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Help?

Discussion in 'Flowers & Roses' started by nachoqtpie, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. Feb 23, 2012
    nachoqtpie

    nachoqtpie Deeply Rooted

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    So, I'm trying to help a friend with her flower beds at her new house.

    What's a place that has a good selection of annuals? Or that I can go to to find ideas for beds?

    She only wants to do annuals, wants a lot of color, low maintenance, and "full" beds.

    Any ideas? Suggestions?
  2. Feb 23, 2012
    skeeter9

    skeeter9 Deeply Rooted

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    Home Depot and Lowe's both have lots of annuals. They may not be fully stocked yet this year, but their spring plants should be arriving any time now. I don't know what else you have in your area, but what about WalMart? Maybe your local nurseries have annuals at decent prices? Around here, even our pharmacies like CVS have annuals starting about this time of year.
  3. Feb 23, 2012
    catjac1975

    catjac1975 Garden Addicted

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    Buy whatever she can afford,stick with the easy annuals for the first year. Use seed that can be direct sown to fill in the rest. Allysum is easy and fills in large areas-lasts until the hardest freeze. Annual echium-blue bedder- is easy, beautiful best direct sown.Get from TM seeds.
  4. Feb 23, 2012
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    QT, I have grown quite a few flowering plants but I am really not much of a landscaper . . . really, really not much of one :/!

    I've wondered at times whether I have any creativity and artistic sense, whatsoever.

    So, I would go off to the library and hope that I could find a "dummies" book on designing annual flower beds. There are some "dummy" ideas online: (click).

    The first thing I wonder about in the design example is why it says "annuals" but includes all the biennial and perennial plants :rolleyes:. Still, there are some annuals in there. (BTW: "pot marigolds" are calendulas.)

    The table and "ideas" make good sense to me, however. And, there are more links on the page. Of course, I'd try to keep things as simple as possible whereas my DW, who is 101% more artistic than I am, would seemingly throw everything together in all shapes & colors and the affect would be dazzling!

    Hope this helps a little.

    Steve
  5. Feb 23, 2012
    nachoqtpie

    nachoqtpie Deeply Rooted

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    LOL
    Thanks guys! I was figuring that we would probably want to go to Lowes or HD, and possibly Walmart as well. The only local nursery we have here doesn't sell annuals... or perennials... they only sell trees and mulch.

    I guess I just need to find a bunch of pictures of annuals and sit down and make a "plan." I have no idea what type of annual would have height! LOL
  6. Feb 23, 2012
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    Your neighbor needs a greenhouse or a nice, bright utility room like I used to have :). Then, she can grow flat after flat of annuals! Those include nearly all of what folks have in their veggie garden every year ;).

    Snapdragon, celosia, and larkspur can provide that important height element. Larkspur can be direct sown but I find that it is best for me to do that in the fall so that the other plants don't overwhelm them. You can start them & transplant but, once again, In my garden, they don't take kindly to being moved :/ and may just sit there until the following year before blooming. If you like burgundy, amaranths are quite tall.

    All of those come in varieties that are NOT tall, however. Read the information in the pony packs.

    As that linked webpage points out - zinnias and marigolds can be tall but are basically, BIG. That is, unless they are some dwarf variety :rolleyes:. Benary Giants are zinnias I grow every year. They grow quite well here :) - I'm not really sure why. Nearly every year, they will make it above 6' - and that is with steadily producing cut flowers. Sunflowers will also give some height (sometimes, too much :p) but there again - they need some "room" to do it. Big leaves . . .

    Leaves are important - I think. Foliage plants add lots to an annual bed. Dusty Miller is deservedly a common choice. That light-grey sets off the bright colorfulness of the other annuals. If you want some "colorful foliage" - there are those wonderful coleus!

    Low growers - you have some ideas already. A few years ago, I read that impatiens are the most popular bedding plants in the US. I generally don't grow those because of this arid climate - the blooms last such a short time. Instead, petunias really provide for a full spectrum of colors. If a dark shade is needed - verbena is a good choice.

    That colorfulness is something hard to beat with the annuals :cool:. Each of the plant species seem to have their "special" range. Yeah, I like the dark red verbena - zinnias have their reds, too. Petunias are a good choice for blues, purples and white (white's a color :D) but all of these popular annuals have a very full color range . . .

    :rainbow-sun

    Don't forget things like gladiolas and dahlias. Yeah, here they need to be pulled and stored for winter. Maybe that's not true there - careful about getting into that perennial flower bed rut ;). Glads give you height. Dahlias give you BIG. They also come in . . . low . . . Dahlias can be grown from seed in the spring but, once again, a greenhouse start is important, and it is the low-grower that does well started from seed for me. Great color range with dahlias and glads both :)!!

    Steve

    Just thought of a nice, easy filler - nigella! Love-in-a mist . . . sprinkle seed here and there. They will fill in, have some pretty flowers, and interesting seed pods later.
  7. Feb 23, 2012
    Greenthumb18

    Greenthumb18 Deeply Rooted

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    nachoqtpie,

    Besides home depot and lowes, try Tractor Supply. I was there last week and boy do they have a good selection of gardening stuff, they didn't have any annuals yet but I did see plenty of fruits and perennials. I had to walk away before I bought the whole store, its so hard to not grab everything you see......:lol: It really is tempting.
  8. Feb 23, 2012
    vfem

    vfem Garden Addicted

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    Green, my tractor supply doesn't carry plants. :p But the Roses always carries CHEAP annuals! Of course HD and Lowe's always have tons... they're really expensive if you get in early to pick them up. The price drops as the season rolls in.

    I just saw some GREAT annuals and landscape layouts in the March 2012 BHG mag I got yesterday.

    http://www.bhg.com/gardening/flowers/annuals/

    Search through... good stuff, they even have garden plans with color themes and what annuals bloom well when for your zone. One stop planning! lol
  9. Feb 23, 2012
    nachoqtpie

    nachoqtpie Deeply Rooted

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    Thanks for all the help guys!! This is my friends very first house and she wants to make it pretty, but be able to remember what she put in there. (You know how we all get with our perennials! "whats that one?" "oh... I planted that like 3 years ago! I forget!" LOL)
  10. Feb 23, 2012
    thistlebloom

    thistlebloom Garden Master

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    Here's a method that might be easy for you Nacho; pick whatever place you like with a good selection of annuals, get a big flat cart, and start combining colors and leaf textures that are pleasing.
    Remember to consider the sun/shade aspect of each plant. Read the tags for height ideas and put them on your cart in a sort of rough
    design of who goes where.
    Don't over think it.

    When you get the plants home set them up in the planting area before you actually put them in the ground, you can shuffle them around until you're happy with the looks. You may decide you need more of a particular favorite and go back for more.
    Don't over think it.
    Plant them when you're happy with the effect. I like to plant annuals close (for a full bed ) and fertilize often. That gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
    You can also toss some seeds around that will come up and fill in nicely ( alyssum is a good one ).

    Oh yeah... and did I mention- don't over think it. They're annuals, they'll be beautiful, this should be fun. :)

    And when I said close, I meant closer than the tag recommends. You know how gorgeous those big containers are that are bursting with blooms and are just a riot of color and texture? They achieve that look by CRAMMING and using a water soluble fertilizer at every watering, as well as a slow release granular fertilizer added when planting.

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