Annuals

Annuals

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Your typical sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is one huge flower on a towering stalk — not exactly vase material. But breeders have selected a host of cultivars that produce multiple smaller flowers on shorter, branching stems, perfect for cutting. ‘Jade’ is a unique color — pale green — which goes with everything in a bouquet. Each 4-to-5-foot plant produces loads of 4-to-5-inch flowers.
An award-winning collection of Canterbury bells (Campanula medium), the Champion Series includes pink, blue, light blue, white and lavender. Though the species is biennial, this series can be grown from seed as an annual, blooming the first year, with upward-facing bell-shaped flowers more than an inch long. Each plant can have up to 10 stems, 2 to 4 feet tall. soquelnursery.com
This brand-new version of an old-fashioned annual flower gets high marks for pure romance. Part of the mixed-color Double Click series of double cosmos from Thompson & Morgan, this pretty-in-pink form is the first single color to be released. Rosy pom-pom blooms sit atop sturdy 2- to 3-foot stems. Like other cosmos, ‘Rose Bonbon’ is an easy-to-grow, long-lasting cut flower. tmseeds.com
Think purple heart is old hat? Try this new version from Hort Couture with oversized, deep-purple leaves to 3 inches wide. I stumbled on one at a garden center in Atlanta, and it was love at first sight. The graceful way it trails from its container inspires me to try it in a hanging basket.
This high-gloss tropical foliage plant is such a deep shade of maroon that it's nearly black. Use it outdoors in the summer as an accent plant in a sunny border or container in which it can reach 4 feet. And it can easily be nipped back to keep it comfy in an indoor spot.
Big, black, star-shaped, textured leaves with a red reverse on this Terra Nova introduction give it high drama in the shade garden in summer and in a container in a bright room. Pink flowers chase away winter doldrums. It's hardy in Zones 10-11.
Tips for achieving a cohesive design with annuals. 
Old familiar friends and some new faces. For cutting, borders, pots and baskets. 
Related Topics: Ideas | Annuals | I Love This Plant | Way Hots
Planting annuals in mild winter climates
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