When it comes to creating a beautiful garden, there are many different styles that resonate with different people. However, one thing that most gardeners agree on is the unique personality that flowers can give each landscape through their colors. Some might even say that they complete the picture — that your outdoor space is incomplete without them!
Choosing flowers at a garden center or local nursery can feel overwhelming, especially when there are so many options available. And once you add in the heat of a Georgia summer, it can be difficult to know how to keep your flowers happy and healthy.
In this post, I’d like to help you choose the best flowers for our state’s unique climate. In order to make it easier, I’ve divided these up into three major categories: native flowers, annuals, and perennials.
Native plants are exactly what they sound like: plants that are native — or indigenous — to the Peach State and should, therefore, be able to thrive when planted. The following are great for pollinators and are suited for the Georgia climate:
- Shasta daisy — This bright perennial is a classic. It might remind you of some of the wild daisies you’ve seen on the side of the road. It’s very similar to those, but grows larger and with more robust blooms. Shasta daisies tend to bloom in clusters from 2 to 3 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide.
- Purple coneflower — Another perennial, the purple coneflower is found across most of the eastern US. Their pistils will attract a lot of bees and butterflies. These easy-going blooms are simple to grow. Stalks can sometimes reach 5 feet in height!
- Sunflowers & black-eyed Susans — Black-eyed Susans are some of the most common flowers in America…and they’re in the same family as sunflowers. You might be able to see the resemblance. Many are grown as annuals, though some are actually perennials. These grow to a height of around 2 or 3 feet.
If you’re interested in pollinator-friendly gardens, check out our post on eco-friendly landscapes, where we go a little more in-depth.
An annual is a plant that completes its life cycle, from germination to the production of seeds, within one year. After this year, the plant dies.
Here are some of my favorites for Georgia…
- Petunias — This classic bloom is extremely popular because it’s easy to grow and comes in so many colors and varieties. These are perfect for planters & containers, but certain types also work as ground cover.
- Pansies & violas — Pansies — also known as violas — are perennial, but are normally grown as annuals because of their leggy (long & straggly) growth. These are known by their cheerful blossoms that provide great color throughout the fall and winter months, surviving our normal Georgia cold snaps.
- Impatiens & Sunpatiens — Impatiens is the Latin word for “impatient,” and it’s no wonder why! These flowers are impatient…they bloom fast and often, provide great color options for shadier gardens, and have a reputation for their continuous blooming.
- Whopper begonias — Whopper begonias are bright red flowers. They’re named whoppers because of their huge clusters of big blooms that last all summer!
A perennial plant is generally known as a plant that lives for more than two years.
My favorites include…
- Dahlias — These spiky and daisy-like flowers are sure to add some color to your garden. They thrive in the sun, but some may start to wilt if exposed to too much heat.
- Daffodils — Everyone loves a yellow daffodil. Plant their bulbs in late autumn and watch as these flowers peek up from the ground in early spring. While they only bloom once a year, depending on your cultivar, they can stay in bloom for up to six months!
- Elephant ears — These lush and tropical-looking plants can add some drama to your garden, bringing to mind vibrant jungles and rainforests.
I hope that I’ve been able to take some of the guesswork out of selecting flowers for your garden. And, as always, feel free to reach out to us if you’d like help in creating garden beds that will wow you with color!