Instant Impact with Annuals

Landscaping with annuals not only offers instant impact in your yard, but can be a budget-friendly solution to add curb appeal to the home.  What are annuals and how do you use them?

Annuals are flowers and plants that complete their entire life cycle in one season, meaning they grow, flower produce seed and die all in the same year.  So why use them?  They provide season long color, come in an incredible variety of shapes, sizes and colors, and they’re easy to start from seed, so you don’t need to spend a fortune every year purchasing flats from the nursery if you’re landscaping on a budget.

Tips for Annual Impact

  • Use annuals in large groupings for instant impact – group just like you would with indoor accessories, using odd numbers and not scattering about to fill empty spaces.
  • Avoid planting annuals in straight rows, use a more random arrangement. It is more interesting and natural looking.
  • Complementary colors and simple contrasts of textures can make a statement. Sometimes just varying two different types of flowers is enough, or you’ll end up with too much of a good thing with no impact.
  • Consider plant height when using your annuals in your landscaping plan. A flower border typically has the tallest plants in the back, medium height plants in the middle, and the shortest plants in the front of the border.  An island planting locates the tallest plants in the middle of the bed, surrounded by plants of decreasing heights for viewing from every angle.
  • Evaluate the physical characteristic of the planting location – consider the lighting and soil.  Pick the right annual for the location, a happy annual is a good annual and will bloom nicely through the season.

Foundation Plantings

The plants and flowers around the base of your home are known as foundation plantings.  Use annuals with evergreens for year-long interest.  Note the amount of sun each area gets throughout the day, if it’s a heavily shaded area, there are plenty of shade loving annuals to add color, such as fuschia and the ever-popular Impatiens.

Boundary Line Plantings

These areas make for good neighbors as they add privacy and separate yards.  Using a higher evergreen boarder is perfect for establishing the property lines, adding annuals can soften the look.  Mix in taller annuals to match the scale of the evergreens.  Salvia, foxglove, cleomes and Shasta daisies can mix in well.


Hide your garbage cans and disguise your air conditioner with screen plantings.  Of course you’ll need your evergreens for year round hiding, but the annuals can shield the shield.  Try Shasta daisies, larkspur and flowering shrubs as well.  Climbing vines such as morning glory are excellent for a trellis that can hardscape the screening.

When looking for instant impact for landscaping, use annuals, they’re adaptable, showy and low maintenance.  Try starting your own from seed for making them extremely low budget as well.