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Annuals in the Garden

Updated: Apr 16

April is one of the most pleasant times of the year to garden in Northern California. We tend to have low humidity, lots of sunny days, and less rain than we have had in prior months. It makes it the perfect time to start decorating your garden with annuals.

Summer blooming annuals are plentiful in our town right now and grow quickly and profusely. Giving you the ability to add color and beauty to sunny flower beds or brightening up shadier spots.

               

Let’s go over some of the best annuals and where to use them.

               

Zinnias

A true annual, zinnias are easy for beginners to grow from seed, and they reseed readily, making them a no-fuss bloomer for lazy gardeners. Plant zinnias in your butterfly garden and the flowers will likely attract hummingbirds too. Available in an array of forms and vibrant hues, with sizes varying from petite dwarfs to towering stems that benefit from staking, this beloved annual deserves a spot in your cutting garden for flowers all summer long.

Sun Exposure: full sun                                                                                                                      Blooming Period: summer/fall


Petunias

You can't go wrong with these fuss-free flowers for containers, pots, window boxes, hanging baskets, and garden beds. You can find them in pretty pinks, reds, whites, yellows, and purples.

Sun Exposure: full sun

Blooming Period: spring/summer/fall


Caladium

Annual plantings aren't all about the flowers. The pretty foliage of 'Aaron' caladium, boasting heart-shaped leaves with dark green borders and pale centers, makes it a go-to annual for landscape designer Daniel McCurry of Father Nature Landscapes. Technically a tender perennial, you can enjoy it as an annual in most areas throughout the U.S.

Sun Exposure: Partial shade


Begonia

These dainty flowers, which bloom in shades of white, pink, and red, require very little maintenance and upkeep (no deadheading or pruning required!). When fall arrives, you can move them indoors or dig up their tubers to reuse for the following year.

Sun Exposure: full sun/partial shade/full                                                                                  

Blooming Period: summer


Angelonia

These heat and drought-tolerant flowers are perfect for gardeners down South. Even the hottest, sunniest days won't ruin these beauties. In warmer regions, they'll continue to flourish through the fall.

Sun Exposure: full sun

Blooming Period: summer


Celosia

These colorful beauties come in a variety of shapes (brains, fans, and plumes) and a range of colors (pink, red, orange, and yellow). Plus, they grow fast and are incredibly easy to care for.

Sun Exposure: full sun                                                                                                                      Blooming Period: summer


Cosmos

These cute and feminine flowers grow taller the more you cut them (and faster, too), meaning you'll have pretty petals (in shades of pink, white, or purple) in your garden all summer long.

Sun Exposure: full sun

Blooming Period: summer


Geraniums

Dress up your walkway, porch, or front yard with these perky and petite blooms. Once grown or potted, these fuss-free flowers will flourish for months.

Sun Exposure: full sun/partial shade

Blooming Period: spring/summer


Impatiens

These small flowers with soft and delicate petals are ideal for darker areas of your yard that aren't suitable for plants or flowers that need lots of sun. Plant them in your favorite shady spot, and you'll have beautiful blooms to enjoy all summer.

Sun Exposure: partial shade/full shade

Blooming Period: summer


Marigolds

Looking to get a lot of bang for your buck? These fast-growing, vibrant orange and yellow flowers produce a hardy amount of blooms each summer. You can expect around 15+ flowers per plant.

Sun Exposure: full sun

Blooming Period: summer

Helpful Information: seldom severely damaged by deer


Snapdragons

Easily add height, dimension and bold color to your garden with these tall, easy-to-grow flowers.

Sun Exposure: full sun

Blooming Period: summer

Helpful Information: deer resistant

 

 Pansies

If you're after bold color, frost-resistant pansies are the way to go. You can find them in almost every color of the rainbow (and several multi-color options). And since they can tolerate frost, they're the perfect bloom for your garden in both the fall and early spring.

Sun Exposure: full sun/partial shade

Blooming Period: spring and fall


Now, these next two are perennials but people pair them with annual plantings for that certain pop.

Dahlias

These stunning flowers will make your garden beds look oh-so-lush. From honeycomb-like shapes to fluffy peony-esque varieties, there are endless options. They're incredibly easy to grow as annuals. With proper care, you can dig up and reuse the tubers year after year as perennials.

Sun Exposure: full sun                

Blooming Period: late summer/fall


Chrysanthemum

If you're looking to add some fresh blooms to your fall landscape, chrysanthemums (or simply, mums) are a must-have. Pick them up at your local nursery and add them to planters, or grow them from seeds starting in the spring.

Sun Exposure: full sun

Blooming Period: late summer/fall

 

Now where do you go for the best annuals? Well, when picking out annuals for an account or even for any of our homes, we always start at Grocery outlet first. It may not be the place you thing of for annuals, but they usually have a great selection and a great price. Every now and then they have pre-arranged hanging baskets which are wonderful.


Other places around town that are great for annuals are, A to z, B and C, or Hills Flat. Usually when getting annuals I will end up stopping by every store in town just to see the different selections and see if there is a special one I missed.


One final thought for annuals, make sure throughout the growing season you deadhead and fertilize for mazximizing flowers and growing potential.

 

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