Annual flowers grow for one long season, often into the fall, then die with the onset of freezing weather. With perennials, the above-ground portion of the plant dies back in freezing weather, but re-grows from the base and rootstock the following spring to bloom again. Annuals are a great way to change the look of your garden from year to year, and they tend to have a longer flowering period than perennials.
Some Annual Flowers for Year-Round Color (from HGTV)
Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus)
Kick off the growing season with this cool-season favorite. Sweet pea vines climb by tendrils and need a trellis. Plants top out at about 6 feet. In Zones 8 and 9, tuck seeds into soil in late fall for spring blooms. Landscape use: Plant along a trellis or fence line, or use to add color to a vegetable garden. Include in cutting gardens.
Snow Princess Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia hybrid ‘Inlbusnopr’ Snow Princess)
This dainty bloomer craves cool temperatures and typically stages the best show in spring and fall (or winter in warmest regions). Sweet alyssum flowers come in a variety of colors, including white, pink and purple tones. Plant in spring or fall. Landscape use: Tuck along edges of planting beds, or use in hanging baskets or containers. Good plant for a butterfly garden.
‘Cinderella’ Stock (Matthiola incana ‘Cinderella’) (photo top) Make room for flowering stock in your early spring garden. This bloomer is frost-tolerant and releases a spicy clove scent. Clip spent flower stalks to encourage more to form. In warm regions, stock flowers all winter. In cold-weather zones, look for plants in early spring. Plant as soon as you see them for sale. Landscape use: Plant where you can savor the fragrance. Use in mass plantings in beds near paths and entries or tuck into pots on porches.
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