This is fun :-) My top ten annuals will no doubt contain some that those of you in more southern locations grow as biennials or perennials. No PF links either :-)
1. Datura - I just love the scent of these gorgeous flowers, and the seed pods look almost alien.
2. Castor Bean - What a bonus for a northern gardener looking for a more tropical look in a single season. I grew Ricinus communis 'Zanzibariensis' for the first time this year, and ended up with a couple of monster sized plants.
3. Petunia - A staple filler in most gardens up here, you can find petunias cascading out of pots, over walls, standing up straight and proud in the border, popping up all by themselves in forgotten planters - and they come in such luscious colours now too.
4. Four O'clock - For all of my gardening life I have been 4 o'clock challenged - they just wouldn't sprout for me! In 2006 I finally hit the jackpot and I hope to never be without their cheery little faces again.
5. Nicotiana - This one really tickles my fancy. I grew up in tobacco country, so growing it as an ornamental flower seems mighty strange to my relatives I'm sure.
6. Moss Rose - I grow these (Portulaca grandiflora) in memory of my mother, who loved them as much as she did her miniature roses.
7. Scarlet Flax - My DH came home early last spring with two free packages from Canadian Tire, just as pleased as punch that he'd brought me home some pretty flower seeds :-) I sowed them next to one of those giant castor beans and fell in love with them myself, they were such a bright and cheery shade of red.
8. African Daisy - I had two very full containers of these in my back yard, and the sight of them never failed to lift my spirits.
9. Coleus - All different colours, sizes, and varieties. I plant a huge number of these every year into a collection of containers for two shady areas in my gardens. You can't beat them for adding glowing colour in the shade.
10. Impatiens - I interplant these with the coleus to give added interest in the shade. I used brilliant shades of pinks and peach/orange this year, and was enchanted at the way their colours and the bright colours of the coleus played off of one another.
Wow! I didn't think I'd be able to come up with ten, since I thought I gravitated more towards perennials. I had no idea that I actually grew that many different types of annuals too :-)
Trish, I'm in 100% agreement on your selections! Many of those used to be staples in my summer garden. However, now I live in a wooded area with lots of dappled shade, and in a hollow. So many of my sun-loving favorites just won't have it. The most direct sun any part of my garden gets now is about 6 hours. These have become favorites for me in these conditions.
1. Forget Me Nots (Myosotis)- So pretty, and such an amazing shade of blue. For me they bloom with late spring bulbs and perennials, and look pretty with everything.
2. Ornamental Tobacco (Nicotiana)- I especially love the tall, white N.sylvestris. They reseed well for me, but in my area its best to start them early; the reseeded ones don't bloom till fall. Some are fragrant, and hummingbirds love them too.
3. Impatiens- A shade dweller's best friend, especially the moist shade I live in. A no brainer and performer.
4. Begonias- I especially like the 'Dragon' begonias. Another thing I love about begonias, impatiens, and coleus is that its so easy to take cuttings in fall and keep them going through winter. I love not having to spend the $ on replacing them- more fun to spend on new things!
5. Dianthus- I love all forms of dianthus, and have been happy with how well annual forms are doing for me. Several have surprised me by returning several years in a row.
6. Castor Bean- Tropicals are big on my list- I love jurassic looking plants! Castor beans fit the bill, and look great with Elephant Ears and Cannas. So huge in one growing season, its instant gratification, lol.
And here are some that still hold a special place in my heart from growing them in my last home (in the sun!).
10. Hyacinth bean- gorgeous, vigorous vine with pretty purple leaves, flowers, and seed pods.
11. Larkspur- Saved the best for last. Got to be my very favorite annual. They are so cottagy and graceful, and reseed if they're happy. Summers here are too hot for Perennial Delphinium, and this annual form helps quench my want for them.
Yes indeed...this is fun...but oh soooooooo hard
1.Tropicals get lumped together..begonia, Ipomoea, Coleus, Impatiens and all flowering vines...make me feel like I am on an island or maybe in the Central Americas.
2.Zinnias as we can't have a garden without the brightest colors.
3.Rudbeckias...every cultivar is special to me and want to grow all of them as, for some reason, I think I am living in a Kincaid painting...along with all the daisies...
4. Coreopsis...all the new ones get taller and taller and great for cutting.
5. Echinacea (coneflowers) everytime I find a favorite kind...here comes another color and size and another good source for white...as are the white coreopsis mentioned above
6. Celosia ...never got excited until they came out with the Cockscomb 'Bombay' series for cutting
7.Snapdragons in the winter time and early spring...The old Rocket series is still my favorite along with the Liberty series. Please let me slip in the winter with larkspur and poppies, too...almost forgot i have to have stock, too for fragrance by the bedside.
8. Angolinia ...my summer snapdragons that look like bushes of salvias...purple, white, lavender
9.Nicotianas...once again, they come in every kind, but the purple is always so fragrant...love the lime green ones, too...uh oh...need the giant white ones, too.
10. All the Salvias...including the really tender ones in the blues and purples...then the hardier ones that reliably come back to smile once again as they take over everything else...
11. Gemini-Sage saved the best for last...that would be the Sweet peas and the Nasturtiums in big pots or under the trees...
Can't wait to see everyone else's list...bye
1) Zinnias - I really like the old-fashioned cut-and-come-again, but the newer candy-stripe ones are good, too.
2) Periwinkles (Catharanthus roseus) and dusty millers make a tried-and-true bedding display. (I planted deep purple Salvia splendens, grape and rosey-colored periwinkles, and the gray dusty millers in the beds around my greenhouse - great sun/shade plants that thrive with very little care all summer long.
3) Nasturtiums...I'm finally getting the hang of growing them, and they make great "trailers" to spill along my flower bed next to the vegetable garden path, and in containers along with herbs at the back door.
4) Four o'clocks (Mirabilis jalapa, or as I like to call them "Japanese Beetle killers"...bwahhhh ha ha ha ha) - they're *almost* a perennial here, because the tubers will survive most winters. I really like the "broken colors" type: http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/53054/index.html
Ahhhh, it really is hard to come up with just 10, isn't it??? Sunflowers are certainly one of ours as well. Dave grows some large ones in his garden that his mom has grown for as long as he can remember. I have no idea what it's name is, but we call it "Old Faithful".
Some of those that you guys mentioned, I wouldn't dare grow here. Four o'clocks is one of those!!! They sure do take over, everything, and the tubers are there to stay. Of course, if I had a japaneese beetle problem, I'd do it anyway :)
Dusty Millers croak in the heat here, but I line the beds with them for the winter. If I'm craving something in early spring, I add in Begonias, but they die out in July due to the heat. Thus the Pentas and vincas to fill in during the hottest months.
I had a fit growing BofI's several years ago, and haven't tried them since.
Baby Blue Eyes was also on my list this year. I don't grow many blue flowers, so these made a nice splash. I hope they reseeded!
I agree with the four o'clocks, they almost become a weed here.
Interesting list, Terry. Nasturiums are great too but I struggle with keeping aphids under control on them.
Another beautiful cooler weather annual is godetia. I have grown just a few and what I have seen they are lovely.
Has anyone ever heard of phacelia? I know a local seed company grows them for seed. They are a wonderful blue but I have never figured out what they look like when they first germinate. In fact it was that very question that brought me to Dave's Garden a few years ago already.
Pansies--especially great for late fall and some varieties can overwinter and withstand snow. Love seeing their faces peeking through a snow cover. Some varieties will set some seed so you can collect it for another season. Keep them deadheaded and trimmed back and you can get almost a year out of some of them.
Nasturtiums--great colors and you can get them in the taller, vining type or the shorted mounding type. These set seed as well.
Thunbergia (Black Eyed Susan Vines)--great colors are available now. They are great winders/climbers for larger pots. Colors range from rosy (Blushing Suzy), golden yellows/oranges w/ black eyes (alata) and white. Sets collectable seeds.
Cosmos--tall or short, bipinnus (roses, pinks and whites) or sulpherous (golds and oranges). I prefer the golden tones which has ferny foliage. Seeds very easy to collect.
Portulaca (Moss Roses)--low growing, succulent (fleshy leaves hold water sort of like aloe vera plants only smaller), fluffy "rose like" flowers, vivid colors. Loves heat and can take humidity and somewhat forgiving of lapses in water should you forget. Flowers all summer till killed off by frost. Sets seeds as well.
Gomphrena--Mounds of sort of grassy foliage with stems topped with round balls of color. "Strawberry Fields" is a great rose pink one. Collectable seeds.
Amaranthus--viridis--Loves Lies Bleeding--great dramatic annual available in red/magenta or lime green. Tall (3-4 ft) with long rope tassels of flowers. Red is most common, green is my favorite--seems more unique.
Celosia--plumosa type--these flower heads look like torches. My alltime favorite color is Apricot Brandy, yellow orange stems, green leaves and a medium orange flower head. Sets tons of seeds to collect for trades and to place in other areas.
Alyssum--white is very versatile and when warmed in the sun smells like honey. Colors are available ranging from pastel pinks, yellows, lavenders and apricots to dark purple (either Royal Carpet or the darker Oriental Nights).
Lobelia--mounding or trailing. Available in pinks, blues and whites some lavenders. Loads of small flowers and works great in mixed containers. Great easy to find deep blue (Crystal Palace) has purple/bronze green foliage.
Gosh hard for me to pick favorites as lots you grow , grow asannuals
for us are perennial !
Like Terry we grow Jewels of Opar (Talinum paniculatum) as a perennial
Four Oclock's to a favorite also a perennial they die down but come back each Spring stronger !
Coleus is perennial for us we have had the same plants for over 5 years in the ground !
Impatients too !
Same with Begonias and Geraniums!!! their blooming now in the ground !
I could go on and on were lucky !
Each year we do have must needed annuals
1. Zinnias and Marigolds all varieties. We grow them together and collect seeds dry out and couple weeks plant the new seeds !
2. Marigolds on edge of almost all gardens keep bugs away their pretty too !
again we dead head save the seeds and dry them couple weeks later plant them in another bed !
3. Morning Glory and Moonflower vines Always !! Morning Glories do re-seed themselves have some blooming and growing in garden beds now !
4. Cosmos And they call them Mexican Marigolds. Well you guys will shoot me they never stopped blloming ! And they re-seed themselves !
7. Love Sunflowers !
8. Portulaca , this keeps growing and coming back too !
9. Nasturtiums ~ Hubby thought I planted dollar weed lol
As this is beginner flowers, I would say for ease and results, I agree marigolds, zinnias. Salvia coccinia" Coral Nymph" selfsows for me, as does larkspur, blackeyed susans, four o'clocks. Moonflowers for the fragrance and novelty of watching them open. Alyssum self sowed for a lot of years. Pansies always in winter. My tenth will be Jewels of Opar. It was new to me in 2006 and hoping it self sows. Grew in indoors from seed, only had about four seedlings, then got clumy one day and dumped the pot, so I nursed just one lonely seedling to maturity and into the garden. Hoping for a patch of it this year.
All right Dale--you and your tempting photos! Is that verbena (the pink/rosey flowers) behind the nastutiums in your last post (3148061)? Next question for you...all I seem to find is the double portulaca, where do you find the seeds/plants for the singles you posted above?
mac, 061 from top down is, red pentas, purple angelonia, and then the nasties. I buy all my plants started and I am fairly sure that those portulaca are started from cuttings. We have a huge industry/greenhouses filled with plants that are keep over the winter for cuttings.
Thanks for the names Dale:) We have a couple of higher end locally owned nurseries around here that get the less familiar varieties so I'll be checking for the pentas once it warms up. It's funny that I moved almost completely across the country (from southeastern NM to NC) and ended up in pretty much the same zone give or take the humidity/rainfall:LOL:
I dunno, if the combinations are pretty, and the varieties aren't the ones you see at the hardware store, I usually just like the easy ones that bloom their heads off in a midwestern garden:
Zinnias -- keep them watered well all summer
Impatiens and New Guinea Impatiens
Now, to get fancy with these simple (and easy) flowers, I like to choose solid colors, not a mixed flat. All Disco Red marigolds and all Benary's Red Zinnias combined with all-orange Cosmos sulphureus looks a lot better to my eye than a Disco Mix marigold, with mixed Zinnias, and mixed Cosmos.
Dale_a -- can you find the picture of that row of Impatiens I am in love with? It's the one I said should be on the cover of the Seed catalog.
When he posts it, you all can see that Impatiens can be mixed -- no problem, especially if you have the rhythm going that Dale_a has got going here. The mixed colors perk up the place, and is fun, but also especially classy looking because of the repetition, I think. I am doing this exact border at my house this summer (hahaha I always say that, but it never turns out "exact"). I just sowed the purple Impatiens today as a matter of fact!
I have to agree with Suzy. The more I garden and see what's available, the more I tend to go for individual color selections rather than the mixes. It also gives you alot of freedom to create color palettes that you want to experiment with using both flower and foliage colors. This year I've got some individual zinnia colors chosen for a "hot/tropical" color palette using raspberry, orange and lime green zinnias. I'm doing a similar planting with gladiola bulbs too.
Beware of Dale and his drool-worthy photos:LOL: I've been jotting down plant names and varieties for what seems like days=D
Suzy, You have my permission of save any photo I post, just don't sell them to seed catalog publishers! I will assume that you know how, if not ask me I will tell you how to do it, just don't tell anyone :-)
Or was it this one?
Odd, I can't come up with 10 annuals. A few annuals I like are definitely Melampodium and this year, I want to try the white one. I love the celosia. For seasonal interest (summer and winter ) I plant pansies or petunias. Most definitely the Datura. I love to watch their blooms unfurl. A lot of plants that y'all are calling annuals come back each year for me... coreopsis, jewel of ophar, castor bean. I find I grow more perennials. But even the beloved 4 o'clocks come back from tubers each summer. Need to shop for more annuals I guess...
I love that combination...Love it, love it, love it! For anybody reading this, if you look at that last Impatiens picture -- the one pasted at 7:30 am -- it has purple and orange! Not quite a combination I would reccomend unless you were going to see the photo at the same time! The intensity of the colors is the same -- there is no pale pink to distract the eye and there is no white to hit you between the eyes, and there is a lot of repetition which gives that sense of rhythm.
It is actually one of my very favorite flower pictures that I have ever seen. And they are just impatiens...nothing fancy. You can start them from a pack of seed (actually 5 colors, = 5 packs of seed) or buy them at the garden center. It's how they are combined that makes the difference IMHO.
That is a viola (small flowered pansy?) They are in containers. We have so many soil pests here (nematodes) that I grow most things in containers. Plus containers take less water and we are on permanent water restrictions in Florida. Too many people, not enough water. I love yellow flowers.
Not much $$ for my garden this summer, as I'm shifting to maters and veggies. Any suggestions on good, cheap color that will spread on an eastern back property line that has filtered sun, yet is not invasive to the grass? It would be the view out of the den, back across the patio. Thanks! I thought about just chucking in some sunflower seeds and letting them have at it. Or marigolds back there. They would be good color, and we could see them, but not smell them (folks say they stink, but I've never noticed it). Marigolds were the first flowers I ever grew. Also, they attract bees which would be beneficial in pollinating the maters that will grow perpendicular to the back line. The maters will be grown in Earthboxes. But I would direct sow any other seeds.
Try this company, their seeds cost about $1.25 per pack for many seeds. [HYPERLINK@www.wildseedfarms.com] and they are in Fredericksburg so you know they will grow in TX. I really like Coreopsis tinctoria (they have 3 kinds, yellow, red and bicolored) and Verbena (Tuber Vervain) together.
Salvia coccinea "Lady in Red" was outstanding this year. In fact, I bought it because the stunningly bright red caught my eye from across the way at the garden center.
Another annual for a bright color that will catch your eye across the yard is Cosmos "Cosmic Red." I grew these year before last and the color is gorgeous, sort of a bright orange overlaid with bright, bright red. There's also a Cosmic Orange and Cosmic Yellow but I haven't grown those.
This was much shorter than the standard cosmos in my garden - about a foot tall although they are supposed to be up to 18 inches. I nice front of the border flower.
Another favorite annual for me is Nicotiana sylvestrus. Very tall with clusters of white flowers - long bells - at the top. Very pretty foliage and it's nice to have a tall annual. Mine grew over 5 feet tall.
Cleome "Purple Queen" is another favorite from last summer. I like cleome because it fills the bed with flowers but is so airy it doesn't really seem to compete with anything else in the bed. I really like the darker colors of the Queen varieties vs some of the more pastel varieties.
Datura has been a favorite for a long time. I actually have one that I grow as a perennial. It's in a large pot and comes inside for the winter with my brugs. LOL
Two more I almost forgot - Love Lies Bleeding and heliotrope. I just love the look of those long ropes of red tassels on the Love Lies Bleeding and the scent of the heliotrope is heavenly. And you get those lovely clusters of dark purple flowers too.
I have some Love Lies Bleeding that I haven't tried yet so this may be the year:) I like the green one too, viridis, I think its called and I bought a new one called Dreadlocks that looks sorta like reddish pom pom balls on a rope.
Lots of great annuals were mentioned above. However, Ageratum houstonianum or Floss Flower must have been overlooked. I found it easy to grow from seed and a good cutting flower. Mostly short (6" to 12") varieties available in nurseries but Blue Horizon (the one I grew) got 18" to 20".
What's the border plant with your bed of impatiens? This Saturday I bought several packets of zinnias, nasturtiums and sunflower seeds. I need a bang of color for the Buck. Not a lot of $$ this summer. I'm in Zone 9a. We had 32 degree weather the last two nights, so I think I'll play it safe and germinate the seeds inside for the next 5-6 weeks. (I'll direct sow the nasturtiums. Packet says they are resistent to transplanting).
I have two small shady flowerbeds. One is on the south side of the garage and one is direct center of the yard with two trees standing in it. No bright sunlight reaches either bed. Suggestions, please for color that will grow under these conditions? P.S. I have an autumn fern that I planted in the center bed last summer that has survived the winter! It also has two small mexican heather bushes. I had coleus in the bed last summer, but I don't want to do coleus this summer. here's a pic of the flowerbed: