If you have a porch, patio or deck that needs dressing up, your chances for adding seasonal color are actually very good. Most annual flowers grow very well in full sun. Annuals are typically selected for summer color due to their ability to add interest to containers, beds and borders.
The hundreds of petunia varieties fall into four distinct categories: Grandiflora produce large flowers up to 4 inches across. The plants mound up so that they can often resemble low-growing hedges in the garden. Multiflora petunias produce abundant, smaller flowers. They can be massed together in a garden for large swatches of color. Milliflora are compact, miniature plants that produce small flowers. Milliflora make great edging flowers in a border planting. Finally, groundcover petunias grow to about 6 inches tall, but spread out over a wide area. Groundcover petunias grow well as a spreading plant.
Marigolds are a good flower for both the vegetable and flower garden. The plant produces yellow and orange blossoms that are pretty to look at and edible at the same time. The flower has a slightly bitter flavor. Marigolds make good companion plants in the garden because they repel pests from fruits such as tomatoes and beans. Tomatoes near marigolds are typically free of Japanese beetles above the soil and nematodes at the root level. Although marigold varieties have names like "French Marigolds" and "African Marigolds," all marigold varieties are actually from Mexico.
Periwinkles are both heat and drought resistant plants that come in shades that include white, red, pink, lavender, peach, apricot and orange. The plants may grow up to 18 inches tall and 1 foot wide. Periwinkles need at least eight hours of full sun daily. Periwinkles are frequently used as bedding plants. Periwinkles are subject to aerial blight when not planted in full sun. Although Cora Vinca varieties have been bred to resist the fungus.
Salvias, known more popularly as sage are frequently chosen in the garden for their long-lasting spikes of blue flowers. The plant is drought-tolerant, fragrant, and thrives in hot, dry conditions. The plant may grow as tall as 6 foot in one season. In the garden, low-growing varieties may be used for borders or accent plants, while taller varieties may be added to the back of flower beds. Salvias planted in a garden will attract bees, butterflies and humming birds.