Flowers help to create a dramatic and vibrant display in the landscape. They are a garden staple and accent areas like front walkways, garden paths, porches and patios. Grown in a wide range of colors, shapes and types including annuals, perennials and biennials, the most beautiful flowers are those that have bright blooms and lush foliage. When planted during each season, you have the ability for nonstop blooms and color year-round.
Perennials are planted once and then grow back year after year taller and healthier than the year before. Grown in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes, some perennials live for only a few years, while others live for many years.
A beautiful and dramatic perennial flower is coneflower "Sundown" (Echinacea "Sundown"). This variety of coneflower has a moderate growth rate and attractive fragrant, orange to russet, daisylike blooms that surround the red to brown central cone that attracts birds and butterflies to the garden. The large green leaves and branching stems on coneflower "Sundown" help to make up their clumping growth habit. Coneflower "Sundown" grows best in full sun to part shade and well-drained, deep soil. They are tough flowers that tolerate heat, humidity, drought and poor soils. Plant coneflower "Sundown" in USDA zones 4 to 9.
Annual flowers grow, bloom and die all within a year or season. They help to fill in areas of the garden with their foliage and bright blooms and provide temporary color to the garden.
Zinnia (Zinnia elegans) grows in a rainbow of colors and creates a stunning addition to the garden. They grow up to 36 inches tall and are ideal lining a front flowerbed or used as a fresh-cut bloom. The single, semi-double or double blooms on zinnia grow in a wide range of colors including, pink, white, red, yellow and orange. Zinnias bloom in early summer and last through the season. As a drought-tolerant annual, zinnias withstand dry soils but without sacrificing their attractive flowers. They grow best in full sun and well-drained soil that is nutrient-rich. Zinnia is hardy in all USDA zones.
Biennials have a life cycle that is completed over two growing seasons where the flower blooms and dies during the second season. They create their roots and foliage over the first year to bloom and fruit the following year.
A popular biennial is black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta). It has a vigorous growth rate and reaches a maximum height and width of 3 feet. The masses of 3-inch-wide, bright to deep yellow, daisylike flowers bloom from summer to fall. Black-eyed Susan grows best in full sun to part shade and well-drained, heavy soil. They are suitable in USDA zones 3 to 7.