Do Annuals Have a Place in Your Landscape Design?

For those contemplating whether annual plants have a place in their landscape design, the answer is an unequivocal and resounding yes.


With rare exception, the addition of these colorful blossoms serves to provide a vibrant accent to any property throughout the seasons. It’s merely a matter of determining those best suited for your particular environment, and deftly cultivating a garden where annuals and perennials can live in harmony, and flourish.  


Annuals have often been likened to “temporary guests in a garden,” due to their somewhat fleeting nature; however, the magnitude of their effect on a landscape design cannot be overstated. 

Annuals as Accents

While perennials often serve as the backbone of a garden, annual plants inject color into spots that would otherwise remain empty, particularly along borders and entranceways. Once spring bulbs have ceased blooming, there often exist gaps in between the foliage that beckon for the vibrant touch of an annual blossom. This seasonal rotation provides a continuous flow of color, as annuals are cycled out every few months to accommodate the evolving weather patterns.

On the other end of the spectrum, annuals are also ideal as container plants, often housed in hanging baskets, window boxes, and decorative pots. These can be arranged at will, serving as colorful borders for pools, decks, outdoor dining areas, and more. This flexibility of placement facilitates a unique versatility not seen with perennials and other flowering trees and shrubs. 

Customize to Your Climate

When it comes to selecting the proper plants to thrive in your setting, it’s advisable to consult with a professional to determine which are most apt to spread and soar. Climatic conditions, such as sunlight, wind, temperature, and precipitation are important to assess in general terms; but even within a particular region, variances in sun and shade can fluctuate dramatically from one property to the next. 

If the plan is to combine more than one type of annual into a container, it’s imperative to consider which plants will do well together. Avoid pairing those that may overtake neighboring plants, as well as those requiring varying degrees of moisture and sunlight. All plants should be provided the proper space to spread to their mature size without being stunted by their surroundings. 


Multipurpose Plants

Often overlooked are those edible varieties of annual plants, such as kale, lettuce, and beets, as well as herbs including parsley, cilantro, basil, and oregano. These provide ample sources of pollination for bees and butterflies, while also serving as sustenance for their human counterparts!

And don’t forget to bring some cuttings indoors from time to time—annual blossoms can provide a beautiful splash of color inside your home as well as outside.


For guidance on the types of annual plants best suited for your landscape design, contact our experts at Dodds & Eder today.