Longing for a garden bursting with flowers in spring? Lisa shares her firsthand experiences growing the beauties of spring—hardy annuals in her book Cool Flowers. She introduces you to 30 hardy annuals that will become the stars of your garden, Snapdragons, Bells of Ireland, Sweet Peas and others. With Lisa’s simple planting how-to’s you’ll have a low maintenance, vibrant spring flower garden that keeps on blooming.
Excerpt from Cool Flowers:
Life with a Hardy Annual Garden
It’s a cold crisp morning in early spring and I’m walking the farm, eyeing the handiwork of fall and late winter. The hard work of preparing soil, starting from seed, planting, and mulching is nothing more than a faded memory as I admire the tall, sturdy snapdragons, their buds ready to burst open. I can hardly take my eyes off the snaps until I notice the sweet pea patch.
New little shoots of sweet pea vines are popping through the soil surrounding the baby vine I planted months earlier. The little vine I planted in the fall now appears wind-whipped and exhausted. However, I take heart in knowing that the frostbitten sweet pea vine planted long ago has done its job. It has fostered a root system through the winter that has grown into a well-established and strong foundation for this late spring bloomer to soar on. It brings a grin that is hard to lose when I think of those ‘Rocket’ snapdragons are the hardiest and the last snap variety to start blooming in my garden.sweet pea vines and snapdragons riding out the coming days, blooming like crazy, even in the midst of heat and humidity. These early season walks in the garden, allow me to explore and enjoy my garden in a new way. It is still chilly, but warmed by the bright afternoon sunshine. I investigate, pull a weed here and there, and even cut an early bird bloom to bring in the house. Just a single bloom from the garden in late March and early April takes a place of honor on my desk. Then I carry it to our kitchen table so we can all enjoy the message this bloom is bringing: spring is on its way. Before I discovered hardy annual gardening, my gardening experiences in late winter and early spring were more about scouring the gardening catalogs as they arrived and just dreaming. Now, it’s as if I have been given yet another season in my garden to enjoy.