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Annual Delights

There are few plants that are suited to children and adults, to home owners and unit dwellers, or to the novice and experienced. Annuals however are the perfect plants for all people.

An annual is a short lived plant, put simply.

There are annuals that only grow 10cm tall and others known to reach a few metres in perfect conditions. Most annuals are suited to pot culture while others require soil.

Annuals can be incorporated into cottage gardens, tuscan gardens, waterwise gardens and tropical gardens. It all depends on what plants are chosen and what level of care and maintenance should be given. 

Annuals can add a splash of colour here and there throughout the garden giving a lifeless garden character and charm.

Professional landscapers use annuals like homeowners use cut flowers… as short term satisfaction to be replaced when plants fade.

Various Councils throughout Australia use annuals for mass displays as a message of community spirit and care. 

Using Annuals in the Landscape
A home gardener can use annuals to highlight pathways by planting the edges with low specimens like alyssum.
Whimsical fun can be created by mass planting seasonal annuals into brightly coloured pots. Be daring by painting pots strong contrasting colours for that extra wow factor.
Even if a garden has been professionally landscaped you may like to have your own personal stamp on the garden. Set aside an area where you can play with annuals and colour combinations. Plant annuals each season to emphasis natural phases of life, such as growth and flowering.

Annuals for a cottage garden - a beginners pack 
Alyssum, calendula, cleomes, cosmos, heartsease, Helianthus, nigella, torenia, nasturtium, zinnias.

Annuals for balconies - a beginners pack
marigolds, salvia, snapdragons, violas, zinnias

written by: Paul Plant, freelance writer and horticultural journalist.

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