Annuals in the garden

This extract has been taken from “Annuals for Northern California” by “Bob Tanem Don Williamson”. Annuals in the garden services are well rendered at “Tree Removal in Hayward CA” wherein it explains how and what can be grown when.

Annuals are often used in combination with perennials, shrubs and trees. Because these plants bloom at different times during the growing season, including a variety of annuals in the garden provides continuous color. Annuals are also perfect for filling in bare spaces around small or leggy shrubs or between perennials that sprout late in the season. Include annuals any-where you would like some variety and an extra splash of color—in pots staggered up porch steps or on a deck, in windowsill planters or in hanging baskets. The addition of annual flowers brightens even well-established gardens.

Annual vines can furnish a temporary screen to hide some undesirable view or an ugly part of the garden, such as compost piles, old fences, posts and shed.

The short life of annuals allows gardeners a large degree of flexibility and freedom when planning a garden. Where trees and shrubs form the permanent structure or the bones of the garden, and perennials and ground covers fill the spaces between them, annuals add bold patterns and bright splashes of color. Annuals give gardeners the opportunity to make the same garden look different each year. Even something as simple as a planting of impatiens under a tree can be different each year with different varieties and color combinations. When planning your garden, consult as many sources as you can. Look through gardening books and ask friends and gardening experts for advice. Notice what you like or dislike about various gardens, and make a list of the plants you would like to include in your garden.

      There are many styles of gardens, and annuals can be used in any of them. A symmetrical, formal garden can be enhanced by adding only a few types of annuals or by choosing annuals of all the same flower color. You may want to add a sash of the informal to the same garden by adding many different species and colors of annuals to break up the formal plantings of trees and shrubs. An informal, cottage-style garden can be a riot of plants and colors. The same garden will look less disorganized and even soothing of you use several species that bloom in cool shades of blue and purple. You can create whatever style garden you want by cleverly mixing annuals.

     When choosing annuals, most people make the color, size and shape of the flowers their prime considerations. Other attributes to consider are the size and shape of the plant and leaves. Annuals grown for their foliage are attractive, particularly when used in mi8zed hanging baskets and planters. A variety of flower and plant sizes, shapes and colors will make your garden more interesting.

Annuals in the garden - Mexican Sunflower
Annuals in the garden – Mexican Sunflower

     Colors have different effects on our senses. Cool colors such as purple, blue and green are soothing and can make a small garden appear larger. Some annuals with cool colors are lobelia, ageratum and amethyst flowers. If you have a hectic life and need to relax when you are at home, then sitting in a garden of flowers with cool colors will help. Warm colors such as red, orange and yellow are more stimulating and appear to fill larger spaces. Warm colors can make a large, imposing garden seem warm and welcoming. Some annuals with warm colors are salvias, pot marigold and Mexican sunflower.

     If you work long hours and have time to enjoy your garden only in the evenings, consider pale colors such as white and yellow that show up well at dusk and even at night. Some plants have flowers that open only in the evenings and often have fragrant blossoms that add an attractive dimension to the evening garden. For Example, Moon flower if a twining vine-like   plant with large, whit, fragrant flowers that open when the sun sets.

     Foliage color varies a great deal as will. Some annuals are grown for their interesting or colorful foliage, not their flowers, and some plants have both interesting foliage and flowers. Leaves can be in any shade of green and may be covered in a soft white down or they can be so dark they appear to the almost black. Some foliage is patterned or has veins that contrast with the color of the leaves. Foliage plants such as coleus are often used by themselves while others provide an interesting backdrop against brightly colored flowers.

Texture is another element to consider when planning a garden. Both flowers and foliage have a visual texture. Larger leaves can appear coarse in texture, and they can make a garden appear smaller and more shaded. Coarse-textured flowers appear bold and dramatic and can be seen from farther away. Small leaves appear fine in texture and create a sense of increased space and light. Fine-textured flowers appear soothing and intriguing. Sometimes the flowers and foliage of a plant have contrasting textures. Using a variety of textures helps make a garden interesting and appealing. The great thing about using annuals for this effect is that you can change your mind and try something new next time you go to plant.

Annuals with Interesting Foliage

Amaranth ‘Illumination’


Annuals in the garden - Coleus
Annuals in the garden – Coleus


 Sweet potato vine

 Zonal Geranium

Fine-Textured Annuals

Baby’s Breath


Cup Flower




Swan River daisy

Sweet Alyssum

Coarse-Textured Annuals


Painted Daisy


Sweet Potato Vine


Continue reading on Fan Palm Growing Simplified