plants. gardens. friends.

digthedirt is about gardening, outdoor living and loving our planet!

learn more »

No-Fail Annual Flowers

by Cliff Sharples (chief cultivator)

Drifts of blooms that flower easily and without fail can be a simple look to achieve in any garden, especially when you start with blossoms that, as Kris Reisdorf, annual gardener extraordinaire of Racine, Wisconsin, puts it, "just keep on giving and giving." Her favorite flowers include the short and the tall, the bright and the blushing. All are perfect for bouquets.



'Indian Summer' rudbeckia: "A must-have for the garden," Kris says. "It's a wonderful, daisy-type bloom that's big, impressive, and flowers forever. Nothing bad can happen to it. It doesn't fall prey to pests or diseases."
'Sonata' cosmos: "For more of a wildflower, old-fashioned look, I plant a lot of cosmos," Kris explains. "It adds motion to the garden as the blooms sway in the b
Try 'Sonata;' it flowers quickest."

Verbena bonariensis: "These lavender flowers are luminescent at night. This looks good with cleome and is attractive to butterflies," Kris says. "I rely on verbena mostly for interplanting, floating among the other flowers."

'Fields of Blue' ageratum: "It has little puffs of purple-blue on longer stems. It's open and airy-perfect for interplanting."

Cleome: "I always do some cleome. Those giant flower heads waft in the breeze and are so beautifully old-fashioned," Kris says.

Zinnia: "Nothing compares to zinnia for multicolored, large, splashy color," Kris explains. "They're very reliable." Her favorite? 'State Fair Mix.' Also try these zinnias: 'Blue Point Mix,' Special Super Giant, or 'Red Peruvian.'

'Italian White' sunflower: "These add really tall color-4-5 feet tall. The blooms are a soft white and open a flower head that is dainty. It doesn't droop and hang," Kris says.

Amaranthus: "I tried several types of this last year for the first time, and I love it. The plants are really dramatic, low-maintenance, and fast growing," Kris says.


annual flowers, best annuals, seeds


I love the Verbena bonariensis--- so beautiful!!!! Great ideas here.
butterfly commented on 03/19/10