About those Tacky Annuals


My friend Joell, knowing of my supersophisticated (more like pseudosophisticated) opinion that Millie1annuals are tacky, cautiously showed me her garden last week.  Unruly riot of color, sure.  More than one yellow in the same border, yep. Pink and red within shouting distance, check.  And it’s the best-looking garden I’ve seen all month.

With regular waterEdgar1ing but no fertilization, these beds and the well trained poodle Edgar look good enough for the snobbiest of gardeners (that would be me).  They sure as hell look better than my own tasteful beds, where the only blooms on display are the fading purple coneflowers and a smattering of color on the Knockout roses. 

So the fantacizing for next year has begun and I know just the place for a mass of annual color in my borders – amongst the ruins of early summer-blooming perennials.  Annuals in my garden – not just for pots anymore.

Want more color?  Here’s more from Joell’s little oasis.  The zinnias in the sidebar photo are hers, too. Just don’t leave before you enlarge the photo of Edgar and admire his good looks.  And you can get news about his career as a performer here.


  1. My spousal unit loves nasturtiums, a plant that reminds him of the gardens a beloved aunt used to keep. Weary of his incessant nagging, I bought 1/4 pound of variegated nasturtium seeds and scattered them in all the gaps in my various beds. We have 5 acres around this house, there are a lot of beds.

    My pride and joy is my 75′ x 18′ perennial border, a border I have tweaked for nigh on 30 years to ensure a kaleidoscope of shifting blooms.

    What have people been raving about each time they see this border this year?

    The nasturiums.


  2. I too went through a phase of hating annuals as they seemed like such a waste of time. but you just can’t argue with the transformation your garden takes when they are in full bloom.

    Carol, sign me up to and I promise to be good from now on.

  3. Annuals – a waste of time ?- growing annuals is surely just an excuse for that wonderful seed sowing, pricking out, the smell of fresh compost . . . aaah! My sweet pea seeds arrive this week.

    As for snobbiness, Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny is packed full of annuals, as is Great Dixter. They are surely the elite of plants (they grow well in Scotland and I’m a bit lazy)

  4. I have four beds of annuals in my back yard, all started from seed (except for that pesky slow-growing lavender).

    I had a container garden on a balcony for 10 years and perennials simply weren’t an option. The annuals invariably attracted hummingbirds, bumblebees, and all sorts of critters.

    Now I love my morning glories, sweet peas, nasturtiums, and lobelia so much that I couldn’t think of giving them up.

    This year I’m growing lots of lovely and unusual things I never heard of before seed catalogs, and next year I’ll be able to try a whole new set of things because I’ll have four clear beds to fill.

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