Annuals for Specific Uses
Besides providing garden color all summer long, annuals are useful for growing in a variety of situations. To learn more about which annuals do best under various conditions, go to the University of Illinois Extension Web site on Gardening with Annuals. The site lists annuals in the following categories: beginners, hanging baskets, edging, shade, full sun, shade, poor soil, moist and cool conditions, dry and hot conditions, cut flowers, hedges, and vines. There are also pages on planting, soil preparation, and care.
When the annual bug bites big time, turn to Armitage's Manual of Annuals, Biennials, and Half-Hardy Perennials by Allan M. Armitage (Timber Press, 2001; $39.95). Armitage, a professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia in Athens, discusses 245 genera of plants in detail, including information about species and cultivars. There are some color photos, but this book is valuable for its information rather than illustrations.