How to Plan an Annual Flower Garden

In this article we are going to learn How to Plan an Annual Flower Garden. The countless species and varieties of annuals offer a huge diversity of plants and flowers that you can use to fill your garden. To make it easier to choose a few specific annuals for your garden from all these available varieties, try to envision and plan your garden before you actually start buying and planting. In particular, keep in mind:

  • Color
  • Height
  • Timing
  • Fragrance
  • Growing requirements


Annuals Color

Annuals come in a rainbow of colors. When planning which annuals you want to grow in your garden, pay attention both to how the colors of the flowers will complement one another and the surrounding context of your house and garden.

To choose flowers with that work well together color-wise, you can use a color wheel. On the color wheel, the following combinations go well together:

  • Primary colors: Red, blue, and yellow are the primary colors, which can be mixed to form all the colors.
  • Adjacent colors: Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, such as blue and purple or orange and yellow.
  • Complementary colors: Colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, such as orange and blue.

Another way to use color in your garden is to plant annuals that are all different shades of the same color.


Annuals grow to very different heights, from just a few inches all the way up to 8 feet in the case of sunflowers. Your garden will look best if you plant shorter plants in front of taller ones—use the shortest plants to edge the bed, with taller plants behind them, and even taller plants in the center of the bed. This layering effect ensures that all your annuals will be visible and will get the light they need.


Because different annuals bloom at different times of the season, you can plan not just the layout of your garden but how its blooms will grow and change over time.

As you plan out your garden, pay attention to whether the annuals you select are cool-season or warm-season. Imagine how different parts of the garden will bloom at different times.

Also consider not just the flowers you want to plant in the spring but whether and with what you want to replace the flowers that stop blooming in the middle of the growing season.


When you buy a bouquet of cut flowers, you probably think as much about the flowers’ fragrance as their appearance. You should approach your garden in the same way: different annuals have distinctly different fragrances, and you may want to consider the plants in your garden based on how they smell in addition to how they look.

Growing Requirements

If you put annuals in locations where they won’t thrive, your garden that looks beautiful on paper may not look beautiful in real life.

When planning an annual garden, you must take into account the growing requirements and preferences for each of the flowers that you’d like to plant. When considering an annual and where you want to put it, make sure the spot meets the plant’s requirements for:

  • Sun or shade
  • Water
  • Soil

Even if you’ve found two annuals that seem like they’d look terrific next to each other, you still have to take into account the plants’ requirements. For instance, if one of the annuals prefers full sun while the other prefers shade, you’ll have a tough time finding a place where they can thrive next to each other.