Thursday, 1 September 2016

Flowering Annual

Flower of the Month - September 2016

A flowering annual is a plant that grows, flowers, sets seed and dies in the one season. Their rapid growth habit makes them ideal for livening up a    garden quickly with wonderful splashes of colour. Flowering annuals are not as popular here on the Coffs coast as the perception is that they are more suited to temperate gardens further south.

Flowering annuals are just perfect for mass planting and can be used to great effect creating that WOW factor to gardens. In the Spring Garden Competition each year there is a garden in St James Avenue which enters useing spring flowering annuals in massed plantings and it always looks just stunning.

Growing plants under trees can sometimes be problematic because of competition from tree roots. This is where flowering annuals come into their own as they have shallow root systems and will grow happily under large trees.

There are literally dozens of varieties suitable for growing on the Coffs Coast including kalanchoe, violas, pansies, snapdragons, salvias and marigolds. You could even have a stab at growing beds of cyclamen which are really not an annual but they can be used in the same way in warm climates—that is in mass plantings. Others that do really well are cineraria and calceolaria—known as ‘Lady’s Slipper’. Daffodils are the harbinger of spring and when grown here on the Coffs Coast they should be treated as an annual as their bulbs usually rot in our heavy wet soils during the summer. Iceland poppies are another great spring display annual—last year the roundabout near the Coles Supermarket in Harbour Drive was planted with Poppys and it looked absolutely stunning (even though the wind knocked them about a bit) [pictured above].
If you want ideas about what to plant just take a look at the many roundabouts in Coffs. The CH Council workers do a terrific job preparing these roundabouts and they use some really good innovative plant combinations.

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