Flowers add much needed color to a landscape that's mostly green. Flowers add pizazz to a patio and a focal point to front-yard landscaping. Replanting flowers year after year is expensive and time consuming. There are flowers that once planted and cared for will come back year after year without much fuss on the gardener's part.
Bulbs, Corms and Tubers
Bulbs, corms and tubers hold the embryonic flowers inside them stored for the next season. Or they have the material necessary to reproduce the plant within the corm or tuber. Bulbs bloom for a short time, two to four weeks. The flowers fade and the leaves take over and grow. The leaves generat energy for the bulb to bloom the next season, which is why it's important not to cut foliage back until it is completely yellow or brown. Bulbs include daffodils, tulips, lilies and alliums. Corms include cyclamen, gladiolus and freesia. Flowers from tubers include begonias and dahlias.
Perennials form the backbone of the flower garden. They bloom for four to six weeks and usually stay green the rest of the season. While the leaves and stems of a perennial die back at the end of the growing season, the plant itself remains alive but dormant. It will sprout and flower the next season. Perennials include yarrow, hollyhocks, columbine, dianthus and delphiniums (among many others).
Some gardeners consider roses in a class by themselves--separate from other perennials. Roses may be single flowers consisting of five petals, or many-petaled blooms. like tea roses. The size of the flowers ranges from about an inch in diameter for miniature roses to 5 inches across. Colors include white, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple and bi-colors. Blue roses do not occur naturally and have only recently been developed by inserting the gene for the color blue in the rose's chromosome. Roses vary in height from 24 inches to 20 feet for climbing roses.
Annuals live for one season. However, many annuals are so prolific at self-seeding, that they pop up in the garden year after year. These are called hardy annuals. It may seem like the same plant is coming back but it's not. Hardy annuals will live for more than one year in a warm climate. Prolific self-seeding annuals include sea lavender, honesty, love-in-a-mist and California poppies.
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