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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Annual Satisfaction

Over the past few years I’ve gotten out of the habit of running to the garden center with each change of season to stock up on annuals.
Oh, they are pretty. And they are fun. And they are reasonably priced as well as easily purchased with all year-round availability in Florida.

Walter's Viburnum Dwarf Variety, Viburnum obovatum 'Mrs. Schiller's Delight'
A showy native winter/early spring flowering shrub.

Instead, I’ve deliberately made efforts to concentrate my resources on garden items like perennials, grasses, Florida natives and pottery. Those things along with good potting mix, soil amendments, stone pathways, a veggie garden, and mulch impress me with longer-lasting benefits and move me closer to my long-term garden goals.

This year exceptions were made.

Soon after the cold winter weather left us with backdrops of mostly greens and browns I admit I found myself lusting for blooms... for color... for flowers.

***Note to self: plant more Louis Phillipe roses.***

In analyzing my impatience (and justifying my downfall) it is certain there was just too much destruction happening all at once.

So, in January, while the temperatures were still very cold and no end to them in the forecast, there I was in the garden center loading my cart with all the usual suspects.

The ordinary cool season annuals that won't grown here in summertime were cheerily flagging me down and all reasononing faded away.

Petunias of white and 'glow double pinks', lobelia of deep purple and trailing white tiny blooms, violas of yellows, oranges & purples, alyssum of both white and purple, tiny bacopa flowers of lavender, lavendula, Bidens ferulifolia 'bidi compact', were all brought home and popped into every sad-looking container garden that was crying for help as loudly as me.

Instant Gratification!

There's definitely something to be said for it! Especially in a winter-bedraggled Florida garden.

Now that Easter is here I've decided the satisfaction of planting common annuals had some merit after all. At least it worked for this spring.


  1. I can't wait to be able to shop for annuals. I always say I won't but when it comes time I can't resist.

  2. Every year is different. Next year you can return to your regularly scheduled programming.

  3. Those annuals certainly give your garden a pop! Very colorful! My garden could have used the same, but annuals are always a luxury for me.

  4. your containers are filling in so nicely even since i have been there. when faced with a bleak winter adding some instant colour does the heart wonders. easter will be a delight in that beautiful yard and so many great places to hide easter eggs
    for all the kiddos coming over.

    i am looking forward to my blooms filling in my pots for a happy little place to sit and enjoy.
    happy springtime.

  5. Those containers are very bright and cheery. I know what you mean about wanting some instant color. It helps in the waiting process.

    I bought some additinal pentas to tide me over until the old ones come back, but I haven't succumbed to buying annuals other than some seeds. Of course, I'm waiting on the seedlings to start blooming so, I'm still doing a lot of waiting.

    I love your big wide pots. Now, those are a lasting investment.

  6. I love that center container, and how the color of annuals coordinate each other so nicely in it!

    I feel guilty that I DO shopping for annuals frequently. Being a new gardener, I seem always have the excuse to go to garden center again and again. But some annuals can give me almost half year of pleasure, and some even reseed themselves, which make next year's plants free! That is my justification of my guilty... I do cuttings and seeds as well, but during the waiting time, I need something to keep my spirit up, and I always have some space in my new flower bed! haha

  7. I've been visiting one of my favorite garden nurseries weekly, waiting for my favorite annuals...They won't be here for a while~~I've containers at the ready for Tapien Verbena~Salmon with lacy leaves, the sweet potato vines and Salvia Coral Nymph...Have you grown the Tapien Verbena?'s so heat tolerant that Florida can't stop it from blooming!

    I've always enjoyed the containers in your garden...I hop you'll still have that wonderful plectranthus!


  8. I think you have made an excellent point. Annuals are the perfect choice for an easy and beautiful way to add color. Like you, I have tended to use perennials in containers in recent years, but I do always have a few areas where I do indulge in annuals :-)

  9. Lisa,
    Annuals are a happy way to greet the spring.

    LOL. Let's hope so.

    I didn't want to spend my budget on them but now I'm glad I did.

    All they needed was a tiny bit of warmer weather and they have taken off this week. Your pots are going to do the same thing soon.

    All of these containers were supposed to make it through winter. (Except the new big one in the circle garden). Only it was so harsh... all the tropicals in them bit the dust. Some of them have perennials that will come back (hopefully)just when these annuals say bye-bye.

    No need to feel guilty. When I was a new gardener I did that routine season after season. It is a good way to help us feel success and it is part of the learning process. For me and my larger than average yard I've evolved in my desires. I'm working on so many areas at once that I'm purposing to spend my dollars on keepers.

    But seriously there is nothing wrong with planting annuals. They are extremely bright and cheery. I have lots more of them in the veggie garden that I replace every year. LOL

    That verbena has been selling like hot cakes at the garden center. I'm not a big fan. Don't get me wrong, it is very pretty. But it doesn't do that great in the summer here. Probably our humid nights.

    Annuals cannot be mistaken. They are perfect for adding quick color and blooms to any dreary spot in the garden.

  10. I would just have a fit if I didn't buy annuals every year. Love the instant pop as I wait for other plants to emerge from the soil.

  11. Annuals are awesome because they have so much color for so long. And garden centers seem to find new ones every year.

    I say majority perennials, but go for a few annuals too.

    Thanks so much for the kind comments on my camping story. You have no idea how much it is appreciated.

  12. Meems - we all understand the need for instant gratification with blooms! :-)

    Your container is so lovely and cheerful.

  13. I rarely plant annuals, but then I live in the north where we have spring bulbs to brighten up the early season! I am using annuals that I can grow from seeds as they are far cheaper and tend to be healthier than the store-bought potted flowers.

  14. Gorgeous Meems, and definitely justifiable! I couldn't possibly do without the instant gratification of annuals. But your reasoning is good, nevertheless.
    I should be so sensible.
    I'm so excited at the thought of putting containers together again, but I'll have to wait a little while longer.
    This weekend promises to be gorgeous, so at least I should be able to get outside and do something in the garden!
    P.S. I realized after I'd left the comment on your butterfly/Penta post that I'd already been there. Sorry about repeating myself :)

  15. Darla,
    I completely understand the theory.

    My thoughts exactly especially after the longest and coldest winter EVER.

    Still working on getting smarter about natives blooms for winter.

    In Florida we are never lacking for healthy potted plants. South Florida provides us with year round potted plants. But it is true, we don't have those types of spring bulbs here in the heat. This year might have actually gotten cold enough for some of those bulbs. Ha.

    Dear Kerri,
    No problem with double comments. I never mind that for sure! LOL Your containers are so pretty and I'm amazed at how you overwinter them so successfully. Oh, I do hope you enjoy your beautiful spring weekend and may the weather hold out even longer for you. :-)


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

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Louise Philippe: Antique Rose

Tropical Pathway