Flowers come in all sizes, shapes and a wide range of colors. Flowers can be divided into different types according to the life cycle, such as annual and perennial. Another type of garden flower includes bulbs, which can produce spring, summer or fall flowers in your garden.
Annual Garden Flowers
Annual garden flowers go through an entire life cycle in one season. Annual flowers planted in the spring in your garden will mature, produce flowers, set seed and eventually die when the fall temperatures drop. Some annual garden flowers grown in colder climates will survive as perennials in warmer regions. A number of annual flowers, such as petunia, snapdragon and others, will drop enough seeds in the fall to begin new plants the following spring. These annuals appear as perennials, but are actually considered annual flowers because of the life cycle. A few examples of annual garden flowers include: marigolds, black-eyed Susan, cosmos, fuchsia, geranium, hollyhock, lantana, pansy, vinca and zinnia.
Perennial Garden Flowers
Perennial garden flowers typically live through at least three seasons, and often much longer. Some perennial flowers (herbaceous perennials) die back completely every winter while others (woody perennials) include stems, which continue to grow and live through the entire year. A few bulbs, like the daffodil and tulip, belong in the herbaceous perennial group because of their life cycle. However, according to the Purdue University, these types are generally considered separately as flowering bulbs. A few examples of perennial garden flowers include: hosta, daylily, peony, delphinium, daisy, coneflower and columbine.
Bulbs are a type of garden flower that typically consist of tubers, rhizomes, corms, tuberous roots and true bulbs. The majority of gardeners refer to all of these as bulbs, since each includes an underground fleshy storage structure that stores the flower's complete life cycle. Bulb garden flowers include tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, amaryllis, tuberous begonia, caladium, dahlia and spider lily. Flowering bulbs require specific planting dates (depending on the bloom time) and particular planting depths, plus some varieties need to be dug up annually in certain regions of the country, and then replanted the next year.