May 7, 2007
I've heard many a client say that they thought annuals were " a waste of money " because they don't come back each year. I always tell them that annuals are worth every penny you pay for them. What other flower will give you blooms from May up until November in Zone 5 ? I rest my case.
Since I have thrifty Scottish blood I love to experiment with annuals that DO come back , sometimes as long as 3-4 years. Needless to say some of my clients are amazed and appreciative when they don't have to plant annuals for this long a stretch.
Here are some of my favorites that self-sow : Violas, Sweet William, Alyssum, Hollyhocks, Marigold, Dusty Miller, Cosmos, Alyssum, Cleome, Bells of Ireland, Nicotiana, or Flowering Tobacco, and Chinese Lanterns. Petunias are prolific self-sowers but can become a nuisance so I always confine them to containers.
Some of you may ask why not just plant the seeds ? You can do that but Mother Nature seems to be better at it and the seeds she sows have a lot more time to germinate and bloom.