Perennials and Annuals – Plant Both For a Beautiful Yard
The human eye is naturally drawn to color. The brighter the color, the more it will capture our attention. The same holds true for gardens. Yards that are a riot of color cause a person to look a little longer and enjoy the beauty.
Whether it is with perennials or annuals, color in the yard is a must! You can achieve beautiful color with perennials but you will have to plant a variety of plants to have color all season long. This is because perennials generally have a shorter bloom time than annuals. Perennials are a must for the garden because they will come back year after year, but they do not provide season long color. For that you will need to plant annuals.
A skilled gardener knows how to use plants for color. Using perennials as the framework, the gardener then fills in with annuals that will provide strong color all season. If you have a perennial that dies back to the ground after blooming, such as peonies, plant tall or bushy annuals around it to hide the dying foliage. Try planting tall larkspur around perennials such as peonies that bloom early in the season. This will allow the peonies to show their gorgeous blooms, but the growing larkspur will hide the foliage as it dries up. Often times the larkspur will drop seed and grow again in the same location the next year.
Perennials that have beautiful green foliage all summer long provide a great backdrop to smaller annuals such as petunias and snapdragons. Grassy leafed plants such as daylilies are a great companion for geraniums and marigolds. The grassy foliage is a beautiful compliment to bright blossoms, and the daylily flower will rise above the foliage by about 12 to 18 inches so you don’t have to worry about the annuals hiding the blossoms.
Both types of flowers need some upkeep during the summer months, but if you plan your garden carefully you will cut your maintenance time. Planting your annuals fairly close together will help cut down on the weeds because there will be less space for them to grow. Also, planting close together will help shade the soil so it doesn’t dry out as quickly. If you choose to plant in this manner, make sure you improve your soil first. Add rich compost and a slow release fertilizer. Planting close together will deplete the soil of nutrients quicker so you need to make sure the soil is high in organic material before you plant. You can also use a fertilizer that you water into the soil throughout the summer.
Wind a soaker hose through your flower beds for effective watering. This will help the water get to the roots without evaporation. Slow, drip irrigation using a soaker hose is beneficial for flowers because the water slowly soaks into the soil. This type of watering gets deep into the soil so the plants will develop deep root systems. This will help the plants to be healthy and strong.
As you spend time working with annuals and perennials together, you will get a feel for what grows best. Each year your garden will burst with color and you will find joy and satisfaction spending your time helping it to grow.