Like A New Box of Crayons

Mar 2, 2016 | Gardens

Every spring as I contemplate what will be planted in Annual Alley this season, it’s like getting a new box of crayons. Which colors to use? Should I go with just a few complimentary shades, or should I go wild and dip into every color in the box?  The possibilities are endless and exciting.

Last year I used Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’, annual blue and red Salvias, green Nicotiana, Ageratum ‘Blue Horizon’ and Cut-and-Come-Again Zinnias. The crayon box was short on yellow and orange shades, however.

I have tended to plant Annual Alley in a loose, "field style" rather than short in the front, medium next and tall in the center or back.

I have tended to plant Annual Alley in a loose, “field style” rather than short in the front, medium next and tall in the center or back.

So it’s not surprising that this year I’m leaning toward orange. Tithonia, specifically. I’m picturing the tall Tithonia towering over a sea of blue salvia and Ageratum, with the climbing/trailing varieties of Nasturtium underneath. I also ordered some new yellow cosmos seeds but it’s hard to know how vigorous these will be. What do you think? Does it need  a shot of purple foliage? Lime green? Verbena bonariensis?

annual alley 2016

Which crayon to use? Or perhaps the savoring of all the colors, as yet unplanted, is the best part of this planning season.

4 Comments

  1. Pamela

    I vote on the burst of lime green!

    Reply
  2. paul siegel`

    Still feel you need more yellow/orange. How about Crossandra and/or yellow bush daisy or Geum?

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      I have been thinking more orange, Paul! But this is an annual garden only so no shrubs or perennials since they don’t flower all summer. I’m leaning toward the new Bidens from Proven Winners, Campfire Fireburst. Thanks for your thoughts.

      Reply
  3. Anita Palmer

    I think lime green would add great color. Love your choices.

    Anita

    Reply

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