We all know (well maybe not all of us) that annuals only last one season and perennials come back every year. But what are the other differences between them?

If you are hoping for a bright, colourful garden for the entire spring and summer season, then annuals are the way to go. Perennials typically don’t have the same pop of colour that annuals do. If you are building your own hanging baskets or planter boxes, then annuals are typically what you would add. If you want your annuals to last through early autumn, deadhead them before the end of summer and they might come back for a few more weeks. Annuals can also be cheaper than perennials which might make them a good choice for customers and businesses’ on a tighter budget.

Marigolds, petunias, begonias, pansies and snapdragons are popular choices to add a lot of vibrancy to your garden. The great thing about annuals is you can change the look in your garden every year. Want to have yellow and red flowers this year and purples and whites next? Done. Another thing that many people don’t know is that some annuals are self- sowing (or self- seeding) so you may end up with more in your garden next year. The only important thing to remember is that annuals require regular watering. If you don’t stay on top of this, they will perish.

Perennials are more commonly what landscapers will recommend when installing gardens. They usually live three to five years but are commonly replaced by their offspring, due to self- seeding. Perennials may have less colourful flowers, but the great thing is that they come back for a minimum of a few seasons. They are more expensive than annuals because nurseries put more time into growing them but if you consider that they have a longer life, they may be more economical in the long run. Also, perennials may come back even bigger and more beautiful as the years go by. Some of our favourite perennials just happen to be long- lived perennials and are very hardy. These are hostas, daylilies, irises, black- eyed susans and daffodils. Some of these are the first to pop up in the spring and add some vibrancy to our gardens while the weather warms, paving way for the blooming season.

There’s one more green thumb term that may be new to you, if you’re new to gardening- Biennial. A biennial is a flowering plant that usually only lasts two seasons. They take two years to complete their life cycle and it often only flowers the second year. Quite often when flower shopping, the biennials that are available are in their second year so they will have or will produce flowers. Sometimes biennials are mistaken for perennials because they can self- seed as well (just to confuse things further).

If you’re really unsure about how to design and build your garden, Paramount’s design and landscape construction team would love to help. Services are slowly starting to open again and we can easily set up a social distancing- style meeting to see if we can create what you envision.