Friday, April 1, 2011

A is for Annuals

Ah, I am dreaming of summer. I can't wait to dig my hands into the dirt, to be filthy every day, and to breathe in the aroma of flowers in the garden. My teaching neighbor taunted me today, by giving me a white oriental lily from a bouquet she received from one of her students. I love white oriental lilies. I have a slideshow about them. But that is not the point of this post....

I chose annuals for "A" because I just love them so much. Every year, you can recreate your garden space with them. They add constant color to the garden, throughout the entire season. And they are ever so lovely in pots.

I think that making pots is my favorite gardening activity each year. I always hit up a few of my favorite nurseries on one day. I make up pot ideas as I put the flowers into my cart. And then, when I get home, I create something even more magnificent that I had originally imagined.

I spend hours working in my driveway, putting together at least a dozen pots just for the front porch steps, alone. I also supplement with pots in the front flower bed and on the bench in the side flower bed. Some years, I have even decorated the driveway with annuals in pots.

I also use annuals in the small bed that runs along the side of the house. During the spring, it is full of bulbs. Perennials just don't make sense there. As soon as I am able, I like to add annuals in between the tulips. My favorites to put there are a variety of petunias, alyssum, and lobelia. I also like to use these along the edges of the side bed. I love how the lobelia just spills over the sides, in between the rocks.

In the front, which faces north, I am a huge fan of impatiens. I like to edge the bed with those, as the perennials will quickly fill in the remaining space. Again, whatever blank areas are left behind, I fill in with annuals in pots.

I also have a little mini-bed in the back, at the corner where my rose bushes meet. There is a peony there, but I also like to cram in a bunch of sun-loving annuals. That is where I plant my hollyhocks, cosmos, sunflowers, zinnias, and portulaca.

I love buying the flowers, already blooming, from the local nurseries. But that can be quite expensive. Every year, I experiment with growing some from seed. I haven't yet started shopping for seeds this year, though they have been available since January. It's April now, so it is time to start thinking!

This year, I hope I am feeling up to doing more planting. I can usually whip out a few good things in one day, so maintenance will be the tricky part. We shall see how it goes! And I will post pictures throughout the season, or at least link to my slideshows. :-)


  1. I had petunia and alyssum up against my house and another small bed two years ago, and even though this alyssum is supposed to be an annual, I had quite a bit of it come back last year and see evidence of some cropping up already this year.

    Not sure what other annuals I'll fill in with this year, but the perennials are coming up nicely.

  2. I'm looking forward to my own garden this spring once the snow melts and the ground thaws. April showers bring May flowers! I like your ambition (which was my word for today) I'll keep an eye out on your blog, I'm a bit of a garden enthusiast myself! I love taking pictures of my flowers :)

  3. I just went to Lowes today and bought some annuals for the pots on my front porch. I'm going to try a few of the pot designs from my favorite magazine Garden Gate. I usually don't have much luck with pots because the hot dry summers here tends to dry them out. I get tired of the constant watering and sometimes that doesn't even help. As much as I love the versatility of annuals, I only have perennials in my beds because the thought of planting a new garden every year does not appeal to me.

  4. I'm dying to plant flowers around our house but I have no idea how to go about it. Great post!

  5. Beautiful!

    I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Creative Blog Award.
    Go to and pick up your award.