Top 10 Top Picks for Cool Season Annuals -
Flowers for Spring and Fall
Cool weather can be hard to garden in, because
you never know how long it will last. But there are many garden
flowers that prefer the cool days of spring and fall. Often
gardeners think only of perennials for a sequence of bloom. Many
cool season annuals look wonderful in containers and growing
these flowers will make your gardening season seem that much
longer. If you live in a warm climate, some of these flowers
will bloom from fall through spring.
1) Viola and Pansy
You may still have some pansies from last
spring, languishing in your garden beds. Look around and
see if they are perking up for fall. Violas and pansies
will bloom for weeks. Deadheading will keep them setting
new buds. Look for some of the newer varieties that can
handle a slight freeze.
Snapdragons offer you color and a bit of
height, depending on the variety. There are also new
trailing snapdragons that work wonderfully in
containers. Look for the Luminaire™ series. Snapdragons
are hardy at least to Zone 8. With some protection, they
may also survive in Zone 7.
Gardeners think of petunias as a bedding
mainstay. Petunias actually do their best blooming in
cool temperatures and there are so many to choose from.
The Wave series has become especially popular and if
you, like me, don't like deadheading, Wave petunias are
for you. The tiny calibrachoa petunia make a nice
textural accent in containers.
Diascia though relatively new in gardens,
became popular quickly. The tiny, profuse trailing
blossoms make it perfect for containers. Diascia is
generally grown from cuttings, which can make it an
expensive annual. But you may be able to oover
winteryours indoors or take your own cuttings. Diascia
are perennial, with a good winter, in Zone 8 or higher.
5) Calendula (Pot Marigold)
Calendula looks like a fall flower, with
its rich golden and rust colors. They might even
withstand a light frost, if they're established. Many
calendula will self-seed and treat you to a spring bloom
Where summers are too extreme to grow
delphiniums, larkspur makes an eeminentlyacceptable
substitute. If you start your larkspur off in the spring
and keep it deadheaded throughout the summer, a little
extra food should revive it for the fall show.
Nierembergia 'Mont Blanc' rescued
nierembergia from oobsolescence Nierembergia is hardy to
Zone 7 and can even be over wintered indoors, but you
might not bother because it is fairly easy to grow from
seed. 'Mont Blanc' won the AAllAmerica Selection award,
but the blue flowered varieties are getting the
8) Bachelor's Buttons, Cornflower (Centaurea
You won't often find Bachelor's Buttons
at the nursery, but they grow very easily from seed and
will reseed freely. A cottage garden plant, Bachelor's
Buttons give its best display in cool seasons, so if you
started some in the spring, watch as they perk up again
Nasturtium will bloom throughout summer,
well into fall. They are rrejuvenatedby the cooler air.
Even their crisp fall colors aadvertisethat they belong
in the fall garden. NNasturtiumsdon't transplant well
and you may be better off direct seeding. Keep them well
watered in the heat of summer.
Lobelia will give out on you during the
summer. But given cool temperatures, it will bloom with
pprofusion If you planted yours in the spring, once the
flowers start to slow down, cut it back a half and allow
it to regrow and rebloom.