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Annual Flowers

Why bother with annual flowers? Gardening snobs despise them. However, you're not gardening for them, but for yourself; so listen up! Annuals add a burst of color to the landscape and can complement the perennials that the gardening snobs so cherish. It's not an either-or proposition.

Blue Ageratum
Those looking for a true blue annual flower have flocked for decades to Ageratum. If you're new to landscaping, you may wonder what Ageratum is and how you grow it. This article supplies an introduction.

Sweet Alyssum
Sweet alyssum can function as a ground cover for summer, but it's also commonly used in containers of various sorts. Its squarish, white flowers are ubiquitous in garden centers. Why is this annual flower in such demand? Because it's tough, stays short and can easily be rejuvenated when the need arises.

Red Salvia
Red salvia ("scarlet sage," "scarlet salvia") is a popular annual flower in American yards. Red salvia provide yards with a vibrant color and also with one of America's three patriotic colors. The spiky blossoms inject a texture that contrasts with Ageratum and alyssum, with which it is often grown.

Victoria Blue Salvia
Is Victoria Blue salvia an annual flower or a perennial? Well, that depends on where you live. South of zone 6 it will come back for you. Further north, treat it as you would red salvia. This is perhaps my favorite blue salvia, so I wish it were hardier.

I haven't seen any more recent figures, but around the turn of the century, impatiens were the #1 bedding plant in North America. These annual flowers are commonly thought of as shade plants, but they can be grown in sun, too, provided that you supply sufficient water.

Morning Glory
So far, we've dealt with short, compact plants. But what if you're seeking an annual flower that will sprawl around or reach for the sky, if given support? Morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor) is a classic choice. It comes in various floral colors, but I prefer the sky-blue, myself.

Many associate lantana (Lantana camara) with Florida. The plant goes wild there and has become quite a nuisance. But I associate lantana with a different warm climate: that of the Mojave desert. When driving Route 66, I found some planted at a general store that served as a sort of oasis. Some images just stick with you.

Decorating Cemetery Monuments for Memorial Day
Decorating for Memorial Day in America is similar to decorating for Veterans' Day, in terms of color scheme. But since the former occurs during warmer weather, your planting options are expanded. While we think immediately of graves when we hear "Memorial Day," do not think that the tips in this article are limited to the cemetery.

Fall Flowers
When you hear "fall color," you probably think about trees (and maybe shrubs). But there are some perennial and annual flowers that can be put to use in autumn, too. Some of them bear attractive leaves, as a bonus. The emphasis in this article is on setting up a great display at little cost.

Types of Salvia
Although many salvias can be grown as perennials across much of North America, I list them here because the salvia most widely recognized is an annual: the red salvia mentioned above. But in this article, you can also read about some of its perennial namesakes.

Magellan Coral Zinnia
"This is an improved Zinnia elegans with larger-sized, long lasting, perfectly shaped flowers," explains Connie Krochmal, BellaOnline's Landscaping Editor, in this article on Magellan coral zinnias.

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