Bring on the Annuals — a garden update

I love my perennials, but this time of year, I’m grateful for the color a few well-placed annuals provide in my largely dried and burned-out gardens.

Pink Moonbeam Coreopsis

Of course I still have a few perennials blooming. These little moonbeam coreopsis make a splash of color in my St. Francis Garden. And the knockout roses are doing okay, although I pruned a lot of spent blooms off yesterday.


The sedum is starting to pink-up, but I feel like it is a bit early for that. It seems like the perennials are all trying to rush through the summer.

I like to put a few annuals here and there in my gardens, like these white and vanilla petunias, although truthfully, they’re not doing all that well this year with the drought.

And I put this Mandevilla in the Angel Garden. I want to believe that the heart-shaped leaves climbing alongside are from the Moon Flower seeds I planted earlier this summer. Mark thinks they’re a weed. I guess we’ll see.

And rather than invest in perennials this year, we decided to plant a few vanilla marigolds in the now-ivy-free far side of the garden. The last few daisies are still blooming. I’ll probably cut most of them off to bring them inside for weekend guests. Check out the new grass in front of that section. If you forgot how it looked before, you can see it here. Mark did a terrific job,

even with deer tromping through the newly planted grass in soft soil.

This year our container plants are doing well, probably because we’re Mark’s making an extra effort to keep them watered. Usually I’m not that good with containers. These impatiens hang just above the wooded area in the bottom section of our St. Francis Garden.

This cheerful verbena container greets people near the side door.

We have six deck boxes. This year we tried out sweet potato vine for the first time. It is a vigorous and beautiful plant. It’s doing better than the geraniums we put in the middle. I don’t recall the name of the vine on the right, but I just loved it when I saw it in the garden store. It has a little wild look to it with small white flowers.

We added a few more pots to our deck this year to create more of a garden-feel. The two plants on the far end are Luna Hibiscus. They have a huge pink blossom, but aren’t blooming at the moment.

They do have quite a few buds, though, if you look closely. I’ll try to remember to get a photo when they bloom again.

The Mandevilla, like the one in the Angel Garden, likes it’s container, trellis, and location on our sunny deck.

The sweet potato vine is taking over this container, and crowding out the geranium and verbena. I don’t mind too much. I like the how lush it looks.

A spider has created a work of art here between the box and the Mandevilla. I’m making a conscious effort to get over my spider phobia. Not sure how successful I’ll be.

What outdoor container garden would be complete without a few herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, chives, parsley and basil? I think these are looking a little anemic myself. Everything probably needs a dose of Miracle-Gro.

I like the color of the annuals, and appreciate the way they do the bulk of the work in late summer. But I also love the wildflowers that pop up willy-nilly in the wooded sections of our gardens. They don’t care if I water them or not.

This little chipmunk seems to admire my wildflowers too. He’s got a front-row seat.

And look who I caught snacking on the wildflowers. Can’t say as I blame her. They look tender and sweet. I read that deer don’t have the ability to chew tough foods, so they will eat the new, tender shoots of almost any plant.

Do you have any luck with container gardens? Any tips or secrets you’d like to share?