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Annuals or perennials in the home landscape

Updated on August 20, 2014
Patsybell profile image

I inherited my love of gardening from mother and grandmother. I am a garden blogger, freelance writer, and Master Gardener emeritus.

Permanant perennial

'Sea Green' juniper is newly planted in it's own space. Selecting ground cover is an important first step.
'Sea Green' juniper is newly planted in it's own space. Selecting ground cover is an important first step. | Source

Annual sunflowers

Big bright splashes of color will quickly fill in empty space while waiting for perennials to grow into the space.
Big bright splashes of color will quickly fill in empty space while waiting for perennials to grow into the space. | Source

Annuals v perennials

My answer is both. I think your landscape should include both annuals and perennials,

Annuals complete their life cycle in one growing season. Many flowers and vegetables are in this category.

Perennials are plant investments in your landscape. These can be the anchors of your landscape design. Trees are a good example of perennials.

  • Annuals in the vegetable garden – Most vegetables are annuals. The advantage is that annuals allow for crop rotation. Tomatoes are a good example. Gardeners will move the tomato plant location in the garden to benefit the soil or reduce plant disease and insect damage.

Another advantage of growing annuals is the ability to try different plant varieties. Growing different varieties of heirloom tomatoes every year, for example.

Tender Perennials are generally grown as annuals. Tomatoes and peppers are a good example of tender perennials. Some gardeners grow biennials as annuals. Biennials take 2 years to complete the growth cycle. Parsley and celery are biennials usually grown as annuals.

Examples of True Annuals include beans, peas, wheat, corn and, lettuce, radish.

  • Annuals in the the yard – Annuals provide a burst of color or, can fill in the landscape gaps. Most often annuals add a seasonal color splash. For example, in the fall, mums are filling borders, entryways and mailbox gardens. Decorative corn stocks (annual), pumpkins (annual) and whimsical scare crows stuffed with straw (annual) welcome guests to your home.

Although mums are a perennial, most of the pots of decorative mums are green house grown and will not survive the shock of winter. This fall I'll be planting loads of bulbs, mostly tulips (annuals) which are meant to be an early burst of spring color.

On the other hand, the bright daffodils are hardier and will naturalize. These little spring trumpets should be incorporated into the home landscape as perennials. Daffodils will appear every spring and will continue to spread and multiply.

Examples of True Annuals in the lawn or yard are sunflowers, zinnias, marigolds, ornamental kale, Four o'Clocks.

Planting Grapes

Grapes will continue to produce for years. Pruning grapes or letting them grow and rample will affect the surrounding plants and your purpose for planing them..
Grapes will continue to produce for years. Pruning grapes or letting them grow and rample will affect the surrounding plants and your purpose for planing them.. | Source

Permanant plantings

  • Perennials in the vegetable garden – Asparagus is an excellent example of a spring perennial. Planning is most important when planting perennials because their location is more or less permanent. Straw- berries and rhubarb will be more productive if they have permanent beds.

Fruit trees and shrubs like blue berries, black berries goose berries won't start fruiting until they have been planted.

  • Perennials in the lawn or home landscape - roses, peonies and forsythia are considered perennials. While the plants can be grown in containers, they are most often planted in the grown.

The advantage of planting perennials is the repeated bloom seasons. Forsythia bursting out in rubber ducky yellow is always a promise each spring of more garden favorites to follow are coming soon.

Clematis

This sunny cliber love shady roots. Perfect for companion planting.
This sunny cliber love shady roots. Perfect for companion planting. | Source

Your Choice

The choice of perennials or annuals all depends on your location and inclination to work with plants. A combination usually works best for most home gardeners. A landscape plan will help. First, plant the trees, shrubs and flowers that will take years to mature.

Plant trees that will serve as shelter, shade or provide food one day. If you want a wind break or, a living privacy fence, now is the time to plant those long term performers. I planted asparagus, peonies and some thujas: coniferous trees. Keep in mind how much space these plants will take over in years to come.

Under small trees and shrubs you can plant annuals for color and to fill the space that will be taken up the perennials some day. For example clematis like their roots in cool, shaded environment but the foliage and flowers prefer a sunny location. So, it makes sense to plant clematis where the roots will e shaded. For example clematis will thrive if the roots are planted in the shade of a rose bush and allowed to climb up on a trellis to bloom in the sun.

Both perennials and annuals have a place in home landscapes and food gardens. The important thing is to plant something to help prevent weeds, control erosion and display your garden style.

Fall Maple

Maple trees are perennials that provide color in the landscape and generous shade as they grow older.
Maple trees are perennials that provide color in the landscape and generous shade as they grow older. | Source

Comments

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  • Patsybell profile image
    Author

    Patsy Bell Hobson 3 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    If you are in a new home. I suggest you wait and see what comes up and where. The first things to spend money on are small perennials. Thuja for privacy fences, trees for shade, wisteria for pergolas. Plants that will grow into the landscape. Fall is a good time to plant trees and some time the most affordable. Thank you so very much for reading my hubs. I appreciate your kind words.

  • CrisSp profile image

    CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    I've been taking to my hubby whether to buy some annuals or perennials for the garden. You see, we've just moved in the new house and this is our first summer here. So, I'd like to enhance the appearance of our front and back yard. Now, I know what to do based on your suggestions.

    Great hub. Perfect read for me today. Thank you.

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