Annuals for sowing now???

CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

I live in a tiny community in west central France (Crézières, Poitou -Charentes - find us on https://maps.google.com/ ). Over the past few years we have, no thanks to me, won the local (county) award for most floriferous village. Now we face a challenge as the judging will be in early September when most of our shrubs and perennials will be way past their best.

The judges don't like common annuals - by the time they get here, they will have seen enough Petunias and Pelargoniums to last a lifetime. We are looking at the possibility of growing striking but *unusual* annuals to fill the gaps.

Suggestions, anyone???

Rancho Santa Rita, TX(Zone 8a)

There are so many beautiful ones !

Are you talking about individual home gardens or
public spaces ?

A mix of plants or only specific plants ?

There are so many possibilities :)

Is it your town competing against others ?

Calgary, Canada

Thunbergia in hanging baskets.
Hibiscus acetosella for foliage colour.
Cosmos, Sunflowers, Hollyhocks.
Sprinkle Babysbreath seeds around the geraniums.
Salpiglossis instead of petunias.
Sow annual poppies among the perennials and shrubs.
Shirley poppies, California poppies.

Rancho Santa Rita, TX(Zone 8a)

nasturtium either climbing vines or others close to the group.

There are so many beautiful zinnias and marigolds.
Asters
Ageratum
Morning glories
molucella

CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

It's mainly for borders at the edge of the road... thank you all for the suggestions... please keep them coming...

CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

To be honest, one of the strategies is to try to find unusual annuals that the judges might not recognise... something that might flower in three months and look good. We get more points for 'novelty' than for being purely decorative.
Zinnias I had considered, I think they would do well.
Hibiscus acetosella is also great for interesting foliage.

Would molucella flower in three months??


CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

Salpiglossis would be great, but we don't seem to have time to grow them from seed and not really enough money to buy lots of them.... but that sort of 'alternative look' is exactly what I am after....

Rancho Santa Rita, TX(Zone 8a)

annual verbena, cosmos

(Caitlin) Fresno, CA(Zone 9b)

Love Lies Bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus) is very unusual looking and grew up big for me really fast from seed.

Thumbnail by Wifeygirl
CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

Thanks - that's quite well known. We have decided to stick iw th perennials this year but grow some more unusual and exotic annuals as HHAs next year.

(Caitlin) Fresno, CA(Zone 9b)

Interesting - Love Lies Bleeding is well known but zinnias aren't? I get tons of comments on the Love Lies Bleeding and haven't seen it in any other gardens in my area, but zinnias are all over the place. But I'm fairly new to gardening, so I'm not familiar with a lot of the plants that other people take for granted. =)

Rancho Santa Rita, TX(Zone 8a)

WG, it prolly depenDs on climate.

This message was edited Jul 17, 2014 8:32 PM

CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

What I meant was that we were thinking of a mix of annuals and had thought of some well -known ones but were looking for lesser-known ones..... Wouldn't do zinnias next year as will have all of the year to play with.

(Caitlin) Fresno, CA(Zone 9b)

Yeah, that makes sense, Baja.
Cinemike, it'd be great to see some pics, once you get it figured out!

CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

Will see how it goes..... If there's anything worth posting, will do.

Anna, IL(Zone 6b)

Dragon wing begonias with chartruse colored or burgundy colored sweet potato vine with yellow lantana would be good, throw in some purple or blue.

Perhaps a yellow/blue theme: Say yellow canna, then blue salvia, then yellow marigold, then glue ageratum, then short yellow marigold (with graduated heights).

Perhaps an all red theme:

Thumbnail by brendak654
Anna, IL(Zone 6b)

Quote from brendak654 :
Dragon wing begonias with chartruse colored or burgundy colored sweet potato vine with yellow lantana would be good, throw in some purple or blue.

Perhaps a yellow/blue theme: Say yellow canna, then blue salvia, then yellow marigold, then glue ageratum, then short yellow marigold (with graduated heights).

Perhaps an all red theme:



Picture taken in Wisc @ Rotary Garden

Anna, IL(Zone 6b)

By now, I'm sure you have probably sown your annuals................. Hope things are progressing ....

Perhaps a blue/yellow theme. This isn't the greatest of my gardens, but I always liked the color combo:

Thumbnail by brendak654 Thumbnail by brendak654
CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

That looks lovely.... but we're thinking of next year now....

Anna, IL(Zone 6b)

Would love for you to post pix's of the floral display of areas in the village come September.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Has anybody had luck sowing alyssum seeds in the Fall or even now? I have some beautiful purple and white alssyum that reseeded itself from last year and it's taking over this one area, hanging over on the sidewalk..I would love to try sowing some more of those seeds for next year or do you think it would be better if I just waited until early March and sowed them directly where I wanted them or wintersow them?

Rancho Santa Rita, TX(Zone 8a)

Pippi, I love sowing in late summer to fall for the following season.

When I am unsure of how something will do, I plant some now and save some for backup, in case whatever of a jillion things could happen DOES happen. OR, buy double. WHO KNOWS how this coming winter will be !

But if you don't try, you will always wonder. But if you do try, you will have a point of reference, and be equipped to make a better decision.

Rancho Santa Rita, TX(Zone 8a)

Mike, the other day I had an "aha" moment, and thought of your situation.

What about all black & white with a touch of scarlet or magenta ?

And we would love any fotos you wish to share !

What was the final decision on what your entry will be ?

Anna, IL(Zone 6b)

Quote from Pippi21 :
Has anybody had luck sowing alyssum seeds in the Fall or even now? I have some beautiful purple and white alssyum that reseeded itself from last year and it's taking over this one area, hanging over on the sidewalk..I would love to try sowing some more of those seeds for next year or do you think it would be better if I just waited until early March and sowed them directly where I wanted them or wintersow them?


I'm guessing that if the purple and white alssyum reseeded and came up in the spring of 2014, it will reseed again in the spring of 2015. I have not had good luck seeding alyssyum in late summer, it was a basically a no show. Maybe what you have that reseeded was a certain variety (a variety that you don't want to loose).

CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

Quoting:
And we would love any fotos you wish to share !

What was the final decision on what your entry will be ?


In the end some money was scraped together to buy a few perennials and make the planting schemes less dense to encourage foliage growth. Will post some photos nearer the time of the judging.

Part of the problem is that we never know until the spring of a year, in which month the judging will occur. Perennials are (naturally, perhaps) more highly prized than massed annual planting schemes that would disproportionately favour those villages with large green expanses to plant.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

Maybe herbs with interesting flower/seed heads. Not sure if these would work but gomphrena, violas, portulaca, linaria. I know temps are dropping off a bit here & days are shorter. Good luck with your competition!

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Hi Mike-So how did it go?
Photos?
For next year I had an idea for a somewhat unusual annual that grows easily from seed. Nicotiana 'Tinkerbell', a tall dark rose-pink variety. I have no photos of it, and the ones I see on the internet do not really capture the color well, but it is striking. One person who saw mine described it as the most beautiful flower she had ever seen. I had it in a spot that got burning hot (west side of dark brown house and by black pavement) but only late afternoon sun. It might be a good choice if tall Nicotiana types are not used much there (as we see with the Amaranthus what is uncommon here might be boring there).

CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

It went ok. In the end we didn't have any 'pure' annuals, but a mixture of late-flowering holyhocks and cannas gave a reasonable show.
We didn't 'win' but had a good assessment. This was not unexpected as we were moving up a 'level' from departmental (countywide) to regional (state-wide) competition.
Sorry, I forgot to photograph the results. :(

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

There is always next year.

CREZIERES, France(Zone 8a)

Latest news: we have been given a 'rosette' (= flower symbol) for our display which is actually better than we had expected. If we keep improving over the next three years that will become two rosettes - which, for a village is big league!

Calgary, Canada

Congratulations! Well Done!

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Yay!

Rancho Santa Rita, TX(Zone 8a)

Happy 2015 everyone !

Let the craziness begin all over again !

I'm already dreamin of maters & marug-olds, morning glories, chiles & zinnias !!!!i

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