Annual beauties set to bloom
Prepare the ground today, plant tomorrow and have great garden by Christmas
ANYONE who has been in Stanthorpe’s main street recently will likely have noticed the Southern Downs Regional Council gardeners switching the traffic island flowers from pansies to petunias.
This is an annual event, which will be reversed in six months’ time.
Why do they do this on such a regular schedule?
Well, the answer is simple, here in the Granite Belt, both pansies and petunias (and many other flowers besides) are what we call annuals.
I often have people ask me what exactly this means.
When gardeners talk about annuals or perennials they are usually referring to herbaceous flowers.
These are different from other garden plants, which have woody stems and are then called shrubs.
An annual is a plant that performs its entire life cycle, from seed to flower to seed again within a single growing season.
All leaves, stems and roots of the plant die each year and only the seed bridges the gap between one generation and the next.
Perennials, on the other hand, are plants that persist for many growing seasons.
Generally the top portion of the plant dies back each winter and regrows from the same root system in the spring.
There are also some examples of perennials that keep their leaves year round but in order to fit into the perennials category, they usually do not have woody stems that re-shoot each year.
It is important to note, particularly for gardeners who have moved from elsewhere to this area, that a plant can behave as either an annual or a perennial depending local geographic and climatic growing conditions.
For example, many forms of salvia are perennials but there are some that are not as frost hardy and will not return each year.
With the rain that has recently fallen, lots of people will be itching to get into their gardens and fill in the bare patches, or replace shrubs that have been lost
With the rain that has recently fallen, lots of people will be itching to get into their gardens.
— Morwenna Harslett
over the harsh winter just gone.
Herbaceous flowers, both annual and perennial, are a great way to give almost instant satisfaction and can fill a gap in the garden for a couple of years while the more structural plants have time to establish themselves.
With the explosive rate that herbaceous flowers grow, you can prepare the ground today, plant tomorrow and have a full flowering border by Christmas.
To have a spectacular herbaceous border, a little planning is a good idea.
Choose plants that compliment each other in size, texture and colour and the better the soil, the better your display will be.
Other than that, just have fun with it!
SPLENDOUR: Annuals are starting to pop up around the Granite Belt.
Choose plants that compliment each other in size, texture and colour.
An annual is a plant that performs its entire life cycle.