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