The Q&A Archives: Reseeding Annuals

Question: I have a large triangular corner of my yard that gets full sun and is planted with Spirea, Forsythia, Quince, Weigela, Flowering Almond, Butterfly Bush and Lilac. These are very old and very big. In the very back, I have Crepe Myrtles and Altheas as trees. The bed is on a slight slope and not easily accessible, but beautiful when viewed from the deck (or it will be when I'm finished cleaning it out). Currently, in the very front of the bed I have azaleas. I like the loose, flowing look of the other bushes, but don't like the azaleas with them. I plan to transplant the azaleas to another section of my yard. Now, my question...can you suggest a variety of reseeding/resowing annuals for that spot? Annuals that spread to push out most weeds - are there such flowers? Perennials and bulbs require dividing. Since the bed is difficult to work in, I like the virtual maintenance-free aspect of the bed as it is now. I do use the flowering shrubs currently in the bed for cuttings to arrange inside, so it would be nice if the annuals were of the same sort. Please feel free to suggest Perennials and Bulbs that would fit the above criteria.

Answer: I was faced with almost exactly the same dilemma in a friend's yard about 4 years ago. Her slope was very steep so it was important to cover it with attractive plants that would require very little maintenance. I opted for the following plants and it turned out quite nicely: Cosmos (very good for reseeding itself), Rudbeckia (both annual and perennial varieties spread very well), Cleome (reseeds very well), Poppy (reseeds) and many different species of Daffodil. The Cosmos, Black Eyed Susans, andPoppies have covered the entire hill and are breathtaking together. The Cleome has also reseeded well and adds vertical interest. We have probably 6 different varieties of Daffodil that have naturalized very well. She did some weeding the first 2 summers but really just ignores it now. We do fertilize it by tossing compost on the hill in the fall and broadcasting extended release fertilizer pellets across the area in the spring. (We use the brand called Once). I think the view from your deck will bespectacular when you are finished!

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