Instead of combining multiple plants into one container, Annie Hayes of Annie’s Annuals & Perennials takes a unique approach to her container plantings: She uses one plant per pot and combines them for a riot of color and texture. Here, she shares what she loves about each individual plant.

Photo by: Meg Smith.

  1. Celosia argentea var. plumosa ‘Sunday Wine Red’: “A Celosia of good height, this fantastic vertical accent looks awesome massed in the summer garden,” Hayes says. “The deep ruby foliage provides good contrast, and the flower blooms are tactile and make refreshing cut flowers.”

  2. Coreopsis tinctoria ‘Mahogany’: “With its yummy mahogany-red single flowers and dense, mounding habit, this long-blooming summer annual creates a colorful accent. It self-sows, too, so you get fresh new (free!) plants every season!”

  3. Coleus ‘Chocolate Mint’: “Easy to grow from seed. Its rich chocolate leaves are highlighted with a bright lime edging. I use it as border in the shadowed foreground of taller summer bloomers like dahlias and sunflowers.” Learn more: Coleus Care Tips & Varieties.

  4. Heuchera ‘Marmalade’: “I'm often disappointed in the stamina of many of the new coral bells on the market, but ‘Marmalade’ makes the cut. Tough, easy, and long-lived, the lovely sunset gold, peach, and amber leafy mound is a perfect foliar color and shape contrast for any garden.”

  5. Salvia ‘Mystic Spires’: “Another workhorse in our gardens, ‘Mystic Spires’ provides continuous upright rich-purple blooms spring through fall. Attractive, large, heart-shaped foliage and lots of pollinator action. One of the few salvias that makes a good cut flower.”

  6. Nicotiana alata ‘Lime Green’: “I use this old-fashioned, 3-foot-tall flowering tobacco in my gardens more than any other plant. Its lime green color seems to make other bloomers come alive.”

  7. Senecio stellata ‘Giovanna’s Select’: Selected for its blue and purple blooms, this 3-foot-tall plant has masses of daisy flowers that last from spring through summer. It’s super easy to grow, useful for the shade garden, clay tolerant, and self-sows reliably. Perennial in Zones 9 through 10, but an annual elsewhere.

  8. Salvia ‘Amistad’: “Good-sized upright spikes of 3-inch tubular flowers display sumptuous rich royal-purple color on 12-inch spikes almost year-round here in coastal California. Hummingbirds love it and deer don’t.”

  9. Coreopsis tinctoria ‘Tiger Stripes’: “Visitors to the nursery swoon over this heirloom Calliopsis (dates back to 1885). Fine fresh green foliage is topped with fascinating starry golden blooms striped and spotted with red and mahogany. It’s a swell cut flower and self-sows.”

This bonus content accompanies “Wild Flower”—an article about Annie Hayes, a nursery owner who is considered by many to be one of the most trusted gardeners in America—in the Spring 2017 issue of Garden Design magazine.

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