Flowers create color and vibrancy within the garden and provide endless design possibilities along borders and beds. Grown in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes, they are categorized into three main types: bulb, perennial and annual. To select flowers for the garden, pick those that grow within the specific USDA zone to provide their optimal site conditions. Have fun mixing and matching different flowers together to create your own design.
Zinnia (Zinnia elegans) is an annual flower variety with tall, upright, branching stems that hold the brightly colored flowers. Flower forms include single, semi-double and double with colors of red, pink, rose, yellow and orange. Zinnia grows 1 to 4 feet tall and up to 1 foot wide, an ideal flower to grow along a border or used in a cutting garden. They emerge in summer and last to fall, creating a long growing season. The 5-inch-long, ovate- to lance-shaped foliage on zinnia clasp each stem and help to create the bushy habit. Zinnia grows best in full sun and well-drained, evenly moist soil that is humus-rich. To promote a long flowering season and maintain an attractive appearance, deadhead the spent blooms as soon as they are visible. As an annual, zinnia is hardy in all USDA zones.
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) is an herbaceous perennial flower that flowers from spring until fall and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. The common name, snapdragon, is in reference to the dragon-shaped flowers. Snapdragons grow up to 3 feet tall and 1 foot wide and in shades of yellow, pink, red, purple and white. Each closed, tubular, two-lipped flower grows along the tall, upright racemes, making for an ideal flower to grow along border fronts or edging a perennial garden. Snapdragons have 3-inch-long, glossy foliage that is dark green. They grow best in full sun and moist, nutrient-rich soil. Avoid overwatering snapdragons. Plant snapdragons in USDA zones 7 to 10.
Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) is a variety of bulb that has a clumping growth habit and moderate growth rate. Low-growing, it reaches a maximum height and width of less than 6 inches. Frost-tolerant, snowdrops emerge through winter’s layer and are a signal that spring is on its way. The white, small, nodding-like flowers on snowdrops appear to be bowing down to the garden. Snowdrops grow best in full sun to part shade and well-drained, moist soil. Plant snowdrops in USDA zones 3 to 8.