Garden flowers do more than add color to a landscape. They also attract butterflies, bumble bees, hummingbirds and other insects. Plant a mixture of bulbs, perennial and annual flowers in your garden for continuous blossoms beginning in the early spring and continuing into the late fall.
Perennials are garden flowers that will reappear year after year and generally last at least three weeks. If you're looking for a cost-effective solution to filling your garden with flowers, plant perennials. Not only will the plants resurface annually, but you can separate mature perennial plants and increase the size of the garden. Most perennials are eligible to split after three to five years. Examples of perennial garden flowers that prefer full sun include sweet pea, peonies, carnations, clematis and sweet pea. Other perennials enjoy shade or partial sun. These plants include primrose, columbine, gladiolas and violets. Shrub type perennial flowers include hydrangea, a deciduous blooming shrub that looses its leaves in the late fall and sprouts new leaves in the spring. Rhododendron is an evergreen perennial shrub that keeps its foliage year-round.
Plant bulbs in your garden for flowers that return consistently for up to six years. Daffodils and tulips often are the first flowers that bloom in the spring. Some bulbs require more work than perennial garden flowers; they must be removed from the ground and stored over the winter. Spring bulbs can weather winter temperatures and do not need to be removed and stored. Summer flower bulbs such as amaryllis and canna lilies should be dug up and stored through the winter months, and replanted when the ground is warmer. Check the hardiness zones for bulbs in your area to determine whether you should remove them. To create an impact in the garden, plant a group of bulbs rather than a single row of bulbs. Plant bulbs for spring garden flowers in the fall and bulbs for summer garden flowers in the mid- to late spring.
The type of garden flowers that only bloom for one season are called annuals. One advantage to planting annuals is that their blooming time is continuous until the end of the season, when the plant dies. Examples of spring annual flowers for the garden include alyssum, bachelor buttons and dianthus. To have constant color in the garden during the summer months, plant salvia, petunias, geraniums and begonias. Depending on your location, some summer blooming annuals may thrive into the fall. More blooming annuals for fall color include chrysanthemums, panolas, pansies and snapdragons.