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Annuals for Every Purpose: Choose the Right Plants for Your Conditions, Your Garden, and Your Taste

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Annuals are very much back in style after the decades-long perennial revolution. You see annuals in every garden, with the old-fashioned flowers still among the most popular. With new varieties being launched every year and older ones (many dating back more than four or five years) disappearing just as quickly, gardeners need help sorting them out. Author Larry Hodgson tells you what to look for among the numerous new introductions: greater adaptability to growing conditions, longer period of bloom, improved ...
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Overview

Annuals are very much back in style after the decades-long perennial revolution. You see annuals in every garden, with the old-fashioned flowers still among the most popular. With new varieties being launched every year and older ones (many dating back more than four or five years) disappearing just as quickly, gardeners need help sorting them out. Author Larry Hodgson tells you what to look for among the numerous new introductions: greater adaptability to growing conditions, longer period of bloom, improved insect and disease resistance, and more -- everything, in fact, that you need to know to make growing annuals both simple and fun. You'll discover: - How to cut back tired annuals, like sweet alyssum, to get them to rebloom even more intensely than before. - How to save money by taking cuttings of so-called "designer" annuals, using one plant to create many. - All about overwintering numerous "annuals" that are really tropical perennials. - Which cool-loving annuals you can sow in the fall so they can sprout when the conditions are perfect the following spring. - Simple tricks that make designing with annuals a snap. - And much, much more! You'll find annual gardening has never been easier -- or more exciting -- than when you have Annuals for Every Purpose as a handy reference.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
From choosing seeds to grooming and fertilizing, veteran gardening writer Hodgson (Perennials for Every Purpose) guides readers through the making of an annual garden. He explains what to look for at the nursery, how to design with annuals and how to keep plants blooming all summer long. True to its title, the book includes encyclopedic listings of annuals suited to every imaginable whim, whether gardeners want their flowers to bloom in the shade, attract birds and butterflies, hang in baskets or make pleasing dried arrangements. Hodgson's entries include growing tips for each plant, potential problems and quirks, and suggestions for "good neighbors" to plant beside it. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"There are three things that I feel should go into any book about gardening. The first is, Will it help the gardener in the garden? The second is, Will the readers, be they professional or amateur, understand what is written? The third is, Will there be new and old territory covered in the book? Larry's book covers all three and then some!"—Bob Tanem, host of the San Francisco Bay Area's #1 radio garden show, "Bob Tanem in the Garden," on KSFO

"Colorful and down-to-earth, this wonderful book tells you everything you need to know about growing annuals in your garden. And there's an abundance of great hints about using these wonderful plants in your landscape."—Ed Hume, host of the television show "Gardening in America"

"In the rush to embrace perennials, many of us seem to have forgotten the simple pleasure of planting a seed and watching it grow. Larry Hodgson hasn't forgotten, and this book provides all the whys and how-to's you'll need. Whether you want vases full of flowers all summer or rich color after the burst of June perennials, annuals fill many needs and niches in every garden. This excellent reference will reintroduce you to the wonderful plants you thought you could find only in six-packs at the garden center. Beginners will find it invaluable, and those of us who've grown annuals all along will find many helpful tips and ideas."—Renée Beaulieu, Internet editor, White Flower Farm and Shepherd's Garden Seeds

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Larry Hodgson is a well-known garden writer, lecturer, and media personality. He is a regular contributor to gardening magazines such as Horticulture, Harrowsmith, and Canadian Gardening, has authored several successful books, including A Garden Lover's Guide to Canada, Houseplants for Dummies, and the best-selling Perennials for Every Purpose, and co-authored others, such as All about Perennials.

Larry's a favorite on the lecture circuit for gardening groups in the United States and Canada and he can be seen on French-language television, both as a host and as a guest. He is a former editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine and a radio garden commentator for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He is also a gardening columnist for several Internet sites, including Icangarden.com. He leads garden tours all over the world, visiting public and private gardens on various continents.

Larry lives with his wife and children in Sainte-Foy, Quebec, just outside of Quebec City. He studied at the University of Toronto and Laval University, where he earned a degree in modern languages. Always involved in every aspect of gardening, Larry volunteers for various gardening organizations and is presently national director for Region VII of the Garden Writers Association of America. In addition, he finds enough spare time to appear in community theater productions for the Quebec Art Company.
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Table of Contents

A letter from Larry viii
Part 1 Annual Gardening Made Easy x
Getting Your Garden Started 2
Annuals & Their Place in the Garden 3
Preparing the Site 3
Starting from Seed 4
Multiplying by Cuttings 7
Planting Annuals in the Garden 8
The Container Option 8
Picking the Perfect Annuals 10
What Is an Annual? 11
10 Things to Look For in an Annual 12
A Note of Caution 13
Buying Annuals 13
Buying Smart 15
Designing with Annuals 16
Design Basics 17
Beyond "Borders" 18
The 10 Commandments of Annual Design 19
Garden Designs with a Purpose 19
Keeping Annuals Alive & Kicking 28
Back to Basic 29
The ABCs of Grooming 30
Water Wisely 31
Fertilizing for Good Growth 32
Overwintering Annuals 32
Know Thine Enemies 32
Part 2 Choosing the Best Annuals 36
Multipurpose Annuals 38
Annuals to Sow Directly Outdoors 70
Drought-Resistant Annuals 96
Annuals for Cool Conditions 126
Annuals That Bloom in the Shade 150
Low-Growing Annuals for Beautiful Borders 172
Giants for the Back of the Garden 192
Climbing Annuals 214
Annuals for Cut & Dried Arrangements 242
Annuals with Decorative Fruits or Foliage 278
Flowering Annuals for Containers & Hanging Baskets 304
Foliage Annuals for Containers & Hanging Baskets 332
Annuals for Bees, Birds & Butterflies 362
Acknowledgments 390
Photo Credits 390
Sources 391
Recommended Reading 392
Index 393
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map 406
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