Annuals – wonderful colorful and decorating flowers

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The “bedding out” of these plants has been said to be old fashioned and monotonous, which is true if the same bedding scheme is turned out year after year.

Geraniums, alyssum and lobelia were and still are the main stay of many summer planting schemes, and there is nothing wrong with this, as long as they are used in moderation, for there are so many more beautiful bedding plants that can be included in bedding schemes that will give masses of colour throughout the summer.

Annuals are so named because they are mainly half-hardy flowering plants which are grown under glass in winter and spring, planted out during early summer and lifted in late autumn and then discarded.

 Annuals   wonderful colorful and decorating flowers

Preparation of Beds

As soon as the Summer Bedding has been cleared away in the autumn, manure, leaf-mould, rotted compost or anything that will add structure to the soil and help soil drainage, airation and water retention, can be dug into the beds to a depth of 30cm.

Add a dressing of lime every second year to counteract leaching and the acidic rainfall due to atmospheric conditions, especially over industrial and highly populated areas.

Plant Colour

When looking through plant catalogues early in the season to choose which annuals to grow, it is easy to get carried away and just pick all the plants that look nice as you flick through the pages.

More consideration has to be given however as to how the plants will look when they are placed next to one another in the flower bed.

Two or three colours, combined with two or tree different types of plant are usually more than enough to provide a pleasing effect.

Annuals should not be over crowded. Summer and Winter Bedding designs should be simple, concentrating on large blocks of colour rather than small patches of highly contrasting shades.

Dot plants, (single plants standing higher than the bedding plants), can be placed about 1m apart to break up the level of the bed. Such plants are: Cannas, tall fuchsias, Heliotrope, Plumbago etc.

Hardy Annuals can be sown straight into the ground and can be an easy way to produce a colourful border.