Saint or sinner?.....don't like annuals

VerdunVerdun Posts: 23,348

I don't really like annuals in my garden.....fine in pots, etc but they lack structure and never seem to associate too well with their bigger and better cousins, the perennials. They ooze gaudy colour for a few months and then die and the process repeats next year

I buy perennials that cost more than annuals but in the long run I actually pay less and have an ever increasing and improving stock of quality plants.  So, am I a saint or sinner for stirring this little pot?



  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,503

    You're not alone, Verdun.  Apart from veg, nearly everything in my garden is a perennial with the majority grown from seed (which can be a bit challenging, but I like that aspect!)  I do grow a few annuals, but mostly for fragrance and to plant-up a few containers and baskets.  To be honest, I'd now struggle to find space to plant out many annuals even if I wanted to, as I'd have to sacrifice some perennials (although I'm now fed-up with a few clumps of Aster novi-belgii which have turned rampant!)

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • quercus_ruburquercus_rubur Posts: 333

    Saint Verdun!.

    Waste of time, money and effort. After years of abysmal hanging baskets mine now have hostas and ivy in them. Fragrance I get from most of the shrubs and daffys.

    As for veg, with the exception of sugar peas, beans, garlic and onions  I'm even beginning to think annual veg aren't worth it either in my small garden. Think I'll stick to fruit, perennials, shrubs and trees next year. 


  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 7,199

    My husband's constant refrain in the garden is "Does it come up next year ?"

    If the answer is no, he humphs and wanders off muttering about time/effort/nothing/grumble/grumble.

    But  I carry on growing cosmos and rudbeckia regardless - and some of the latter end up being perennial in a good year image

    The Stone Age didn’t end because they ran out of stones ......
  • KEFKEF Posts: 8,915

    In the past I haven't had the time or patience to grow annuals, unless we include Geraniums. Only 2 have survived from last year. This year I should have opportunity to take cuttings and save on buying new each year. I do like some annuals, depending where they are placed. Each year my neighbour has a "selection" of them in a "collection of differing pots" scattered on paths, walls, patio etc. I don't see the point of one Marigold in a plant pot, unless it's in the GH guarding the tomatoes.

    But I think if it pleases you grow what you want.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,771

    Not a fan either except for edibles,sweet peas and a few things in pots- all same colour of course- no multi coloured arrangements are allowed to set foot on my premises!image

    The other time I'd use them would be if there's a space somewhere which I've cleared for  future use - they at least save on weeding etc, but  I wouldn't really put them amongst shrubs or perennials.

    to walk through a forest is to touch the past

  • AlieshAliesh Posts: 182

    Love a few for hanging baskets and tubs . It wouldn't be summer without them.

    Have an odd few in garden for wildlife ( cornflower candytuft pink alysum ) alway have nigella in different colours its so daintyimage

  • blackestblackest Posts: 623

    As I largely have a blank slate and a lot of space to fill Annuals definately have a large part to play in this garden and so do perenials too. Next year there will be less spaces to fill, more shrubs will be featuring, plants that over wintered will be that much bigger. Isn't that the nature of a garden that as it matures the annuals get edged out by the perenial plants.

    The annuals have a lot of work to do as they work the ground creating soil structure adding organic matter. The perenial plants are going to give structure and shelter and help create the climate in my garden.

    I guess annuals are a bit like puppies great fun at that age but a puppy becomes a dog and you don't throw out the dog in order to get a new puppy and there isn't space for new plants when the older perenials are in residence. With perenial plants you get to leave a mark on a garden a bit of a history and old memories of previous years. You don't have that link into past summers with annuals and maybe thats the real difference.

  • Sinner I say Verdun!

    You shouldn't pass by the garden of Eden without sampling all the fruits. What?

    How can you not admire the outrageousness of a line of sunflowers? Sweet peas do no harm to any eye. Everything in moderation image


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 12,113

    I love the colour that annuals give to a garden. I have pots on the front and back terraces and certain annuals I use in the herbaceous borders as well. I have a big garden, over an acre, which I have built up to have a basic structure of perennials, but there are always a few gaps and annuals, such as rudbeckias, salvia farinacea, cosmos, nicotianas fill in the gaps and provide colour right up to the frosts.

    Last year a couple of moles decided to set up home in a couple of my large borders and with the plants there I hadn't realised the amount of damage. This spring I've been digging out all the tunnels which had gone under perennials and killed some of them, so annuals are filling in the gaps. I'm afraid the moles were dealt with last autumn.

    It takes time for perennials to get to a decent size as French GCs sell them so small so annuals are useful while building up stock. I also have a few shady areas and I like Busy-Lizzies and bedding begonias to brighten them up. Ferns, I hear you say, but they don't grow well here and I do have hostas, pulmonarias, epimediums etc but I like the colour too.

    So, a bit of everything for me, but then I'm lucky to have the space.

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