annuals

Annuals provide fun colour and excitement for your garden or container.

An annual is a plant that completes its lifecycle in a single season. They provide colour for the entire season and allow you to change your landscaping ideas every year or even midseason. Fall, for example, is a great time to change up your colours with mums in the garden and containers.

Flowers always enhance backyard bar-b-ques and indoor dinner parties. Annuals provide fragrance, colour and beauty for several months. They can be grown in patio containers, pots, baskets, window boxes, climbing up arbours and almost anywhere you want colour and excitement. We carry a large variety for your gardening pleasure.

To get the best out of annuals, you need to know what plants are good for sun, shade, hot or dry spots in your garden. The only tip to growing annuals is to water and fertilize often during the season.


Plants for Sun

Some areas of the garden are extremely warm, such as those near heat-radiating brick walls or those on the sunny side of reflective surfaces, such as white stucco walls.

For those areas, choose only plants with excellent heat tolerance, such as:

  • Amaranthus
  • Castor Bean
  • Celosia
  • Clarkia
  • Clemome
  • Cosmos
  • Datura
  • Dracaena
  • Gazania
  • Heliotrope
  • Ice Plant
  • Kochia
  • Lantana
  • Marigold
  • Moon Vine
  • Portulace
  • Statice
  • Strawflower
  • Tagetes
  • Verbena

If a sunny area of the garden is also very dry, choose plants with excellent drought tolerance. Remember that young plans must be well watered until their root systems have developed to the point where they can sustain the plants through periods of drought. After the plants are established, you need to water them only occasionally. The following plants, once established, do well in dry areas:

  • African Daisy
  • Castor Bean
  • Celosia
  • Clarkia
  • Cosmos
  • Gazania
  • Gomphrena
  • Ice Plant
  • Lantana
  • Nolana
  • Poppy
  • Portulace
  • Salvia (S. farinacea, S horminum, S. splendens)
  • Scaevola
  • Verbena

Plants for Shade

These are the plants we have found grow well in shady areas. Plants marked * are the best choices for very shady areas.

  • * Asparagus Fern
  • * Begonia
  • Black-Eyed Susan Vine
  • Browallia
  • Coleus
  • * Dracaena
  • Dusty Miller
  • Fuchsia
  • Geranium (ivy and zonal types only)
  • Impatiens
  • * Ivy
  • Lobelia
  • Mimulus
  • Nasturtium
  • Nemesia
  • Nemophila
  • Nicotiana
  • Nierembergia
  • Nolana
  • Pansy
  • Petunia (double flowering types can take more shade than others)
  • Salpiglossis
  • Salvia (S. splendens only; the other types need sun)
  • Schizanthus
  • * Spider Plant
  • Torenia
  • Viola

Say it With Color

Annuals are an expression of colour so you can be definite and create blocks or lines of colour. Three colours seem to be a good number to work with. Remember hot hues are eye-catching and appear to come forward where as cool colours like blue, green, and burgundy appear to recede. Put your personality in your backyard. Here’s what colour tones signify:

RED:

Primary color. Signfies passion (love and anger); Men prefer orange-reds; women lean toward blue-red; hummingbirds love them all.

BLUE:

Primary color. Embodies faith, peace and loyalty; generally calms and soothes; harmonizes with just about any other color, making it a good choice for accessories.

YELLOW:

Primary color. Upbeat and energetic; promotes clear thinking and creativity; the color seen most easily by the visually impaired.

GREEN:

Secondary color. A regal hue denoting leadership and wealth; attractive to butterflies and small children.

ORANGE:

Secondary color. Exudes warmth; promotes cheerfulness; lessens irritability; along with red and yellow, attracts butterflies.

PINK:

A tint of red. Popular flower color with gardeners; generally has a calming effect.

BLACK:

The absence of all colors. Often associated with evil and mourning, it also conjures mystery and power. There are no truly black flowers - just deepest burgundy and purple - but blooms such as the new Black Velvet petunia, 'Ebony Star' dahlia and 'Bowles Black' viola will fool any eye.

WHITE:

The presence of all colors. Symbol of purity, truth and cleanliness; has enduring simplicity and beauty; catches the eye first; shimmers in twilight.


It may seem a daunting task to plant up your own containers when there are so many beautiful ones to purchase but, it can be very rewarding to try doing it yourself. To begin simply fill the chosen container up halfway with a lightweight material like foam peanuts to keep the weight down. (some have even used the empty pots from the plants) The main 3 elements are Thriller, Filler and Spiller. Have some fun when picking your plants and place them close together to get a fuller look faster. Fertilize regularly and keep up with watering. All annuals will benefit from deadheading the spent blooms and picking off any dead leaves. The last tip to successful container gardening is to place the finish planter in appropriate light conditions where they will have good ventilation.