Annuals in a Perennial Border?

I have the Perennial Border all planned, each individual plant. (See my post from January 23, 2014,

But I’m having trouble locating some of the plants I want to use.  And some will be too expensive to buy in the quantities I need (at least in a size that will give the effect I want this year.)  However I now realize that there is another way to get masses of planned color, in large sweeps without waiting and without huge expense:  annuals.

Seed packs

Annuals in a Perennial Border?  Yes indeed.  I just have to stop thinking of it as a Perennial Border and instead realize that what I want there is a Flowering Border.  There.  I did it.  Just changed the name.

So this week I am sowing seeds!  There are some wonderfully tall, hardy flowering annuals which can be sown in December/January through March/April, and bloom this summer.  Poppies, for example.  And Cleome (I think – I have heard conflicting recommendations.  If anyone has information I would be grateful).   And Larkspur, Cosmos, Zinnias, Sunflowers.

This also gives me an opportunity to try some plants I’m not familiar with. Ruby Grass For example,  I’ve ordered seeds for Melinis nerviglumis,  Ruby Grass, which should grow to about 2’ tall, with a pink spike flower in July/August, which waves in the breeze. (And we have lots and lots of ‘breeze’)

So this year, one way or another, I’m going to have flowers.  Then, in the spring I will start putting in a lot of the perennials that will take over the flowering job eventually.

4 thoughts on “Annuals in a Perennial Border?

  1. Verbena binaries is good in the breeze with cleome and zinnias. It reseeds but it’s not a problem. Have you looked at the plant finder web site for Johnson county ext. We update weekly all the plants we use in the Monet Garden at the Arb.

    • Karen, thanks for your suggestion. I love Verbena bonariensis and have used it in the past, in NY. But I did not know I could grow it from seed here. Can I direct sow it? When? Also thanks for the info about the plant finder web site. I know about the Monet garden, but did not know about the weekly update. I will look at it. I sure appreciate any advice for plants that are suitable in KS.

  2. Cynthia,

    Fabulous article in the Star! What a beautiful home you have shared. I thoroughly enjoy your gardening posts, but as a realtor, just love unique homes also! I am a Californian who fell in love with Kansas & made it my home. Thank you again for sharing all your gardening expertise.

    Teresa Dunn

  3. Teresa, what a nice comment. thank you. It’s so gratifying to know that people are following the blog, though I post so infrequently. BTW if you are nearby, you are welcome to come and see it in person. …house and gardens.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s