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Annual Flower Garden Design & Tips

Adding annuals to your flower beds is a sure way to add a kick of colour and curb appeal to your landscape. Annuals are easy to grow, inexpensive to purchase and simple to maintain. Follow these design and planting guidelines for your best annual display.

Purchase annuals in short, compact forms for bushy growth and great flowering. A 4-inch pot is the perfect size; they often come in handy flats of 18 or 20. If any plants are leggy, cut them back by half to promote a fuller form.

Know what your sun conditions are and buy plants accordingly. Homeowners with ample shade should choose impatiens, begonias and coleus. Sunny annuals include marigolds, geraniums, petunias and zinnias. Homeowners with a combination of sun and shade should experiment with the type of annual that will thrive in their particular conditions. Be prepared to move some annuals around if they are getting burned from too much sun or leggy from too much shade.

Keep your house colour in mind when choosing annuals. White houses look great with a variety of flower colours from purple to red, pink and yellow. Red brick houses look best with purple, blue, yellow or white flowers, but avoid pink and some tones of red and orange. Pink or peachy brick shades usually look best with purple or blue tones, but steer clear of yellow in most cases. Experiment to find the best complementary flower colour for your house.

Choose one or two flower colours for maximum impact. Masses of one colour will be the most easily seen from the street, while two colours can create added interest. Unless a very informal cottage-style effect is the goal, using three or more flower colours should be avoided.

Fertilize and water adequately. Annuals are heavy feeders and prefer consistent watering in order to bloom their best. Choose a water-soluble fertilizer and apply it with a hose-end sprayer for the easiest fertilizing.

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