Although we typically do not plant annual flowers as part of our landscaping projects, the short-lived plants are fun to experiment with, and they are a great way to express your tastes, allowing for variety every year.
Many annuals have a tendency to prefer bright and sunny locations, but there are a few options for shade gardens. Keep in mind that most plants look best in groupings of at least three. This provides a better flow of colour as one group of flowers will overlap nicely with the next.
As a small tip, if you’re having trouble adding annuals to shaded gardens, consider adding annuals in hanging or standing planters to brighten up and utilize smaller spaces. Here are a few considerations:
Petunia – Long last summer flowers, with a little bit of fertilizer they will bloom all season. There are quite a few different types of petunias, some are better for planters and hanging baskets, others for gardens. With a wide variety of colour, they are easy to mix and match.
Nemesia – Great for containers, they can even act as a filler plant in gardens. Seeds are easy to grow and can be bought in packs that produce a mix of colours.
Zinnia – A great annual for edging gardens, they grow tall with a single beautiful, bright flower head in a variety of colours. They are easy to grow from seeds, which is great news, as they don’t often transplant well.
Begonias – Suited for partial shade and sun, these will flower all of the summer season.
Fuschia – Another partial shade plant, fuschia tends to dislike growing conditions that are too hot. Having a few of these unique plants placed around your outdoor areas in hanging baskets will likely attract hummingbirds.
Coleus – A great choice for a shade annual, coleus plants come in a wide variety of colours in a paint-splash appearance. They will do well in sunny areas, but are a solid choice if you are having trouble growing anything in heavily shaded gardens.
There is definitely a positive side to annuals. If a plant doesn’t quite work for you or your garden, don’t be afraid to change it up the following season. Have a blast toying with complimenting colours, and mix things up for an ever-engaging garden space.