A true annual is a plant that completes its life cycle in one year. This means it goes from seed to seed and then dies off, during the course of one growing season. The whole mission of an annual is to produce seed and propagate. That’s why deadheading or removing spent flowers before the seed matures, produces more flowers and therefore more potential seed.
Perennial plants are the backbone of every successful landscape and garden border. They are available in a wide range of sizes, colors and blooming seasons. Perennials grow and bloom over the spring and summer and then die back every autumn and winter, then return in the spring, bigger and better with every passing season. Typically, they grow from their root stock rather than seeding themselves as an annual plant does. These are known as herbaceous perennials. However, depending on the rigors of local climate, a plant that is a perennial in its native habitat, or in a milder garden, may be treated by a gardener as an annual and planted out every year, from seed, from cuttings or from divisions.
Evergreen and flowering shrubs are the backbone of any landscape. Whether it is in a foundation planting or a garden border there is a wide range of plant material that can add depth and dimension to your garden. There are two types of shrubs: deciduous and evergreen. Deciduous shrubs such as Lilac, Forsythia and certain types of Azaleas will flower, foliate and then lose their foliage in the fall season.
An herb is any plant used whole or in part as an ingredient for health, flavor, or fragrance. Herbs can be used to make teas; perk up cooked foods such as meats, vegetables, sauces, and soups; or to add flavor to vinegars, butters, dips, or mustards. Many herbs are grown for their fragrance and are used in potpourris, sachets, and nosegays; or to scent bath water, candles, oils, or perfumes. More than 25% of our modern drugs contain plant extracts as active ingredients, and researchers continue to isolate valuable new medicines from plants and confirm the benefits of those used in traditional folk medicine.