Gardeners today have a wealth of choices when it comes to choosing annuals for the sunniest areas of the yard and for the shady nooks and corners, too. Whether you limit your gardening to a few large pots, a window box, or an elaborate bed full of flowers, annuals can help carry the garden through the seasons.
Star flower (Pentas), shown above, acts like a butterfly magnet with its bright flowers, and it is one of the most resilient annual flowers. With others like the sun coleus (developed in Florida!), it's the spectacular foliage that provides color from spring until cold weather sets in. Selections of lantana and narrow-leaf zinnia produce flowers throughout the hottest months and don't require deadheading, while the beautiful pansy and viola carry the garden through the winter.
For shadier areas of the garden, there are also plenty of choices when it comes to annuals. Caladiums, with their bold, colorful leaves, are showstoppers in the shade garden. Impatiens are also hard to beat and come in an enormous array of colors. The many varieties of begonias are also perfect shade companions. Some begonias are grown for their fabulous flowers while others are grown for their stunning leaves.
Generally speaking, annuals are only good for one season, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. Keep them well watered and well fed with Miracle-Gro® Watering Can Singles Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food. Also, remove the old dead flowers to keep them happy. Sometimes annuals may reseed themselves or, in mild winters, may even act as perennials and come back the following year, but it's best just to count on one spectacular season.