Year in Review: Annual Color

It is that time of year again, time to go through everything and see how this year stacks up against the previous ones. First on the agenda is annual flower power. Annual color is enjoyed by nearly everyone across the country. I only know of one client who dislikes annuals. Annuals can provide a bit of pop and buzz in an already great landscape, tying plantings together so there is always something blooming. Annuals can also be a big benefit to pollinators. Many bees and other insects may be out early or up late, season-wise, and miss the perennials, shrubs, and trees, but can take full advantage of early and late blooming annuals, such as stock in spring or mums in the fall. 

Spring bulbs were pretty, but they did not last with incoming heat

2018 was a hot one! We had heat early on, shortening the bloom times on our favorite shrubs and trees, and then the heat and drought lasted until the rains came in August. Despite the heat and drought, many of our annual plantings excelled. However, early spring bulbs and spring planted annuals such as pansy, ornamental cabbage, and stock did not do very well due to the early heat. 



Celosia ‘New Look Red’ and Tropical Milkweed shine together
Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’ and coleus in a partial shade bed in Seneca
New additions this year include Artful America creations
Xeri-Pot systems enjoyed the heat and drought this year!
Try caladiums for great shade containers
Coleus and vinca were rockin’!
Later in the season
A mix of summer colors in Topeka, KS

Outstanding annuals this year included coleus, salvias, vinca, Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’, tropical milkweed, Celosia ‘New Look Red’, and Helenium ‘Dakota Gold’. 

Impatiens in a well-irrigated location with plenty of shade
This bed was redone-old mulch removed, compost and alfalfa much added in
‘Fireworks’ Gomphrena pairs well with white vinca
More ‘Fireworks’


Fall plantings were right on schedule, but the heat and drought caused pumpkins to be ready later than usual, and selection was down from 2017. We implemented some new ideas however with fall creations, incorporating 1/2 bushel baskets into some displays.

Bulb planting


Autumn containers

Bulb planting this year with layout in mind left room for spring crops of cabbage, kale, and pansy to fill the voids. 2019 should be spectacular! With excellent rainfall this autumn, the ground is soft and light instead of dry and hard. The autumn rains provided plenty of moisture for annual bulb plantings. 

Holiday creations in Horton, KS


Holiday creations in Hiawatha, KS
Holiday Creations in Valley Falls, KS
Holiday Creations in Topeka, KS
Holiday creations near White Cloud, KS
Holiday creations in Seneca, KS


Holiday creations were new in 2017 and this year we rocked it!  Locally grown greenery, dogwood branches (yellow, red, and painted), coralberries, hydrangea blossoms, and wired pinecones highlighted the containers and displays. This was also our first year making swags for lamp pillars and they turned out great. 


Check out all the photos and starting planning your annual flower power creations for next year!


Happy planting!

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