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Favorite annuals from your 2006 garden!

Jacksonville, TX(Zone 8b)

I'll start- here was my top 10. I've linked to the Plant Files for more information:

1) Sweet Potato Plant- always one of my favorites in containers, especially

2) Sweet Alysum. Such a wonderful sweet unassuming flower. I sprinkled these seeds along one long boarder last year. The butterflies loved them, and the texture just begged to be touched. A keeper, for sure![common]=Alyssum

3) Zinnia- A mainstay in my garden every year. Too easy to pass up, and I love to bring them inside for a bouquet:

4) Poppies- one of the first things (besides bulbs) to bloom here in Texas, my front garden is loaded with them. I let them reseed every year, plus scatter some seed around the rest of the property just for good measure :) I sowed a HUGE field last year, and I'm super excited to see what they do. With so many varieties, who can go wrong? Not to mention the fun dried seed pods!

5) Annual salvias- Myself, I tend toward the "cottage garden" look, so salvias are a must have. Many are hardy for me, but some are still annuals. It was a "must have" when we needed deer resistant plants, and I've loved them since:

6) Pentas- when other plants like my Begonias melted in the heat, these guys just thrived. Not very cottage garden, I admit, but in the heat they steal the show![genus]=Pentas

7) Coleus- I usually fill in Dave's tropical bed with these, but they are still on my favorite list. Coleus for sun, coleus for shade. In the containers, and in the ground- too versatile to ignore! They root oh, so, easy and make quite a statement on their own.

8) Daisies- all of them :) I think I'd have a whole section of only daisies if I could :) Probably the reason is cut flowers, though.

9) Love-in-a-mist (Nigella) This is also one of those flowers that it is staple in my garden. they dry beautifully as well![common]=Love-in-a-Mist

10) Datura- this plant also resides in Dave's tropical bed, but I wouldn't do without it. Nothing like those fragrant blooms in the evenings.

Whew- it was hard to come up with only 10 :) I never can choose just a favorite. It's like I tell my children when they ask what my favorite flower it- "Whichever one is in bloom!"

What about yours?


Blyth, ON(Zone 5b)

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 :-)


Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

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!).

7. Cosmos- so wildflowery and easy. Love 'em!

8. Sunflowers- happy flowers to me :)

9 Ipomea, all kinds, Morning glories, Cypress vine, Cardinal Climber, Moonflower.

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.

Taft, TX(Zone 9a)

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 comes another color and size and another good source for 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 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 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

Mount Angel, OR(Zone 8a)

Zinnias has got to rank number one, I just love order them by color from Stokes and then growing a row of just one color.

Impatiens are wonderful color in the shade.

For beginners and easiness, the stinky little marigolds. They thrive in the heat.

Heavenly blue morning glories. Such a blue and so fun to watch its progress every day.

Pentas, Trish? Oh I wish we could do them here.

Sunflowers, I still like growing a few out in the veggie garden.

Asters, china ones that is. Wonderful cut flower.

Snapdragons especially the butterfly kind.

Bells of Ireland, nothing matches that wonderful green for arrangements.

Petunias, waves, trailing ones like calibrochas. Just love all those what we call premium annuals.

Blue salvias are wonderful too.

Statice is a must in the picking garden.

This year I have cleared out a few places close to the door of my home where I want to fill full of annual for bright vibrant colors.

Thanks for this thread, Trish.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

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:

5) South African foxglove (Ceratotheca triloba) is another unusual annual that deserves more attention:

6) I agree with the mealy-cup salvias. I've been growing 'Blue Bedder' and 'Blue Victoria' for about 20 years now, and wouldn't be without them:

7) Jewels of Opar (Talinum paniculatum) is another overlooked annual that is easy-to-grow and the gold-leaved varieties blend well in many container schemes:

8) Melampodium: is an easy-to-grow (reseeds readily, and easy to transplant) annual with cheerful yellow flowers all summer long.

I'm really looking forward to the peony-blooming poppies and sweetpeas this spring!

Those are my ten favorite annual flowers.

For annual foliage plants, Dichondra: or small-leaved Helichrysum: mixes well in my sun-to-shde windowboxes along with double-flowerring impatiens (speaking of which, I especially like the variegated varieties with rose-colored blooms like 'Pink Ice':

Also, castor bean plants provide great foliage interest: as do Purple Majesty ornamental millet: and it's hard to beat spikey Cardoon: for "architecture"

Jacksonville, TX(Zone 8b)

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!

Mount Angel, OR(Zone 8a)

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.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

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.

Taft, TX(Zone 9a)

getting great ideas every time i get on this silly computer...........the computer heads its own way to this website everytime..

(Zone 6a)

For me I really like the annuals that aren't available at garden centers so I can have something a little different....

#1 I'd have to say poppies, poppies, poppies!!! I've sowed them every spring for the past few years and I love them. They fizz out by early July, but they are still worth it!

#2 Love in a Mist, I enjoy trying all the different varieties, but they never seem to go beyond 6" tall....What am I doing wrong?

#3 Is Bupleurum, the leaves kind of look like Eucalyptus and it has little yellow/green flowers. It makes a good filler.

#4 Petunias, I can't really say much that hasn't been said already, but they have good all summer flower power!

#5 Morning Glory and Moonflower vines, I just ordered a bunch more different types :D

#6 Snapdragons. They flower right into the fall and alot of the time overwinter....Who can beat that?

#7 Calendulas, cute daisy like flowers. Again, right until they get hit by extreme frosts.

#8 Anything true blue, Nemophilia, Salvia, Forget Me Nots, Heavenly Blue MG's and the Royal Ensign.......

#9 Cosmos, nice variety of colours and so easy...Great for cutting!

#10 would have to be Zinnias. So cheery and they last such along time when cut. I remember my Opa used to bring us bunches of Zinnias from his garden.......

And theres also, Impatiens, Begonias, Painted Tounge.....I could just keep on going :D
OH! And I just remembered.......right up at the top of my list should be annual Geraniums!!!


Dunedin, FL(Zone 10b)

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 !
5. Petunias
6. Pansies
7. Love Sunflowers !
8. Portulaca , this keeps growing and coming back too !
9. Nasturtiums ~ Hubby thought I planted dollar weed lol
10. Rudbeckias

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Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

1. Pansy

2. Alyssum

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Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

3. Impatiens

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Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

4. Coleus

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Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

5. African Foxglove-Ceratotheca

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Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

6. Nasturtitum

This message was edited Feb 1, 2007 7:04 AM

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Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

7. Lobelia

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Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

8. Angleonia

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Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)


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Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

10. Browallia

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Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

11. Portulaca

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Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

12, Zinnia

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Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

13. Coreposis, an annual here.

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Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

14. Verbena

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Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

15, Cassia, an annual in most of the USA

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Mount Angel, OR(Zone 8a)

beautiful, dale, your colors and plants look wonderful. That nasturium is an unusual color. Is it really an annual? Do you have seed?

Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

Lenjo, not my plant, nasturtium is an winter annual here.

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Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

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.

Cordele, GA(Zone 8a)

Dale_a_gardener, what's the name of the white plant below the marigolds in Post #3144729? It looks like some kind of Alyssum, maybe carpet of snow but I'm just guessing.

Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

Deborah, yes it is alyssum and I have no idea what kind. Not my work.

Here is a photo of one of my clients beds. No alyssum in this bed.

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Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

Here's mine.

1. Geraniums. (Pelargonium) I have these in pots all over.

2. Isotoma 'White Star' (Isotoma axillaris)

3. Petunias everywhere, especially red. They are hummingbird magnets, and up here I need all the help I can get for those little beauties to find my house.

4. Coleus filling in around the hostas, in the pots, and pretty much in most all bare spots.

5. Marigolds - Dave hates these because he thinks they stink. I realize they have a scent, but I don't mind it.

6. Moss Roses (Portulaca) These pretty much reseed for me. I haven't had to buy new ones for several years.

7. Zinnias This year I discovered the Profusion Series Zinnias and my gardens will never be without them again.

8. Gerbera Daisies (Gerbera jamesonii) I love these in the center of my figure 8 raised bed. The rest of the bed is pretty much wave petunias and cascading petunias.

9. Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine - ( I use this in all my pots as a filler/trailer

10. Vinca - I also use this in my pots

Okay, that's 10, so I better quit. Not sure I actually got all my favorites, but I must have. They are mostly my "Old Faithfuls".

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

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?


Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

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.

Hybrid Kalachoe--

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Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

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:

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

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:

for sun:
Zinnias -- keep them watered well all summer
Four O'Clocks

for shade:
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!


Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

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

Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)


Was it this one?

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Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

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?

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Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

Maybe this one?

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