Flower beds offer gardeners an opportunity to experiment and get creative. Whether attempting a repeat blooming garden of perennials, an overgrown bed of wildflowers or a short-lived summer blooming annual garden, gardeners have a rich array of flowering plants to choose from.
Colorful and easy to grow, cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) is a flowering annual native to the Southwest and Mexico. The plant offers blue-green foliage topped with brightly colored, disc-shape flowers that look beautiful in a wildflower bed. Cosmos flowers are excellent for beginners, growing well in soils that are somewhat nutrient poor so long as they're well-drained. Cosmos should be grown in full, bright sunlight. They make good cut flowers, and they are attractive to butterflies. Cosmos should be watered regularly during droughts to keep the flowers fresh.
There are thousands of cultivars of daffodils (Narcissus spp.), no doubt because the plant produces stunning and distinct blooms that often bloom year after year in good conditions. Producing cheery, lily-like blooms in shades of orange, yellow and crisp white, daffodils are perennials that require little maintenance once the bulbs have been planted. Daffodils prefer filtered or partial sunlight and soils that are well-drained and neutral or acidic. Watering daffodils weekly in the spring will help keep the plant flowering, although watering can be abandoned once the plant is no longer producing blooms.
An excellent flower for full-sun flower beds, Mexican zinnia is an extremely drought resistant flower native to Mexico that thrives in dry soils and sunlight. The annual plant boasts gray-green foliage and thick, daisy-like flowers that are available in orange or white depending on the cultivar. The flowers have thick stems, making them valuable as a cut flower for a bouquet. Mexican zinnias are highly attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, and will bring them in droves during the summer.