Many people ask us “What is the difference between annuals and perennials?”. Annual bedding plants (or annuals) are plants that only live one season. Plants like petunias, impatiens, marigolds can be planted in container gardens and in the ground and they will bloom and grow beautifully until the fall frost. With the onset of the frost, annuals die off and must be replaced the following spring. Perennials maintain the same root structure year after year. They are winter hardy and will spread year to year, so you can split them and move them to new locations in the garden and you don’t need to replant every year. The trade-off though, is that most perennials have a specific bloom time and they will not bloom all summer long through to frost. For example, Creeping Phlox is a spring blooming perennial, shasta daisy are summer flowering and chrysantemums are fall blooming. Each plant will continue to grow throughout the season, just not flower continuously.
In our opinion, it is a great idea to use a mix of annuals and perennials in your garden. This way, you can choose several perennials that have blooming times that span the summer and then intermix some annuals for constant summer colour. Whichever you like, or if you want to learn more, come in in to Jade Gardens and Greenhouses. We grow annuals and many perennials and would love to help!