Cottage Garden Annuals

dyhgarden(7b)August 17, 2011

After rain, lower temperatures and humidity, I'm suddenly excited about gardening again! A little bit of pruning, weeding and deadheading put things back in order and the annuals are rewarding me.

I try different zinnias every year. My favorite tall ones are Benary's Giant. I used Candy Mix this year in one spot where I used Magellan last year.

Alyssum is stunning me with its drought tolerance. It bloomed from spring until July, then took the month off during the 100 degree temps. As soon as we got one good rain, it has bloomed again!

I'll never be without the annual rudbeckias from now on! I will definitely use more in the future.

Back in the spring -- larkspur, poppies, cornflowers and nigella were favorites and I'll be sure to sow seeds again this fall.

What are you favorite annuals?


Here is a link that might be useful: Cottage garden annuals

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I love all the bright colors that annuals give us to enjoy.
I love zinnias and Black-eyed Susans. So cheerful and butterflies love them too. Hummers love zinnias as well.

What are the blueish flowers? Names please. :)

There once was a time when that was ALL I grew.
You have inspired me to try annuals again next year.

It only got up to 95 here today. We are supposed to get a lot of rain here very soon.

I'm smiling while reading your contagious gardening enthusiasm. Thanks for the inspiration, Cameron.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 6:39PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

After rain, lower temperatures and humidity, I'm suddenly excited about gardening again!

I'm so envious! I hate just walking outside to water the containers. I'm trying to be content making a list of things to do this fall, but that's still a couple months away.

Your plants look so pretty and healthy. Do you direct-seed your Rudbeckia or start them in pots? I've been growing Gloriosa Daisy the past couple years starting them in pots in February, but if direct-seeding works that would be great!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 6:59PM
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We've been lucky here in MA this summer with our temps and rainfall.
I love so many annuals but ther are some I have to have every year. I grow the Benarys too and collected seed last year. They don't come true from seed though. Marked all my colors and had quite a few surprises when they bloomed. :). I also tried the cactus zinnia mix this year and love those as well as Dreamland which is a little tom short and bushy for me.
Globe amaranth
Verbena bonariensis
Alyssum, which always re-seeds for me
Salvia Victoria blue and the new Evolution
Melapodium, non stop bloomer and needs no deadheading
Sanvitalia, love the little sunflower looking flowers
Cardinal vine for the humming birds
All the poppies, Iceland,peony and California
Batchelor buttons.
Snap dragon purple prince.
I could go on but better stop at these.
My garden wouldn't be complete without annuals


    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 7:41PM
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Those pics were lovely. I have no idea why I've never tried larkspur as I love delphiniums so much and they have a similar effect. That may have to go on my list for next year :)
I grew Cranberry and Rose Bonbon cosmos this year and was so happy with their exquisite fluffiness/shape I could kiss them, so Ill do that next year (I had an earlier post with pics)
Wow, I'm almost completely annual-deprived. Lol. That's almost all the annuals I planted other than morning glories and some white novella.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 7:57PM
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Cosmos are a must for me. I have white sensation(?) most years. I love the long bloom time and the foliage. I usually plant snapdragons but didn't this year because there wasn't any room and I miss them. I think I will rip out some perennials that aren't pleasing me and use that space for annuals next year.

Last year I planted a smallish garden with orange cosmos and miniature pumpkins. The late summer effect was great. The pumpkins grew up into the cosmos - cool! I saved the cosmos seed and did the same planting this year. This time I added some annual plants (white cosmos and yellow marigolds) to provide some color/interest before the pumpkins and cosmos filled in. Worked out really well.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 8:48PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Always plant snapdragons, sweetpeas, marigolds, nastutium, sunflowers, nigella, bach. buttons, morning glories, and alyssum. All but nigella my mother used to plant so I think I just do it out of nostalgia. Lately I have added a few mom didn't grow like stocks, godetia, lobelia, pansies and of course petunia. And have figured out why my mom never liked petunias. They sure are colorful but I just don't like the texture of the leaves or the aphids!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 10:16PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Won, that photo is beautiful. My favorite is probably zinnias although mine are completely overtaken by powdery mildew now. I tried to keep up, but neem oil didn't do the trick. That frustrates me so.
I have had the WORST annual garden in the history of annual gardens this summer. Only now are the early seeded orange cosmos flowering! And I amended the soil this year. It's horrible!!! It is the driest, most parched area of my garden. I can't wait to get a watering system put in!!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 10:50PM
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mytime(3/4 Alaska)

My favorites put on a show of color no matter the weather, and they reseed themselves...poppies (California, shirley, and peony), pansies, and linaria. It's amazing what variation I get in the pansies and poppies after a few years--some really unique color combinations appear. I also start alyssum, lobelia, sweet pea, canary vine, and calendula almost every year--whenever I don't have one of those, I feel like something is lacking in my gardens. This year I managed to fit in godetia and salpiglossis, 2 of my favorites that I don't always manage to find in time to start.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 3:21AM
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Annie - those are salvia farinacea 'Victoria Blue' that can be a tender perennial. Those overwintered from 2010. They bloomed gloriously in spring and early summer, took July off during drought and 100 degrees. After the recent rain, they instantly bloomed again!

Natal - I direct sow everything. I was going to winter sow this year, but our February was so warm that I didn't bother. Those rudbeckia are the easiest to grow and bloom their little heads off. Much prefer them to the perennial 'Goldsturm' that mildews. I have deadheaded a few times after the Goldfinch pulled out seeds and petals.

Marlene - we have similar growing lists, though I have to put globe amaranth in pots as something (probably rabbits) nibble those.

CConcrete - definitely plant larkspur! Love those plants so much.

RosesS - orange cosmos and pumpkins! Love that idea!

Honalee - my petunias do well for me, but I use them mixed among perennials instead of in a mass planting. I've had no trouble of any kind. No idea of the name of mine because they are "volunteers" from the birds or else were in a mixed packet of seeds that I sowed.

GGG - so sorry to hear! I was ready to give up and plant agave and yucca everywhere -- then, it rained! And, rained again! Save my spirits and the garden. Just in time. Hope your area gets temp and rain relief soon. It is so disheartening. I lost so much in last year's drought and 100 degrees. Last year was actually worse (hard to imagine) than this year.

Mytime - my son's fianc� grew up in Alaska. Her parents garden was apparently spectacular! They now live inSpokane. Great that you get so much self-sowing.

My favorite is alyssum -- love that honey fragrance! They smell good enough to eat.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 9:06AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Cameron, I'll take your lead and direct-sow the Rudbeckia next year. And I might try alyssum too. I've never grown that.

Concrete, get a pack of larkspur seed and toss them in the garden this fall. Then just sit back and wait for their spring show.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 10:33AM
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I intend to grow more varieties of rudbeckia next year. The rabbits don't seem to go after these like they do the perennial variety either. The deer sampled a few out in the meadow garden, then moved on. Not enough damage to worry about since these rebloom very quickly after deadheading -- by me or the deer! I'll sow more out there next year, too.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 5:02PM
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I always love seeing your cottage flowers. Lots of inspiration.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 5:20PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

What a beautiful photo. That castor bean plant in your blog is gorgous. I'm so sorry you lost it. I've always wanted to try one and your picture has definitely made me put it on my must-have list for next year.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 7:42PM
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I grow annuals every year, but this year summer came during spring and then we had spring! All my annuals perished in the late freezes. I didn't replant because after the reversed spring/summer, it started heating up so fast and was so dry, I was too busy just trying to keep what I had alive. A few of the marigolds made it and one cactus zinnia came back from self-seed. Lots of marigolds came back from self-seed, and the tall cosmos. I did plant Nigella and Pink Tutu. The pink Tut didn't make it. The larkspurs self-seed every years so didn't have to plant them. They were awesome this year. I have salvias - you can't kill salvias unless they are over-watered. They came up everywhere! I sowed Coventry Baby's Breath and it was lovely with the larkspurs and roses in May thru early June. I bought lots of annual seeds in March thru' April, intent on having more annuals for color, but it didn't work out for me. The tall Sensation Mix Cosmos get too tall and then flop over in my gardens. I just pulled them today, even though they were finally beginning to bloom. They were 7 feet tall and all bent over or flopped down and twisted and looked just awful. The newer varieties are shorter and work best for me, but I couldn't find any seed this year for some reason. I too love Sweet Allysum, ever since I was a child. It is like lace on a collar in the garden. The two Pentas I bought did really well. They have bloomed non-stop and still going strong. I hope they make seeds and come back volunteers next year. There are others, too - just not my usual varieties. It would have been a good year for zinnias. They do better when it is dry. I just never got around to sowing them. The garden looks so empty and lonely without them this year.
So...I am just enjoying yours!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 2:38AM
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I keep coming back to look and admire your gardens. Thanks for sharing. Just gorgeous!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 5:00PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

Love your colorful annuals! that persian shield is always so striking, but my favorite is the one with the various larkspur, rose campion and daylilies.

I've tried a couple of times to post on your blog but I can't. DH is taking classes at a local univ. and there is some software set up for his account on our computer that prohibits him from using these blogs. (don't ask, it's a real pain . . .) Of course, I don't get the rejection until after I've already written a long rejected post. And then it's lost, it doesn't allow me to try to clear things out and repost. And I don't feel like typing it all again . . .

Just so you know, I've tried to post on your blog. It's not your problem, but DH's restrictive SW.

But I do read your blog :-)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 7:51AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

GG, you need your own computer. ;)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 11:26AM
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sharoncl(z5 WI)

Love your gardens!
I like to try different annuals each year to change the look of my garden, but have a few old standbys that I always make sure to sow each year:

heliotrope - butterflies love it and it always smells nice!
salpiglossis - especially 'chocolate royale'
South African Foxglove - nice height for the border
poppies - especially the CA type (eschscholzia californica)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 11:41AM
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Is anyone growing the butterfly type snapdragon? I've seen photos from the seed companies and think those are so beautiful! I'd love to mix yellow snapdragons with my larkspur and poppies next year.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 5:37PM
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I love your pictures. always so beautiful. I always plant zinnias, and I love alyssum with my roses. Petunias are a mainstay, and your gomphrena reminds me how much I missed it this year. Other than that, most of mine are perennials.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 8:29PM
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MollyDog(6 PA)

Cameron, you are such an inspiration to all gardeners. I love your pictures and blog!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 9:02AM
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Thanks everyone.

My inspiration came from all of you on this forum! This is where I got my seed-sowing addiction.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 6:03PM
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