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Annuals that Star in Perennial Borders

By Marilyn Barlow. First published in Fine Gardening Magazine Issue #180 (March-April 2018)

More and more lawns are disappearing, but the endangered lawn is one thing we need not worry about! Shovels are slicing through sod, green deserts replaced with the many native and non-native perennials that welcome local and migrating songbirds, butterflies, bees and enrich your local habitat.

Most perennials take three years or more to become full specimens and forlorn patches of earth or bark mulch are all too common. Annual fillers including some tender perennials that are grown as annuals north of Zone 8 are perfect for filling in that first year, and perhaps every year thereafter, for who can resist their long-blooming colorful ways?

Some annuals to use in perennial beds are airy weavers, stunning when grown in drifts or ribbons of a dozen or more plants. Many of these self-sow onto bare earth and will happily grow every year among your perennials for they take up little ground space. Oth…

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