Annuals forum: Annual border ideas

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Mar 16, 2015 6:06 PM CST
I have a border between some steps going down to our backyard and the lawn which I typically plant out with annuals. I am not the best at direct-seeding, but would like to give it a try this year. I live in Zone 8, Pacific Northwest. Our last frost is usually mid-April although this year seems to be milder all around so who knows. I have gathered the following seeds, which I'd like to mix together and sow at the same time (mixing all up with some sand): California poppy mixed colors, dwarf zinnia Thumbelina, short snapdragons mixed colors, and migonette. I've had CA poppies, field poppies and calendula in the past and they will all reseed themselves as well. When would be the best time to scatter this mixed seed? Or should I separate them into groups? The hope is for season-long color. Any other suggestions for easy-care, low-mid growing annuals would also be appreciated. Oh, I do have some early snowdrops and reseeding forget-me-nots in that bed as well. Couple photos below, first is in early spring (the tree at the foot died and is not there anymore. The second shows a year with a bunch of field poppies taking over the bed. I also need to work with the crocosmia Lucifer in the upper bed which can be jarring, so bright is better than pale. Thanks!
Thumb of 2015-03-17/Bonehead/10f74d Thumb of 2015-03-17/Bonehead/61dd4e

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Mar 17, 2015 7:01 AM CST
I would sow half the mixture two weeks before your expected last frost.
Then sow the other half about two weeks after the last frost.
Have you thought of adding something blue? California Blue bells, Thimble flower or Bachelor Buttons?
Shorter Cleome varieties might work there.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Mar 17, 2015 8:00 PM CST
Deb, I just love your bed/steps/yard!

Maybe calendula?
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Mar 18, 2015 7:33 AM CST
I like Calendula with a blue flowered Nigella.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Mar 18, 2015 11:18 AM CST
I agree some blue/purple would add to the mix, thanks. I also like the idea of two sowings and will try that. Does Nigella self-sow? I also get the stray borage in this bed but find them a bit thuggish and usually try to limit them to my herbs (who are ALL thugs so I just let them fight it out) or introduce them to my border field areas (live-or-die, no supplemental watering or weeding).
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
Mar 18, 2015 1:17 PM CST
Yes, Nigella self sows readily.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Jul 5, 2015 10:36 AM CST
In this weird hot year, my field and CA poppies are about done and they basically took over the whole bed. I plan to pull them soon as they just look parched with a few blooms, mostly seedheads. Since it is early July, what can I plant to bridge the remainder of summer? Whatever it is I will have to water daily, this is a pretty dry bed. I will have to rethink for next season...
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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Cinta
Jul 14, 2015 12:29 PM CST
Do you like allysum? Some people like the fragrance and some do not. Since you said it is dry have you ever considered sedum? I would use some colorful sedum as a ground cover and plant annuals for flowers. At least in between flowers you would have something colorful.

Come over to the dark side with us Sedum people and checkout the new colors that have been developed.

Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Jul 14, 2015 12:41 PM CST
I ended up popping in some half price annual pony packs _ asters, zinnias, salvia, nicotinia. Hopefully they will bulk up quickly and bloom. Good ideas for next season though, may rethink my strategy. I do have random allysum and sedum volunteers as well, so kind of a mish mash. I should probably visit the sedum forum, not bitten by that bug yet...
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Kate
Kirkland, WA (Zone 7b)
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Maukahound
Aug 3, 2015 11:48 PM CST
Deb, what is the soil like along the walkway? All day sun? You might want to try Zinnias, Salvias, Celosia, tall Marigolds. (All these would do well if the soil is not heavy clay.) You won't have to tweak the colors to work with the Crocosmia Lucifer, as these are available in an array of hot colours. All three seed easily, and require minimal maintenance. Plus, you could intersperse Sedums, Peppers (yes - Peppers!), Basil & perhaps some of the shorter variety sunflowers amongst them. That's a narrow space, but it presents a splendid curve for the eye to land on. I grow ornamental peppers & taller herbs in with flowers in the landscape. Fun, different, fairly low maintenance, plus I can dig them up & overwinter for the following year.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Aug 4, 2015 9:59 AM CST
The soil is fairly good, not much clay. Early morning shade, then full-on southwest open exposure, so pretty hot. I like a mix of hot colors, good suggestions. Basil never does well for me, but peppers is a great idea. What I found this year was the poppies came back very thickly and early, and likely choked out any other self-sown seedlings I may have had. I may try to start some of the later annuals in 2" packs and pop them in as the poppies wind down their show. I can probably just do that outside so I don't have to go through the transition stage.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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