Having experimented with a variety of flowers in my yard for the past 15 plus years has taught me quite a bit. I can tell a Portulaca from a Petunia, a Hyacinth from a Hydrangea, and an Impatien from a Sunpatien. But I didn’t start out gardening knowing what I do now.
When my husband and I bought our first house, I knew nothing about planting flowers but was excited to have a yard in bloom. I ran out and bought oodles of flats of everything lovely and quickly dug little holes and plopped them all in the ground. I was so excited to watch my flowers grow and prosper! The next morning I went outside the check on my work and almost passed out. At least ¾ of my flowers had been devoured by deer overnight!
I’ve learned a lot since the deer debacle (including the importance of critter repellant!) and consider every flower that fails to flourish an opportunity to grow my expertise. If you are just starting out with flower gardening in your yard, here are a few fail-proof annual flowers to consider planting for bursts of color you can count on all summer long.
Petunias are available in every shade of pink and purple in addition to white. You will even find some that are striped purple and white! Petunias are easy to grow and require either full or partial sunlight. They can get long and leggy as the summer rolls along, but you can avoid this by deadheading (removing flowers past their prime). The wave variety of petunias is ideal for planters and flower boxes as the flowers will flow over the edge and create a stunning display.
You have probably seen Geraniums before even if you didn’t know what they were. They have a leafy base, with the flowers rising above on slender stalks. They come in reds, pinks, corals and white and their colors are brilliantly bright. Geraniums do best in full or partial sun, and require very little maintenance. They are nice in the center of planters due to their vertical floral positioning.
If you have a shady area that you want to fill with flowers, Impatiens are a wonderful choice. In various hues of pink, red and white, Impatiens start out small but when planted together will mound into a gorgeous floral dome. Make sure they don’t get too much sun and are watered regularly as Impatiens will wilt quickly if they begin to dry out.
Portulaca (moss rose)
We have 2nd story window box which can be watered only by removed the screen and leaning out the window. Portulaca is my go-to flower for this box because it is not only colorful in shades of pink, yellow, orange, red and white, but it is impressively drought resistant. The leaves of Portulaca resemble that of a succulent plant which are known to retain water. Though they will abstain from flowering if allowed to dry out, Portulaca quickly rebounds when given a drink.