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Flowers are one of the most delightful aspects of a garden. The sheer variety of blossom colors, plant heights and leaf shapes is mindboggling. Some have pleasant fragrances, which adds another dimension to the experience. It’s fascinating to watch butterflies and other insects that visit them, as well.
While we gardeners love our blooming annuals and perennials, trees and shrubs provide a backdrop for the floral display throughout the season. One of the loveliest shrubs ideal for growing in the Inland Northwest is the viburnum.
I love perennials because they come up reliably year after year. But annual flowers put on a colorful show in my garden, often long before, and after, each perennial’s blooming season. Annuals grow, flower, set seed and die in a single growing season. Each year, plant breeders wow us with new varieties that have bigger and more colorful flowers, interesting foliage or improved disease-resistance.
Gardeners looking for good deals on plants might check out the sale the Associated Garden Clubs is holding on May 25. The garden clubs had a large number of leftover plants from its annual sale at Manito Park in April.
For season-long color in the landscape, annuals are the way to go. “The annual flowers that grow, bloom, produce seed and die the same year are lovely, colorful, and predictable throughout the summer,” Lewis and Nancy Hill write in “The Flower Gardener’s Bible” (Storey Publishing, 372 pages, $27.50).