Have you ever planted a rainbow? The colors you see in the sky after a rain are fleeting, but the hues in your garden can reflect their beauty for entire seasons, even years. A combination of annuals and perennails timed to bloom in tandem and at intervals year-round, can transform your garden into an ever-changing display of color. The array of flowers available to gardeners now is greater than ever.
Annuals which come in all colors of the spectrum, provide brilliant temporary color and last for one or two seasons. You can plant them from seed, but they're also available as "instant color" transplants at your local Home & Garden Showplace. Use annuals to fill beds, borders or containers with color. Warm-season annuals such as marigolds, impatiens and zinnias are adapted to bloom even during the hottest weather. When temperatures start falling, choose from cool-season flowers such as pansies and snapdragons. Annuals are a great way to brighten up shady corners, accent sunny parts of the landscape, and tie one area to the next with a progression of color.
Perennials continue to grow and produce blooms for many years to come without reseeding or replanting. With a little advance planning, you can create a perennial garden that has some special surprises at all times of the year. Although some perennials are evergreen, most survive by storing food reserves in roots, tubers or bulbs. They're perfect for low-maintenance gardens where they can be planted once and left to grow for years to come. Perennials such as coneflowers, phlox and black-eyed susans can be the framework of a colorful garden, and they're good companions for their showier annual counterparts.