya 9 years ago

Annuals sometimes live for just one season.Cosmos is new to me.Is it possible to grow them in tropical regions?Great information.Thanks.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Cosmos could do well in a tropical environment.

Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

Another great collection Bob, thanks for the plant info. I'm wondering how long it takes to grow echinachea? Will have to dig.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

Thanks Bob I'll check it out.

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