Some annuals like it cool

Some annuals have their origins in areas with colder winters and mild but not blazingly hot summers. Plant breeders have stepped in to improve these plants' flower production (the more blooms, the merrier!), add new colors, and select for compact plant habit (shapes or forms). The result is a huge range of good, tough plants that even gardeners with shorter growing seasons can count on. Examples of favorite cool-weather annuals include cleome (spider flower), pansy, Johnny jump-ups (a type of viola), trailing lobelia, and calendula (pot marigolds).

North or South, cool-loving annuals are often a fine choice for the parts of your garden where shade prevails. The shelter of a fence, pergola (a type of arbor — see Chapter 12), porch, or overhanging tree keeps the plants cooler, preserving their flower color, prolonging bloom time, and protecting the plants from drying out in the hot sunshine.

Southern summers are generally too hot for cool-season annuals. Enjoy them until late spring and then tear them out as they begin to flag and replace them with something more durable.

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