Making Spring Sing: Combining Annuals and Perennials for Beautiful Color
Perennials are like middle school children. It takes them awhile to blossom into the beautiful adults they’ll become. In the meantime, they often appear awkward and need some tender, loving attention to reach their potential. One of my favorite perennials, Black Lace™ Elderberry, takes a bit of time to fully mature. While I waited for the Elderberry to spread its branches, I planted annuals like Diamond Frost® Euphorbia and Dolce® Key Lime Pie Heuchera as point/counterpoint to its chocolaty foliage. Once it achieved adulthood and its arching habit, I no longer had to hide its knobby knees, but I still love that combination of dark and light.
Annuals grow, flower and die in a single year, but oh . . . what a year! Still, some of the plants we grow as annuals are tender perennials or tropicals that won’t survive winter either. All look great during the growing season and should be mixed with perennials for a garden of long-lasting color.
Mixing the two in the border is easy. Just think about contrasting shape, texture and color to make the most of any combination. For example, 'Banana Cream' Shasta Daisy in the middle of a few Whirlwind® White Fan Flowers and a couple of Superbells® Grape Punch Calibrachoa make an arrangement with plenty of color and texture.
Annuals are great foils for perennials as the latter grow into their adulthood. Mixing the two together is second nature, don’t you think?
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