Planting summer annuals is a great way to bring a burst of color into your landscape. Annuals are plants that are originally from warmer climates and won’t survive in Southern Indiana during our winters. These plants are often from tropical locations and have vibrantly-colored leaves or textured leaves that stand out due to their uniqueness. Here are a few of my favorites:
Living in Downtown Evansville, my own home has always been a challenging site to figure out what annuals to choose, due to the trees, the surrounding homes, and the limited space. I love begonias and have quickly realized that they are an excellent choice for my partial sun/shade site. There are many thousands of types of begonias, from traditional flowering varieties to ones that are more commonly grown as houseplants, and they are making their way into our landscapes as annuals. Begonias are unique and have a wide array of growth habits, sizes, and colors. Most of the unique begonias have strongly-textured and variegated leaves with varying shades of greens, silvers, maroons, and pinks.
Coleus is one of the more common annuals with a colorful leaf that makes a great addition to any garden. Depending on which variety you choose, there are coleus plants that can tolerate full sun and others that like to be in the shade. One of the most unique characteristics of the coleus is that it has a squared-off stem, rather than a round stem as on most plants. The many varieties rangefrom traditionally-shaped, solid-color leaves to leaves sporting multiple colors with crinkled and ruffled edges. There are coleus plants that range in uses from shade to sun, large to small, and upright to trailing. They are great choices to work into most any garden.
Last summer, I planted several displays using a mix of various succulent plants. This was by far one of most unique planter combinations I had ever done, and we received numerous questions and compliments on them. Succulents are distinctive plants that thrive in hot, arid conditions and can tolerate the heat and drought amazingly well. They come in an array of sizes, colors, and textures, making it easy to create a one-of-a-kind planter for a sunny location that everyone will enjoy. With hundreds of different types of succulents to choose from, there are options for short, fat, tall, trailing, and almost any color of the rainbow.