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May Showers and Annuals

If gardeners look a bit frazzled, it’s to be expected. I was away from our gardens for a week, and I hardly recognized them when I returned as they had grown by leaps and bounds in a matter of days. Flowers are blooming, plants are adding great height, and weeds are staking a claim in any open space they can find. Add to that we are all thinking about annuals to be planted.

When it comes to annuals, I’m a modest fan. I’d rather see expanses of perennials and native grasses accentuated with a few annuals than entire landscapes dependent upon a new installation of annuals each year. I believe we fall back on annuals when we want color throughout the growing season. For many, mastering the timing of when perennials bloom is challenging. It does take a bit more planning and research to have blooms from early spring to the first hard frost when we only use perennials. That’s why I like to hedge my garden bloom bet by adding a few annuals. Annual salvia is a must for me. I often partner it with Agastache ‘Blue Fortune.’ Both are blue bloomers, but when my Agastache starts to fade, the annual salvia’s blue color stays true until frost. Lantanas are my weakness. Any plant that reminds me of days spent in Pensacola (they line the public walks connecting the sound to the gulf) and is foolproof has earned a spot in my garden.


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