Your Garden Will Bloom Every Day
Here in the Austin area, careful planning can result in something blooming every day of the year. A combination of annual and perennials provide the best chance for success.
Annual flowers are those plants which complete their life cycle in one year. We will include in the annuals group all plants generally treated as annuals in our climate. Some such plants may be perennials in a milder climate and some are actually biennials, in that they begin their life cycle in one year and complete it in the next.
Annuals provide instant color to our landscapes. There is a wide range of annuals to choose from, including both flowering plants and foliage color plants. Some annuals thrive in the cool season, while others are warm season plants. Keeping your landscape beds attractive year round may require at least 2 or 3 successive plantings of annual plants through the year.
Perennials flowers are plants that return year after year. In most cases they die back to near the ground line in winter and return in the spring. This separates them from woody ornamentals that last for years but retain their above ground structure throughout the year.
Perennials offer a good return on your money as they continue to bring beauty to the landscape for years to come. There is considerable variety to choose from when it comes to perennial color making it possible to have something of interest throughout the four seasons in our climate.
Careful planning will insure that your landscape is beautiful in spring, summer, fall, and even winter. Perennial plants have seasons in which they shine, which are usually followed by an unattractive period of time. Proper maintenance is important to prevent them from distracting from the beauty of your landscape during their “off seasons”.
Additional Resources for Annual & Perennial Flowers
Colorful Annual Flowers and Foliage for Austin
Annuals and Perennials for the Southern Landscape – recommendations from Dr. William C. Welch
Wildflowers in Bloom – resource collection from Dr. Jerry Parsons and Dan Lineberger
Cut Flower Manual from Texas Department of Agriculture
Using Color in Flower Gardens from Cornell University