SUMMER ANNUALS AND PERENNIALS
So you want to have bloomers all around the lawn. It can be
done if you choose the right plant for the right location. There
are three major sources of color -- woody plants, perennials
and annuals. The woody ornamentals include trees, shrubs and
vines. Perennials refer to herbaceous flowering plants that
grow and bloom year after year. Annuals include the flowering
plants that are grown for one season, discarded and new ones
planted next year. Many times the broad term bedding plants
is used synonymously with annuals.
To utilize annuals which should be remembered in the landscape
effectively, there are a few rules or concepts. Annuals must
be planted and replanted through the year. No one species of
flowers will last from spring through fall if you expect a continuation
of blooms in the landscape. For best results annuals should
be planted four times a year . . spring, summer, fall and winter
and there are specific annuals that are best for each season.
There are flower species that bloom in the spring and burn up
in the hot summer. There are those that thrive in hot, dry weather.
There are some that need a long growing season to prepare for
Annuals must be planted in mass to make a strong statement
in the landscape. Take one or two species of annuals and fill
the flower bed. Don't plant one of this and two of that and
expect your landscape to stop traffic. Since we are blessed
with such wonderful soil, blooming plants need some preplant
soil preparations to insure show?stopping results. The addition
of organic material is a necessity. Shredded pine bark, peat
moss, compost, manure, leaves and grass clippings are all excellent
organic materials for soil improvement.
In designing a flower bed remember to take advantage of color
combinations. Complimentary colors, such as pinks and reds or
oranges and yellows, give a soft, soothing air to the landscape.
Contrasting colors, like whites and reds or yellows and purples,
make a strong, bold statement.
It is time to establish summer plantings of annual flowers??those
that can endure the hot Texas sun. The best heat tolerant annuals
are periwinkles, purslane and portulaca. If you have a shady
landscape, the best annuals are impatiens, begonias, caladiums
Perennial plants are those which endure or persist from year
to year. Although once a prominent part of nearly every Texas
landscape, perennials have been overlooked but are now making
comeback. Perennials can be highly useful and attractive in
the home landscape. They not only persist for many years but
usually require less maintenance than annuals. Most times you
get more bloom for your money with perennials than annuals.
Many perennials have attractive foliage and are an asset even
when not in flower. Remember though, the best landscapes have
a combination of annuals and perennials for color in the landscape.
Here is a list of a few perennials that are guaranteed to grow
well and are available. Early spring bloomers include Daffodil,
Bearded Iris, Shasta Daisies, and Day Lily. Summer bloomers
include Canna, Gladiolus, Lantana, Native Phlox, Plumbago, and
Rosemary. A few of the native perennials that will bloom seven
or eight months of the year are Autumn Sage (Cherry Sage), Blue
Sage and Mexican Oregano. The best fall bloomer is Chrysanthemum
and all its many forms and colors. Another fall bloomer worth
having is the Frikarti Aster (Autumn Aster, Michaelmas Daisy).
Now is the time to plant the summer bloomers??whether you choose
the annual or perennial type. For more information about Annuals
and Perennials, see: