The Pleasure of Planting Some Annuals


Marigolds planted at base of new redbud tree.

Marigolds planted at base of new redbud tree.

I’m philosophically a perennial flower gardener. I like the idea of plant it once, forget it and enjoy it for years to come.

But today, nearly the last day of May—but clearly, in the strange year where we skipped through a week of spring between a very harsh, long winter and a very sudden, pleasant summer—was devoted to annuals. Each year, Audrey puts pots of geraniums on our deck and front porch, and also plants petunias in built-in planters on our deck rail.

Geraniums waiting to be planted. Like me, my wife has some more annual planting to finish up this weekend.

Geraniums waiting to be planted. Like me, my wife has some more annual planting to finish up this weekend.

This year, we also added, due to some whining by yours truly, some marigolds. They were among my mother’s favorites, and I’ve always liked them, even if I think the idea that they repel any pests from the garden seems very dubious. Even if they don’t exactly produce a sweet odor, they are nice, friendly flowers that can be picked, quickly re-bloom and provide a season of color.

Leaves of the new burgundy redbud.

Leaves of the new burgundy redbud.

I was only at it for an hour or so this morning before family matters intervened, so I can’t say I truly planted a lot. But I put some marigolds and petunias around a couple of trees in front while I mulched them. There are four trees in the front yards that are surrounded by mulch that has flowers—mostly spring bulbs—in the mulch zone, and for two of them—the birch, which is the oldest tree and has the largest “footprint,” and the newest tree, a burgundy leaf redbud planted to replace the dearly departed hawthorn—I added some annuals.

Petunias in a deck planter.

Petunias in a deck planter.

I still have numerous marigolds and a few petunias left, which will go into back gardens this weekend. Still, sticking some annuals in the ground to spice up my flower beds seemed a good use of what little time I had to putter in the gardens this morning.

Flat of marigolds waiting to be planted.

Flat of marigolds waiting to be planted.

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