Designing with Annuals

For maximum impact, take advantage of these plants’ vibrant colors, textures, and forms

Fine Gardening - Issue 120

It took several years for Julia Jones to muster up the courage to send an article proposal to Fine Gardening.

"I've been a fan of the magazine for years, but I've always questioned whether or not my garden was good enough to make it into the pages," says Julia, a garden designer and co-owner of Maple Leaf Landscaping in Bay Village, Ohio. "When it's your vision, sometimes it's hard to be impartial."

With some convincing from her partner, Byron Shutt, Julia eventually submitted an article proposal titled "Eye Candy," along with photos of her garden. We were immediately impressed with Julia's use of annuals in her designs and her understanding of their textures, sizes, and vibrant colors.

After a brief scouting trip, Fine Gardening returned in summer to conduct a formal photo shoot of Julia's gardens. The finished article, "Designing with Annuals" (FG#120), highlights the dos and don'ts of designing with annuals and tender perennials.

A photo of Julia's garden appears on the cover of the issue. We hope that it, as well as the other colorful photos identified in this Web extra, will inspire you to experiment with the delight and eye-catching appeal that annuals can add to your garden.

Photo/Illustration: Janet Jemmott

1. 'Heavenly Blue' morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor 'Heavenly Blue', annual)

2. 'Blue Ice' smooth cypress (Cupressus arizonica var. glabra 'Blue Ice', Zones 6-9)

3. 'Longwood Blue' blue-mist shrub (Caryopteris × clandonensis 'Longwood Blue', Zones 6-9)

4. 'Ringo 2000 Violet' geranium (Pelargonium 'Ringo 2000 Violet', Zone 11)

5. 'Blue Danube' ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum 'Blue Danube', annual)

6. Dwarf red Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii 'Atropurpurea Nana', Zones 5-8)

7. 'Blue Star' juniper (Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star', Zones 4-9)

8. 'Margarita' sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas 'Margarita', Zone 11)

9. 'Victoria' mealycup sage (Salvia farinacea 'Victoria', Zones 8-11)

1. 'Vicaryi' privet (Ligustrum 'Vicaryi', Zones 4-8)

2. 'Elegantissima' eastern arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis 'Elegantissima', Zones 2-7)

3. Canna (Canna cv., Zones 8-11)

4. 'Eureka Green Leaf Red' begonia (Begonia 'Eureka Green Leaf Red', annual)

5. 'Green Gem' boxwood (Buxus sempervirens 'Green Gem', Zones 6-8)

6. 'Dragon's Blood' sedum (Sedum spurium 'Dragon's Blood', Zones 4-9)

7. 'Janie Deep Orange' French marigold (Tagetes 'Janie Deep Orange', annual)

8. 'Silver Carpet' lambs' ears (Stachys byzantina 'Silver Carpet', Zones 4-8)


1. 'Cunningham's White' rhododendron (Rhododendron 'Cunningham's White', Zones 6-8)

2. 'Crippsii' Hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Crippsii', Zones 4-8)

3. 'Longwood Blue' blue-mist shrub (Caryopteris × clandonensis 'Longwood Blue', Zones 6-9)

4. 'Argentea' white fir (Abies concolor 'Argentea', Zones 3-7)

5. 'Profusion Pink' zinnia (Zinnia 'Profusion Pink', annual)

6. Persian Shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus, Zones 9-11)

7. Cajun™ Carmine impatiens (Impatiens walleriana Cajun™ Carmine, annual)

8. Cajun™ Pink impatiens (Impatiens walleriana Cajun™ Pink, annual)

9. 'Sweet Cream' African marigold (Tagetes 'Sweet Cream', annual)

10. 'Snowcap' Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum × superbum 'Snowcap', Zones 5-8)

11. Supertunia  Royal Velvet petunia (Petunia 'Kakegawa S28', annual)

12. 'Blue Star' juniper (Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star', Zones 4-9)

13. 'Blue Danube' ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum 'Blue Danube', annual)

14. Avalanche™ Lilac petunia (Petunia Avalanche™ Lilac, annual)

1. Taro (Colocasia esculenta, Zones 8-11)

2. 'Mr. Goldstrike' Japanese laurel (Aucuba japonica 'Mr. Goldstrike', Zones 6-10)

3. 'Robert Fleming' hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus 'Robert Fleming', Zones 4-9)

4. 'Regal Splendor' hosta (Hosta 'Regal Splendor', Zones 3-9)

5. 'Fantasy' perilla (Perilla 'Fantasy', annual)

6. Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas cv., Zone 11)

7. Captain Romance calla lily (Zantedeschia Captain Romance , Zones 8-11)

8. 'Sum and Substance' hosta (Hosta 'Sum and Substance', Zones 3-9)

9. 'Autumn Joy' sedum (Sedum 'Autumn Joy', Zones 3-11)

10. 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt' fuchsia (Fuchsia 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt', Zones 9-10)

11. 'Aaron' caladium (Caladium bicolor 'Aaron', Zone 11)

12. 'Nagoya Rose' ornamental kale (Brassica oleracea 'Nagoya Rose', annual)

13. Cajun™ Carmine impatiens (Impatiens walleriana Cajun™ Carmine, annual)

14. Cajun™ Violet impatiens (Impatiens walleriana Cajun™ Violet, annual)

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