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Gardening with Annuals

Updated on February 11, 2021
Bob Ewing profile image

Bob is a long time gardener and garden writer. His ebook, From My Garden, is widely available.

zinnia

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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.

 

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.

 

Annuals

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