Messages posted to thread:

marg01-Oct-04 06:24 AM EST
Wendy P01-Oct-04 01:43 PM EST 7   
Patricia02-Oct-04 10:00 AM EST 5   
julie02-Oct-04 08:48 PM EST 5b   
Donna04-Oct-04 07:14 PM EST 3a   
kathaleen30-Oct-04 08:33 PM EST 3a   
Joelle31-Oct-04 08:26 PM EST 3a   
Nancy04-Nov-04 02:53 PM EST 5   
16-Jan-10 12:01 AM EST   

Subject: favorite annual combos and why
From: marg
Date: 01-Oct-04 06:24 AM EST

I was just out looking at my flower beds and planters and was wondering what everyones favorite annual combination was and why so. Maybe I'll try something different next year. Mine is Asarina and fuscia (Spelling?) Impatiens. I have these in a window box. The Asarina hangs over nicely and the Impatiens stands up. I think the color combination is great. Another is Bolero Marigolds and Blue Convolvulus. I just plant these because I think the colour combo is great together. You're next. marg

Subject: RE: favorite annual combos and why
From: Wendy P
Zone: 7
Date: 01-Oct-04 01:43 PM EST

Marg... Experimenting with annuals can be a very rewarding way to develop a love of gardening. Each year you can try a completely different color scheme if you like. I suggest that you take pictures of your masterpiece for future reference. One word of warning - if something works well one year, it's not guaranteed to work as well next year. Happily, sometimes it works out even better.

I'm mainly a tree/shrub[evergreen and flowering]/and perennials girl. Even in containers. However...because I can't help myself I always reserve some containers and, of course, my hanging baskets for annuals. One thing I always like to add to my shade plantings is various "table ferns". These are the ones you'll find in the tropical section and usually only cost a couple dollars. Bonus is that I'll pot them up for indoor use well before frost.

When designing plantings, I always put plants with the same requirements together. Mix all drought-tolerant ones together, etc. I also consider the place and position where they will be for the summer. By doing so, I can put the sun-lovers at the "sunny side" [not always the front] and shade-lovers where they'll be happy. This way there is no turning the planters to encourage even growth. Use a good quality potting soil - NEVER dirt directly from your garden - and feed well and regularily. I add a slow-release 14-14-14 [or something similar] early and then feed weekly with a diluted 20-20-20 or Miracle Gro type product. The idea behind annuals is for you to encourage them to bloom their guts out. Keep deadheading to promote repeat bloom. Later in the season you can let a few set seed if you want some to save for next year.

Proper watering can not be over-emphasized. It'll only take one scorching afternoon for all your work to only be worthy of the compost pile. The weekly diluted feedings are to make up for the nutrients that are washed away with these frequent waterings.

Now... the big question: my fav combo for this year. At the end of my driveway is a rather large terra cotta pot I like to use for seasonal plantings. I combine different things at least twice a year. Currently, there is an annual rudbeckia 'Cherokee'[I tried 'Irish eyes' last year] and a dark-foliaged with bright pink-flowered pelargorium [Black Magic, I think] and a 'Cirrus' dusty miller on the sunny side. On the dark side is a heliotrope that smells heavenly [they preform better with protection from the hot sun]and a purply-varigated coleus. I experimented with four different coleus this year. I can always seem to find a place for one of the more unusual ones. This was all underplanted with a 'Blackie' sweet potato vine [impomea] and a varigated ivy. * Please only plant ivy in containers where it can be controlled. Here on the West Coast, ivy has managed to invade the woodlands and destroy trees.

Hope I've been of some assistance and remember that it's never too early to start going through the seed catalogues to begin making plans for next year.

Subject: RE: favorite annual combos and why
From: Patricia (
Zone: 5
Date: 02-Oct-04 10:00 AM EST

My favourite colour combo is lime and purple or maroon. This is present in my garden most of the year and is achieved with a number of different flower combinations. In early spring, euphorbias and small irises, for instance. In a container, deep blue lobelia and lime-coloured coleus look great!

Subject: RE: favorite annual combos and why
From: julie
Zone: 5b
Date: 02-Oct-04 08:48 PM EST

in my back yard I do lilac and yellow R. sage,lavendar and missouri primrose, roses. And in the front silver,wormwood orange,tiger and daylillies,blackeyed susan and lilac liatris julie

Subject: RE: favorite annual combos and why
From: Donna
Zone: 3a
Date: 04-Oct-04 07:14 PM EST

I like to try different groupings of grasses, annuals and even herbs. I have black planters and this year made the following combinations (I named them to describe the colors/effect): "Velvet snow" -(mexican feather grass;calibrachoa superbells white; verbena babylon white;bacopa white and silver star licorice plant) "Blue Lime Rickey" (mexican feather grass;verbena denim blue;calibrachoa celebration dark blue;brachycome mauve and Ipomoea Sweet potatoe vine Marguarita (lime). I have also made smaller planters with Marguarita (lime) sweet potatoe vine; blue wave petunias and Lemon thyme; as well as Blackie sweet potatoe vine (black/burgundy); Rose wave petunias and silver thyme. The grasses add movement, the herbs smell great (and can be used in cooking) and the flowers bloom in abundance all summer long. It's great to hear what others like and why!

Subject: RE: favorite annual combos and why
From: kathaleen
Zone: 3a
Date: 30-Oct-04 08:33 PM EST

I am a huge heliotrophe fan -I have planted them with simple orange marigolds and lobelia , and they look lovely together - and the heliotrophe smells divine. I had some annual morning glory reseed itself with these plants - and they looked great together. I didn't do my usual hanging basket extravanganza that I do most years - as we away most of the summer driving across Canada - loved Quebec and the Gaspe for the lovely gardens.

I generally don't worry about what is suggested for an annual, and will wing it if I like the colour or leaf texture. The best way to learn is to try combinations that attract your eye - and then photo it during the season does it work- I usually photo it early, mid and late summer. That way a year later I have a reminder of successes and failures. I generally do follow the sun/shade recommendations for plants - can't tell you how many times I had ageratum give up the ghost in hot summers.

I find in hanging baskets bright coloured plants, pinks, purples, yellows, oranges, look great with the odd white petunia thrown in for accent. I throw in sweet peas to hang down or climb up same with nasturtiums to add character - plants like Dusty miller - you name it give it a go.

My garden now is nearly exclusively perennials, which I adore - and in the long term the better investment of money. Perennials for the ground, and annuals for baskets,planters. Plants are my one vice. And as the mother of teenagers, well - it's good theraphy for me to work out any issues that may be dominating my ife ( and get away from the teenagers )

I also start many of my seedlings - especially the more unusual, even of annuals. I love going thru the catalogues in the winter and planning out my picks for the year - and give you good colour ideas that you may want to try. Good luck.

Subject: RE: favorite annual combos and why
From: Joelle
Zone: 3a
Date: 31-Oct-04 08:26 PM EST

My favorite plant is Brugmansia, so I put them in the back of the borders and then every year I pick a different color theme for the annuals. This year it was pink and purple. I had pansies, petunias, and impatients. I might go orange next summer!

Subject: RE: favorite annual combos and why
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 04-Nov-04 02:53 PM EST

I went for mainly foliage effects this year with my annual containers.

My favourite pot had Persian Shield and Dusty Miller as the tallest and filler plants respectively, with Cuphea (Mexican heather?) at the base, and Dichondra 'Silver Falls' and Ipomoea 'Ace of Spades' as the trailers.

I've also gotten quite partial to the Plectranthus family, and combine the trailing 'Gold and Green' with Pelergoniums and Sunshine impatiens.

Subject: RE:
Date: 16-Jan-10 12:01 AM EST

Very informative thread! Gardening eases your stress and giving you a fresh sense in the garden.


Derek Smeath

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