Plants that grow from seeds, produce leaves, build shoots, blossom and bear fruit, are referred to as Annual plants. They die after forming seed. Since they bloom only one summer, they are often called “summer flowers”.

“There are many ways to integrate annual plants in a perennial flowerbed,” says Hanne Roth, landscape architect. In many cases, the summer flowers are used as filler for the initial phase. That is, the amount of annuals is reduced each year until the perennials fill the area after about 5 years. Another possibility is to use Annuals deliberately as a design element in a bed. Certain areas are kept open in beds, to fill them both with annual spring flowers, and with summer flowers. “The advantage here is that the flowering time in the bed can be extended through the summer blossoms. Furthermore, a new configuration with a new color theme each year is doable,” said Roth. Giving your creativity free reign.

Rapid effect

If a new flower be is planned, you initially need patience to develop the perennials. Depending on the choice of the genus, it takes several years before they are developed to full size. “Therefore give the larger genera, such as grasses (Miscanthus) or Solis Sponsa (or bride of the sun – Helenium) room for development,” recommends the architect. You can plant summer flowers in the voids. “Annuals complement the bed with color and volume and can be chosen according to taste, to form contrast or blend into your color scheme,” says Roth. Even at the height gradation to Annuals can be integrated effectively – they can float over both the perennials, and can be placed in the foreground. “The variations are almost endless,” says the plant lover. Many summer flowers, such as the purple coneflower (Rudbeckia hirta) and Zinnia (Zinnia elegans) are also suitable as a cut flower, and this way bring the Summer colors in the house even. Plant the typical summer flowers after the night frost is gone, starting around mid-May. Late frosts development can then no longer harm the development of the plants. If you purchase early summer flowers from the local nursery, or if you grow your own culture inside the house, the flowers will quickly yield a full bloom. In dry weather Annuals appreciate regular watering and make up for it with a great flower. In order to facilitate the growth, especially tall-growing Annuals such as cosmos (Cosmos), sunflower (Helianthus annus) should be tied to a support stake.

Gardener tip – special favorites

“One of my favorites Annuals in the garden are the snapdragons (Anthirrhinum) with their variety of colors and lush and long lasting bloom,” admits Roth. They are used to create sections with wonderful linearity and highlight individual plant species. “The Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) thrilled me with its intense orange flowers and a bushy growth,” said the planner. “This in turn fits well with all the sleek high perennials like blue flowering garden sage (Salvia nemorosa) or speedwell (Veronica spicata, Veronicastrum). There are also many grasses such as mat-grass spring (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ Pennisetum villosum) or feather grass (Stipa tenuissima), which achieve a rich appearance within one growing season. I create clouds of plants and clear connections between individual plants and perennials with the use of annual magic snow (Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’).” (GMH/BdS)


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