Love perennials … they are more expensive than annuals, but if you select the right varieties for your area, you will be able to enjoy them year after year.
I personally try to have a good mix of perennials and annuals. One of my most favorite annuals of all time is the pansy.
Look at this pretty, happy pansy face! Fortunately where I live, I can plant pansies in the fall and they will usually overwinter then grow all spring until the end of April. Then I rip them out and replace them with something more heat tolerant.
This is Mexican sage, a hearty perennial.
Sometimes I find this in the garden… bad dog … if you can’t tell by the photo, my dog Ruby, dug in the flower bed and dislodged this beautiful specimen of Mexican Sage.
I love Mexican sage for my particular area, because it’s hardy and blooms continuously, it can withstand the hot Texas sun and summer, and requires very little watering.
This is a variegated sedum, another hearty perennial that can grow just about anywhere in the U.S.
What’s the difference?
Annuals complete their lifecycle in one growing season, meaning that an annual plant can grow from seed to maturation (seed reproduction) in one season—snap dragons, petunias and pansies. Generally most garden vegetables are annuals.
Perennials have an ongoing lifecycle, meaning they come back every year after a period of dormancy. Trees and shrubs are good examples, but other flowers are salvia, daisies, sedums and chrysanthemums. Some perennials are grown as annuals in northern climates because they are not cold-hardy. A good example of this is dusty miller. It’s a perennial where I live, but in Kansas and north, it’s not hardy enough to overwinter.
BTW … for those of you North Texas gardeners out there, we are coming up on our last average killing-frost dates this week and next. For more info contact your local Texas county extension agent– they know all the scoop for your county’s growing particulars. (PS– if you live in a different state they have extension offices too).