Answer: There are so many plants you could use! Winter hardy perennials survive from year to year but typically bloom only for a few weeks a year at best. Annuals offer blooms over the longest time frame, usually continuing until frost. While petunias are popular annuals, certainly not everyone likes them. For a sunny spot you could try the traditional annuals such as marigolds, salvia (available in red, blue, and other colors), cosmos, cleome, or geraniums. Additional choices would include some of the newer premium annuals such as sun coleus (colorful foliage rather than flowers), lantana, million bells, angelonia, or thunbergia. All of these can be planted once you are certain frost has stopped for the season. For partial shade you would possibly need to adjust your selection (depending if it is morning sun or afernoons sun), but your local professional garden center staff should be able to assist you in making a selection. They may also have different suggestions for that sunny spot based on a more detiled understanding of whateffect you are trying to achieve. Enjoy your flowers!
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