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Great Color from Second-Year Flowers

After a big year of annual color, perennials put on their own show.


Member Diana Edwards, out in Michigan, was kind enough to share her beautiful photos.

When you plant any of our regional mixes, the annuals bloom immediately, making the first year a rainbow of color all summer long. Then as the second spring arrives, the same plantings light up with brand new species the gardener hasn’t enjoyed before. This is because annuals bloom quickly the first summer after planting, whether you plant in fall or spring. But it takes another full year to see the perennials in the mixture.

During their first year, perennials make only root growth and a few leaves. The blooms don’t appear until their second summer. After that, of course, they return year after year with larger and larger clumps and more and more flowers.

Ms. Edwards’ planting above shows early summer perennial color of Dame's Rocket (lavender), brilliant Blue Flax , Lanceleaf Coreopsis (yellow), and Siberian Wallflower (bright orange.)

The photos at the right show a beautiful bloom of Gloriosa Daisies along the driveway, (bottom) and in the center photo, Black-Eyed Susans , Globe Gillas (the globular purple flowers) and Fleabane Daisies.

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