Planning your summer annuals garden aka: Do the Wave

in the hot house

 

 

Does anyone remember the stadium craze, the wave? Where everyone stands up and then sits down and it goes around the whole circle and looks really cool? Anyway… we think of this garden planting method as “the wave” of blooms. They just keep comin and comin.

 

Most of our annuals collection (depending on where you live, see our zones blog for more on that) will begin to bloom in May or June.

The early harbingers tend to be snapdragons which often shoot bravely up and unfurl their dragon headed blossoms bringing dark orange, lavender and delicate appleblossom white pink to the garden. These stalks retain their colors for several weeks and if you harvest them weekly and cut off the dead blooms (hereto referred to as deadheading) they will bloom again for you later in the season.  Just as the snaps are finishing up the cosmos will start to come- in Colorado where I live this is usually in July but warmer climes will get them sooner. These sweethearts of the garden will get quite tall and produce delicate fronds of green. An impressive array of color- double click cranberry, pink and white of cupcakes and saucers (a favorite of ours), the blushy tones of apricot lemonade- it’s Alice in Wonderland feels. Around the same time as the cosmos, come the scabiosa flowers. The old fashioned country road charm of the famas- perwinkle and classic white, the gentle apricot of the fata morgana ( the name means mirage but was also the name of the sister of King Aurthur and was said to be the ruler of the island paradise of Avalon) and of course, black knight whose blossoms can dye fabric the most elegant shade of blue. Both the cosmos and and the scabiosa can be cut regularly for bouquets and will continue to give flowers through to the first frost.

The next wave of color will come from zinnias. These guys are so much fun. They come in so many cool color variations and can create a sea of blooms mid season. On the heels of the zinnia parade, come the marigolds. Marigolds make great borders as they tend to bush out with their foliage and create a little worlds of their own that smell and look earthy and divine. These guys will get buds throughout the season but really hit their peak later on in the season – fall flowers for all!!

Asters are also late summer/early fall darlings- bengal rose frost, moonstone, apricot tower chamois, and… finale: matsumoto white tipped blue- forevvver!

Remember with all the above flowers, with weekly harvesting or deadheading will bloom over and over again until the frost, if there is one or until they have just given all their glory.