Designing With Annuals and Perennials

We've come up with 25 annuals that your perennial border can't be without.

By Therese Ciesinski

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The best annuals for the job
If you've got a design problem in your perennial border, there is probably an annual that can provide a short term solution. Dozens of species of annuals make great planting companions with summer perennials. Some work better than others, depending on your design needs, climate or soil conditions.

The Big
Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus)
Castor bean (Ricinus communis)
Lion's ear (Leonotis leonurus)
Taro (Colocasia esculenta)

The Bold
Copperleaf (Acalypha wilkesiana)
Dragon wing begonia (Begonia X hybrida)
New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax)

The Beautiful
Angelonia, esp. 'Alba', 'Deep Plum'
Cosmos, esp. 'Bright Lights'
'New Gold' Lantana
Pincushion flower (Scabiosa spp.), esp. 'Ace of Spades'
Spider flower (Cleome hassleriana), esp. 'Sparkler Bush' and 'Violet Queen'

Ground Huggers
Creeping zinnia (Sanvitalia procumbens)
Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas)
Zinnia 'Profusion' series

Hot Colors
Annual black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Bat-faced Cuphea (Cuphea llavea)
Cosmos, esp. 'Bright Lights'
Tall cigar plant (Cuphea micropetala)

Cool Colors
Angelonia, esp. 'Alba', 'Deep Plum'
Flowering tobacco (Nicotiana spp.)
Pincushion flower (Scabiosa spp.), esp. 'Ace of Spades'
Salvias
Tall verbena (Verbena bonariensis)

Happy in Humidity
Bat-faced Cuphea (Cuphea llavea)
Globe amaranth (Gomphrena spp.)
Lantanas
Salvias
Tall cigar plant (Cuphea micropetala)
Taro (Colocasia esculenta)

Desire It Dry
Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus)
New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax)

The Sure Things
Creeping zinnia (Sanvitalia procumbens)
Tall verbena (Verbena bonariensis)
Zinnia 'Profusion' series

Vines
Hyacinth bean vine (Lablab purpureus)
Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas)

Light and Airy
Cosmos
Pincushion flower (Scabiosa spp.)
Tall verbena (Verbena bonariensis)

Plan and create your dream landscape by following this guide!
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