Give Your Garden a Fresh Look with These Vibrant Alternatives

What’s new? What haven’t I tried? These are questions common to plant lovers everywhere. Without a doubt, discovering unfamiliar species or new cultivars of old favorites is one of the great joys of gardening. When it comes to annual flowers and foliage plants, the pleasure is compounded: For mere pennies per plant, you can experiment with fresh color combinations or juxtapose complementary patterns, textures, and forms. And, because annuals complete their life cycle in a single season, you can see the results in a few short weeks.

Annuals to Set Out as Transplants

Annuals that need a long season of warm growing weather are best started early indoors from cuttings or from seed, and planted out after the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed.

Angelonia angustifolia blooms with spikes of vibrant deep blue, purple, or bicolored flowers over a long season; excellent for sunny borders and for cutting; 36 inches tall.

Cuphea ignea (cigar flower) makes bushy one- to two-foot-tall plants covered with scarlet tubular one-inch-long flowers that attract hummingbirds; great for sunny rock gardens or borders.

Felicia amelloides (blue daisy) has clear lavender blue-daisy flowers with yellow centers on bushy three-foot plants; excellent for containers in full sun.

Matthiola incana (clove-scented stock) has sturdy spikes of sweetly-scented single or double flowers in pinks, reds, and whites; best lightly shaded from hot sun; group in borders or containers; 30 to 32 inches tall.

Nicotiana sylvestris (woodland tobacco) blooms with a cascade of fragrant white tubular flowers, clustered on four- to five-foot stems; prefers light shade; fine to accent flower borders, among shrubs, or as a tall backdrop.

Thunbergia alata (black-eyed Susan vine) is a robust vine with perky orange, yellow, or cream trumpet flowers with black or pale green centers; ideal for hanging baskets in sun or light shade.

Give Your Garden a Fresh Look with These Vibrant Alternatives
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