Make a big statement by letting your annuals do the talking.

Hello, Color! (NEW)
Credit: Joseph De Sciose

Listen up. Your flowers have something to say: Pick one color, and send a sure message. These eye-catching 'Super Olympia Red' begonias in Ben Spencer's garden shout out a welcome.

To make the hearty greeting even bolder, Ben didn't stop with a single line of wax begonias (Begonia semperflorens-cultorum). He purchased flats of 36 and planted the versatile annuals 8 inches apart in meandering drifts. Then he repeated the color in all of the containers on his front terrace. "Though I've tried darker shades, nothing seems to sing quite like red," says Ben.

Do you have to plant a lot of flowers to make a big impression? Not if you follow this rule: Plant one flower in one color en masse.

Word to The Wise

  • Plant in prepared beds that have been amended with a complete fertilizer, such as Osmocote 14-14-14, prior to planting.
  • Supplement fertilizer once flowering begins and again late in the season. Use either a timed-release, granular, water-soluble product or an organic one, such as composted manure. Just follow label directions.
  • Before installing annuals, water your beds so that the soil is evenly moist. Soak overly dry annuals in a bucket of water to rehydrate the root systems before planting.
  • Mulch to reduce weeds and retain moisture.
  • To keep the show going, remove spent flowers by pinching or snipping.

"Hello, Color!" is from the May 2006 issue of Southern Living.