Finding Flowers that Fit Your Garden

Modern-day annuals are impressive indeed. They've been bred to produce abundant flowers and lush foliage throughout the heart of the growing season. They rush to flowering because their means of reproduction is by seed. And to get there, the flowers must come first. This great output guarantees bountiful garden color and also makes most annuals great for bouquets. By the time fall comes and seeds form (if they do, before frost), the plants are spent and die. By then, though, you should certainly have gotten your money's worth! Annuals are very gracious guests. Figure 6-1 gives you an idea of how an annual progresses through life.

Figure 6-1:

Following an annual's life cycle, from seed germination to seed production.

Figure 6-1:

Following an annual's life cycle, from seed germination to seed production.

Not surprisingly, a huge range of annuals is on the market, and more annuals arrive every year. Demand is market-driven, innovation pushes on, and the upshot is that you can choose from many, many different annuals — no matter where you live, no matter what growing conditions your garden offers. The variety of annuals allows you to find countless plants that are specific to warm or cool weather. (For more info about annuals that love sun or shade, check out "Deciding where to plant annuals," later in this chapter.)

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