old-fashioned annuals are new again

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In talking with garden friends and nursery staff, it seems old-fashioned annuals are back in vogue this year. Perhaps it’s botanical comfort food during the recession, or maybe it’s just a natural cycling around again. Whatever the reason, here are some tried-and-true annuals to enjoy in your garden this year. — Jenny P.

Impatiens — Lots of colors and wonderful for shady areas! They like lots of water, though, so don’t let them dry out.

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Geraniums — There is something so cheerful about these plants! Choose from red, pink, white, or salmon. Let the soil dry out a bit between waterings and remove the old flowers by snapping them off at the base of the stem.

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Marigolds — Sunny and ruffly — there’s a reason our grannies planted these! And here’s an added benefit: if you like to vegetable garden, plant marigolds around the edges of your garden to deter pesky veggie-eating bugs.

Begonias

Begonias — Small flowers in red, pink and white, with green or bronze foliage. Plant them close together for more impact. They’ll also take a bit of shade where the many other annuals want full sun.

Zinnias

Zinnias — There are so many colors and varieties of zinnias that you’re sure to find one that fits what you’re looking for! Just remember to be careful of overhead watering; zinnias are susceptible to powdery mildew and don’t like water on their foliage. Aim the hose at the base of the plant or use a drip system.

Photos, top to bottom, via: Sanna Mattson MacLeod, Human Flower Project, Cordite Country Show Notes, Weidner’s Gardens, Parks Wholesale Plants

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Daffodil

Hot diggity dog! I’m trendy! I’ve always planted geraniums and marigolds exclusively, mostly because they’re extremely forgiving and almost never die in spite of my very, very meager interest in gardening. (And by “gardening,” I mean “keeping the flowers watered.”)

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