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Brighten Your Home With Annual Flowers

Annual flowers are the candy of the gardening world. They kick things up a notch in the garden and are an easy way to add a burst of colour if you're on a budget.

Brighten Your Home with-Annual Flowers
One of the best uses for annual flowers is to brighten up high-traffic areas like mailboxes, sidewalks and front doors. And because annuals generally grow for just one season, they're a great way to try new colour schemes and combinations without fully comitting.
Annuals such as impatients, caladium, periwinkle and angelonia are great for places like mailbox gardens, sidewalk flower beds and patio, porch or deck containers.
Mailbox Garden
Mailbox gardens: If you want to add a splash of colour around your mailbox, a street sign or a landscape bed close to the street, annuals are a good choice. Because they bloom continuously for extended periods, they are great for drawing attention to a focal point. When planting annuals in areas close to the street, stick to one type of plant in one to three colours, or use three types of plants (one colour each). Too much "busyness" and you'll distract drivers!
Patio and Porch Containers
Patio and porch containers: This is where you can let your creativity shine! Patios and porches are great places for unusual annual flowers because the up-close-and-personal foot traffic allows people to stop and take note of your fabulous container creations. The size of the container determines the number of plant types you can use. Larger containers can handle up to five different types of annual plants, while smaller containers are usually full with three. For a true "container garden", consider filling a container with the same plant and group several containers full of different plants together.
Landscape Beds Bordering Sidewalks
Landscape beds bordering sidewalks: When you're planting annual flowers in a larger landscape bed, the key to making an impact is "safety in numbers." Don't buy a six pack. Buy a flat of six packs. The difference between botanical gardens and home landscapes is the number of plants. As a home gardener, you can achieve the beauty of a botanical garden - just add more plants.

Caring for Annual Flowers

Annuals reward us with continuous colour, but to keep the show going they need a bit of extra care. Here are the two most important tasks for keeping your annuals blooming longer:
Deadhead: Remove dead flowers to make room for new ones and prevent the plant from switching from blooming to seed production.
Fertilize every three weeks
Fertilize every three weeks: Annual flowers in containers and landscape beds require more food than perennials. Use a fertilizer every three weeks to keep plants in top form.
With just a bit of extra effort to take care of your annuals, you'll enjoy eye-popping colour all season long.

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