Guest Column

Kathy's Gardening Guide: Annuals vs. Perennials


A great way to add color and variety to your landscaping is a combination of annuals and perennials. If you ask me, both are needed in your garden!


■ Annuals are temporary season-to-season.

■ They exert their energy unconditionally with consistent vibrant colors until their season ends and will not grow back. 

■ Choose two-to-three places in your garden you would like to enjoy the beautiful array of constant color, and that can be changed out with each passing season.

■ Most popular areas for planting — front door, near street or mailbox, and back patio areas where you relax.

■ Creating “special” annual beds with good, soft #3 mix topsoil aids in manageable replacement once their season is over. (Annuals last 3-6 months, changing seasonally 2-3 times per year)

■ Annuals are most often used in planters as well.

■ Annuals recommended to plant now: petunia, dusty miller, pansy and snapdragon.


■ Perennials last indefinitely. Most of them bloom in and out of color but do not give the constant vibrant color of annuals.

■ Many perennials die down in the winter and tend to look dead, but they are not! Wait until spring and they will just need pruning. Prune off dead stems and wait for them to re-appear.

■ Perennials should be about 90-95% of your landscaping as they grow back and bloom. However, this is why you need to incorporate both in landscaping to give extra color in those die down months. Annuals should only be about 5-10% of your landscaping due to time, effort and repeat expense.

■ Perennials recommended to plant now: blue daze, foxtail fern, geranium and drift roses.

Flower of the Week: Geranium

Email Kathy at for any questions or gardening tips you would like to see in the future.

Kathy’s Creative Gardens & Nursery is located at 196 N. Roscoe Blvd. in Ponte Vedra Beach. (904) 655-7373


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