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If You Want Color…

You need to combine annuals and perennials. This should be a given for anyone who likes flowers.

You say that you want lots of bloom but you only want plants that come up every year? You say that you only want those things that flower from May through October? Get over it.

Perennials are a must for landscapes not only because they return to delight us season after season. Because some of these plants grace our gardens with flowers early in the season and others later in the summer, perennial plants offer an ever-changing dance of color. Many have foliage that is textured, variegated or multi-hued as well. You definitely want perennials.

Annuals are also a garden necessity for flower lovers. Yes, you have to plant them every spring, but most reward you with summer-long bloom. They provide the bridge color in between perennial flowering and knit all the garden players together. Not only that, but you can choose different annuals every year and completely alter the complexion of your flowerbeds.

If your garden contains annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees, you will be delighted by a kaleidoscope of color from spring through fall.

Gardens teach us flexibility. The plants are saying, “You only want plants that come back every year? Snap out of it!”

In my entry garden all perennials that flower before June 20th get cut to the ground in early July. This opens up valuable realestate for annuals. In this photo you can see Profusion Zinnias in the foreground, and Sedona Coleus in the middle of the photo. Coleus are especially great to add into perennial gardens in July...they grow quickly, and most of the new varieties do well in sun or shade and don't flower until late in the season.

2 comments to If You Want Color…

  • Karen Ackerman

    Good morning C.L.,
    I’m the lady you helped on ask the expert and I wanted to say thank you again. I also have another question for you if you have time to answer…I took my soil samples in and they are be tested now. I removed 2″ of sod and I’m going to be adding organic top soil as soon as it warms up a little. Here is my question…I am going to have rows of flowers, my rows will be 2′ x 160′ I want to sell by the square foot, fresh bouquets. I live in zone 5 and I love all kinds of flowers. I want lots of color. Is there a book or do you have a site on here that gives some detail about which flowers go well together as far as height and season or bloom time. I have flower gardens at my home and I just plant anything that I like but since I’m going to be selling these I need to get this right the first time. When I ordered my seeds I took height and bloom into consideration trying to get flowers for the whole season but I have nothing that puts certain flowers together that make nice bouquets. Do you have any advice on this..Thank you for your time..Have a wonderful day! Karen Ackerman

  • admin

    We’re in the middle of a blizzard here and I’m on limited data minutes through my cell so this might be brief – email me directly for more info anytime, OK? I don’t know of a book that tells which colors to put together but my friends who sell cut flowers would tell you that the following combinations are popular: pinks, blues and whites; purples, lavenders, and lime green; yellow, blue, white; coral, yellow, blue, white; multi-colors in hot shades such as mixed zinnias. Zinnias, dahlias, Ammi majus, Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’ and Blue Horizon Ageratum are my “must have” cut flowers. Perennials for early cut flowers: Lysimachia punctata (circle flower), feverfew, peonies, iris, and lady’s mantle. Butterfly bush for shrubs, and for biennials Rudbeckia triloba. (Plant now and start cutting next year – once you have it you always have it because it self-seeds.)