By Russell M. Gullo

After a long, cold, rainy spring, the temperatures in Western New York are finally starting to warm up. We can finally go outside and enjoy the outdoors! And what better way is there to celebrate the season than to spruce up our gardens with flowers? Annuals flowers are the easiest way to add pizzazz to your landscape, providing non-stop color from spring to fall. In addition to providing instant color, annuals are great for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies, filling window boxes and planters, and for trying new plants from year to year.

We carry a massive selection of annuals, including uncommon and hard to find varieties, home-grown in our greenhouses in Derby, NY. Here are  some of our favorites for various growing situations and challenges.

Shady Gardens:

Shade can be a challenge. Plant selection is generally more limited, but we have
plenty of options that love the shade.

New Guinea Impatien

A classic with so many colors to choose from! With an abundance of blooms
that sit on top of the plant, these really pop in the garden.











These plants are prized for their bi-colored flowers. The flower itself is
trumpet-shaped and lends a somewhat quirky style to the garden. Plant and
enjoy, these flowers are low-maintenance and have been known to attract










Charmed® Wine Oxalis

This plant features beautiful and stark contrast between the leaves and flowers.
Delicate white flowers sit on top of dark plum-colored leaves. It took Proven
Winners® growers years to develop this plant so nicely.











This is my personal favorite for shady areas. The foliage is as attractive as the
flowers and contrasts perfectly. There are so many colors to choose from and they
will grow in sunnier areas as well if you’re planning a uniform look throughout
your yard.











A great flower in hanging baskets, either under trees, awnings, or other structures,
these delicate flowers burst open from a pod into a glamorous, multi-colored bloom.

Sunny Gardens:

Most flowers love the sun! The selection is greatest in this category.

Million Bells ‘Petunia’

Named for closely resembling a small petunia, Million Bells is actually not a petunia at all, but a Calibrachia. This plant flowers profusely from spring to fall, producing hundreds of one inch blooms, available in many different colors. Their trailing habit makes them perfect for hanging baskets and containers. A relatively new plant, this is one of our favorites.










Osteospermum (Cape Daisy)

Although this plant goes through a period of bloom dormancy in hot weather, its stunning and exotic flowers more than make up for it when in bloom. This is one of our best-selling annuals and is perfect for planting groups in beds.











These flowers are pollinator magnets! Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies to your yard. They bloom from spring to fall. Their flowers are a large clusters. What’s not to love?










Gerbera Daisy

A classic flower that comes in many different colors, from red to yellow to salmon to white. The blooms are large and attached to long stalks. Planting them in groups creates a striking effect.











If you love impatiens, but are planting in a sunny area, Vinca is perfect for you. Very similar in appearance to impatiens, the blooms are round and flat. Vinca is not a fussy plant and is low-maintenance.

Deer & Rabbit Resistant Flowers:

While we love nature, we definitely do not love when animals come and eat all
of our hard work. If you have a problem with deer and rabbits in your yard,
consider these flowers.


The purple blooms are very fragrant (in a good way), but bad for deer and
rabbits who do not like it. Heliotrope will grow well in full to partial sun.











Deer know better – these plants are poisonous to them, so you can plant with
confidence. Ageratum grows in full to part sun – they also attract butterflies!











Very aromatic, deer and rabbits hate the scent of Marigolds. Perhaps
the most common deterrent plant, they are tried and true.











These flowers are very aromatic, and fortuitous for gardeners, deer
very much dislike their scent. As an added bonus, Snapdragons often
reseed themselves and come up the following year!










Dusty Miller

Texture is what defends this plant against deer and rabbits. Its woolly
foliage is very undesirable.

Drought Tolerant Flowers:

Potting up flowers for the cemetery? Have a really hot, sunny spot? Consider these tough flowers.



Where others wilt, Portulaca thrives! Low-growing and colorful, this plant has a succulent look to it.











Very popular in cemetery pots, Geraniums are tough as they come. With huge blooms, they are a great, popular option.











Native to the Southwest United States and Mexico, these flowers know how to take the heat.











This flower likes it hot and dry! Great for areas where you need something taller, or for growing as cut flowers.











This plant loves the sun and can take hot conditions. With so many different colors of plume-like flowers, Celosia has been a favorite of gardeners for generations.