Spring Starts Here

Annuals provide exciting color in the spring when gardeners are ready for the first signs of life in their garden. Here in Hampton Roads, our average last frost date is April 15, which can vary from the Oceanfront (April 1) to Williamsburg (April 25).

We love these early spring annuals, as they are a somewhat safe bet for the early spring weather fluctuations. We recommend any of these right now:

Zonal Geraniums - with their large, bright flowers and attractive foliage, there is a spot in every garden for this popular plant. Available in a variety of colors including reds, pinks, white, salmon and lavender. Variegated leaves can add an even more striking presence. Ideal for adding pockets of color in any sunny spot or group together for impact in flower borders. Geraniums are classics in containers, used by themselves or mixed with other plants. Plant in well drained soil in full sun or partial shade after danger of hard frost has passed.

Petunias - one of the most popular annuals offer a bright and lively bloom in the garden. Available in a variety of colors this trumpet shaped flower is a prolific bloomer. It can be used alone or mixed with other plants in containers, hanging baskets, window boxes and annual beds. Most varieties will bloom throughout the summer in sun to partial shade.

Million Bells - produces masses of small, colorful, petunia-like flowers that cover long, cascading stems. Available in a range of color including red, yellow, orange, blue, purple, pink and white. Can be used alone or mixed with other plants in containers, hanging baskets, window boxes and annual beds. Thrives in full sun in well-drained, light soil.

Diamond Frost Euphorbia – described as a 'blooming machine' this annual plant produces small white flowers resembling Baby's Breath that bloom non-stop. A perfect choice for containers as both a spiller and a filler. Can also be used to soften walkways and walls. Is heat and drought tolerant, but does best in partial shade.

Sweet Potato Vine - grown for its decorative foliage and vigorous growth habit, this fast growing annual is both bold and beautiful. Available in lime green, purple, red and tricolor, Its cascading foliage is perfect for containers, window boxes or planted by itself. Can also be used as a groundcover since it spreads quickly. The large tuberous roots are edible but most have a poor flavor or even a bitter taste. Thrives in a bright, sunny location but will also grow in partial shade.