TOP 20 Excellent Annual Plants for the Home Garden
1) Annual Coreopsis (Calliopsis)
These have attractive golden yellow daisy like flowers with brown centers. They grow to about 60cm/24in and are very good for cutting.
There is also a dwarf variety with flowers of crimson, gold and maroon. These will tolerate difficult conditions and are good in town gardens.
2) California Poppy (Eschscholzia)
Another tongue twister of a name for a delightful old-fashioned flower sometimes known as Granny’s Nightcap. It will grow on poor, dry soil and likes full sunlight when it will produce flowers that are double, semi-double and single in lovely shades of red, pink, orange, yellow and white and are about 30cm/12in high.
A delightful, cottage garden type annual that comes in white or shades of mauve and pink. It will grow, in almost any soil or situation, to a height of 23-38cm/9-15in.
These have long spikes of double flowers in shades of pink, purple, carmine and white. They reach a height of 60cm/24in and are graceful and easily grown. They will look better if the clumps are not too big.
A splendid flower for cutting and one that likes sunshine and any kind of soil. One thinks of cornflowers as being blue but they also come in bright rose and in mixed shades of blue, pink and rose. They reach a height of 60-90cm/24-36in.
These are easy to grow, colorful and long lasting. They like sunshine and come in shades of pink, mauve and salmon. They make plants of 30-45cm/12-18in.
This is an old-fashioned flower associated with cottage gardens but the modern varieties are large and have beautiful violet, rose, salmon and white flowers that are delphinium-like. They grow to 90-120cm/36-48in.
This delightful little flower is like fried eggs. It grows to only 15cm/6in and has yellow, saucer-shaped blossoms edged with white and the bees love it. It is easily grown and frequently seeds itself.
9) Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella)
An old favorite and one of the prettiest of annuals. The most usual variety is blue but there is a mixture of jewel shades of blue, rose and white. The flowers hide amidst delicate feathery foliage and the seed pod is as decorative as the flower. They grow 38-45cm/ 15-18in tall.
10) Love-Lies-Bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus)
These are not so showy as some annuals but are interesting as cut flowers. They grow about 75cm/30in and have long drooping tassels of flowers in either deep crimson or greenish yellow.
11) Mallow (Lavatera)
This annual makes a bushy plant 90-120cm/ 36-48in tall and is good at the back of a border. The flowers are pink and it blooms from August until well into the Autumn.
12) Marigold (Calendula)
Very easy to grow, sturdy and gay. Calendulas come in all shades of yellow and orange. They need a minimum of attention and can be bought in individual colors or in mixed shades. They grow from 45-60cm/18-24in tall.
Another annual renowned for its fragrance. The flowers are spikes of pale green or dull red and are by no means showy and the seeds do not always germinate well but it is well worth growing for its scent.
These gay yellow, orange, salmon, scarlet and primrose flowers will bring color to the driest place. There are dwarf ones, bushy ones that form runners and are splendid in hanging baskets and tall ones that will climb up walls and trellises.
15) Night-scented Stock (Matthiola bicornis)
These unobtrusive little flowers of lilac mauve grow about 30cm/12in high and spend the day looking shriveled and half dead but in the evening they open up and have a wonderful fragrance. Grow them under a window or round a terrace so that you can enjoy the scent on warm summer evenings.
16) Pincushion Flower (Scabious)
These can be treated as half-hardy annuals but outdoor sowings will produce flowers from August until the frost comes. The flowers are excellent for cutting and come in shades of pink, cerise, crimson, lavender, dark maroon and white and are about 60cm/24in tall.
Poppies come in many annual varieties. All are easy and produce lots of lovely flowers. The only difficulty is that the seed is so fine that it is almost impossible to sow it thinly and a lot of thinning out is necessary. They range from 75-105cm/30-42in tall in all shades of pink.
This makes a very pretty flower for cutting. It grows easily and the graceful sprays of pink flowers reach a height of 45-60cm/18-24in.
19) Star of the Veldt (Dimorphotheca)
A difficult name but a lovely daisy like flower that rejoices in sunshine. The flowers range from bluish white through lemon, golden yellow and orange to salmon orange and grow to only 23-30cm/9-12in so are ideal for the front of a border.
A very decorative flower that will last well into the autumn. The big yellow flowers grow from 120-240cm/4-8ft tall.