Annuals Add Pizazz to Perennials

You can have the most beautiful, intriguing, intricate flower in the world in your garden, but if you don't consider its placement, it might as well be plastic. Even peonies, my hands-down favorite, need to play well with others. One partnership I've found that bears repeating is that of perennials and annuals. And one of the easiest annuals to toss into the artistic mix is Coleus. 
Anemone 'Honorine Jobert' with Coleus.
I like Coleus with Anemone 'Honorine Jobert', whe white-flowered fall bloomer that lightens up a semi-shady section of the garden. It looks great alone, but even better with some coleus in the background.

Bright red Zinnias punch up Phlox 'David's Lavender'.
Nothing adds punch to a bunch of Phlox better than a group of Zinnias. Phlox 'David's Lavender' is a great mildew-resistant variety that tends to look bluer next to true red. This was evidenced by the addition of a few red Zinnias in its viewing zone. Creating combinations doesn't always have to involve adjacent plantings. It's enough to have the partnership in the same sightline, as shown in the photo of the Zinnias in the foreground with the Phlox in the background.

Cleome 'Seniorita Blanca' brings out the color of Echinacea
and Geranium 'Rozanne'.
One of the longest blooming annuals I've enjoyed this summer has been Cleome 'Seniorita Blanca.' As I tend to do, I planted it where I had space. And since space is tight, it rubbed elbows with several neighbors, two of which were Echinacea and Geranium 'Rozanne'.

And finally, if you've subscribed to the belief that the best gardeners don't buy annuals, please consider changing your beliefs. You'll get lots more color throughout the season, continuing opportunity for change, and the kind of diversity you wouldn't get if you stuck with just perennials. 
Oh - and one more thing - I've never seen a bee sleep as peacefully as I did this summer on my patch of Coleus 'Wasabi'.
Maybe he was dreaming of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.


  1. We are of similar minds, Jean. I also like to mix annuals with perennials; the annuals provide some much-needed color as the perennials finish their blooming cycle. You have some beautiful combos here--yes, coleus is a favorite of mine, too--and I love the sweet bee sleeping at the end.

    1. Thanks, Rose. It's so easy and, in my mind, necessary to keep the color and interest coming all year long.

  2. There are so many intriguing annuals to use in the garden, I agree! I have found the sleepy bees this time of year as well! Too much nectar! Maybe they cant pull themselve away from the table?

    1. I can certainly relate to that, Jayne! I'd never seen this before and was a little concerned...