Annual summer flowers have special qualities that perennials do not have. Annuals offer longer bloom times than most perennials. They provide instant splashes of color and will bloom through late fall. Annuals allow gardeners to change the landscape periodically for variety and a fresh look. Versatile annuals range in size from small bedding plants that fill in the gaps of a flower garden, to taller varieties that serve as a backdrop to an interesting arrangement of color and texture.
If you are looking for big, bright and flamboyant flowers, African marigolds make a great addition to the garden. Available in gold, cream and yellow, they grow 3 feet high and provide a color splash of 5-inch flowering balls, and they are also available in dwarf varieties. African marigolds hold up well to the high heat of the summer season, because the weather where they are native is similar. Marigolds pair well with coreopsis for a bright, sunny look that also attracts butterflies to your garden.
New Guinea Impatiens
New Guinea impatiens are great for a couple of reasons — they are more sun tolerant than some of the other impatiens varieties, and they can endure humidity. Impatiens provide a vibrant splash of color in shady areas. They do their best blooming in clay pots because of the good drainage, but if you add compost to a ground environment, they will also shine there. They pair up well with sweet potato vine, and with other varieties of impatiens that have smaller blossoms. Plant impatiens to get an exotic look to a garden without using plants that are more demanding.
Verbenas form small clusters of flowers that spread over borders, beds and driveways, not to mention just about any rocky place where they can find purchase. They thrive in the hot, summer sun if they are in well-drained soil. They can also serve as short-lived perennials, but Clemson Cooperative Extension reports that they do better as long-blooming annuals. Verbena pairs well with petunias planted behind it because of the coloration and the change of bloom size from tiny to large, which catches the eye. For country gardeners, both are resistant to deer.