from the employee owners at Gardener's Supply Co.

Themes for Annuals

My house is on a fairly busy street, so I like to do something special with the strip of garden that borders the sidewalk. I plant tulip bulbs for a spring show, but summer is reserved for annuals.

One of my most successful and unusual plantings was a “hedge” of Redbor kale and cardoons, shown here in early summer. I used white petunias to keep things interesting early on, while the kale and cardoons were getting started. In addition, I mixed in some pink-flowering agastache, which had lots of small flowers held on long stems by midsummer.

The spiky flowers on the cardoons — an artichoke relative — are striking.

My house is on a fairly busy street, so I like to do something special with the strip of garden that borders the sidewalk. I plant tulip bulbs for a spring show, but summer is reserved for annuals.

That little strip is where I exercise my creativity. Some years, it works well, although there are disappointments, too. But that’s the thing about annuals: they’re annual. You get to try something new every year.

To guide my creativity, I pick a theme and go from there. Sometimes, it’s a color. One year I tried using foliage plants. This year, I’m going for a theme of marigolds as part of our Marigold Makeover. Once I get it planted, I’ll post photos of this year’s garden there.

Tell us about your themed plantings by posting a comment.

Not one of my most successful themes: yellow and chartreuse. It looks a bit shabby here in October, but the colors were strong and the plants grew abundantly. Plants include lime-green elephant ear, Envy zinnias, yellow petunias, chartreuse coleus and green nicotiana. I’d add some hot pink geraniums or petunias if I were to do it again.

David Grist
Gardener’s Supply

2 Comments

  1. June 22, 2011    

    I really like this blog; it is very informative and the pictures are terrific!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Warm Regards,
    Lisa

  2. October 3, 2011    

    What a great use of a tiny area. The good thing about annuals is that you get to start from scratch every year. Thus your little garden is never boring.

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