Garden flowers are grown in a wide range of varieties, each one with its own growing requirements, color, shape and size. Some garden flowers are classified as perennials to bloom year after year, while others are annual flowers that bloom a short period of time to die down at the end of their growing season. Tucked within a flower border or bed, garden flowers create a showy landscape presence.
Perennial flowers are herbaceous plants that flower and grow for many years. The advantage of perennial flowers is that you don't have to plant them every year, they come up on their own. With some perennial blooms living for only a few short years, many grow and prosper for decades to create a long-lasting and constantly evolving garden display. Many perennial flowers are heat- and drought-tolerant and grow in a wide range of soil varieties, making for an adaptable garden flower. Some perennial flowers have long blooming seasons, while others are short-lived but without sacrificing their plethora of bright blooms.
A hardy perennial flower to plant among the landscape is the white coneflower. Growing up to 3 feet tall and wide and in an upright form, white coneflowers are showy blooms that tolerate a wide range of soil varieties and are tolerant of high heat and drought. White coneflowers also have a moderate growth rate and look striking tucked along a garden wall.
Bulbs are sub-categorized as spring, summer and fall-flowering bulbs, each with its specific planting and blooming season. So for instance, a fall-planted bulb flowers in spring to early summer. Bulbs are grown in dozens of varieties, each with its own distinct color, size, height and site requirements. Versatile, bulbs have a wide range of temperature hardiness to create a colorful, vibrant garden landscape. Bulbs require well-drained soil, a critical factor when planting the flower in the landscape. With the correct bulb variety to fit your specific climate, your landscape can be filled with flowers almost the entire year.
A classic, hardy early spring-flowering bulb is the narcissus. Grown in a wide range of colors and varsities, narcissus or daffodils, are ideal planted along a garden walkway or lining a front flowerbed. A low-growing, deer- and frost-tolerant daffodil is the 'Baby Moon' daffodil. Growing 6 to 12 inches tall and wide, 'Baby Moon' daffodils have small, fragrant, yellow flowerheads that sit atop the dark green, upright stem. Tucked into a flowerpot, daffodils are striking bulbs.
Annual flowers bloom a short period of time to die back at the end of their growing season. Categorized as either warm- or cool-season, annual flowers are ideal flowers to tuck within a hanging basket for a showy landscape display. Warm-season annuals thrive in day temperatures ranging from 80 to 90 degrees F. Sensitive to cold soils temperatures, warm-season annuals are damaged by frost and must be planted after the threat has surpassed. At night, warm-season annuals tolerate lows in the 60- to 70-degree range. Examples of warm-season annuals are zinnia, petunia, marigolds, impatiens and nasturtium.
Cool-season annuals thrive in cold soil and temperature climates. Cold-tolerant, cool-season annuals tolerate a light frost. They are not heat-tolerant as the warm-season annual and grow in the cool months of fall and early winter. Cool-season annuals include pansy, foxglove, viola, stocks and calendula.