annuals

Bring flowers inside with a cutting garden.

I love a good vegetable garden.  You get the benefit of home grown herbs and veggies and the satisfaction of doing it  yourself.  But I also love flowers!  That is why I also plant a small cutting garden so that I may enjoy flowers inside my home as well as outside!

You’ll get the most flowers from annuals, here are a few of my favorites!

Dahlia (vase life 5-7 days)-these come in an array of colors and sizes.  Some blooms are so big they call them dinner plate dahlias!

Zinnia (vase life 7-10 days)-you’ll want the medium to tall ones to use for cut flowers.  The more you cut them the more flowers will bloom!

Celosia (vase life 10-14 days)-these are either a plume type (feathery spike) or crested (rounded mass).  They come in bright colors and also make great dried flowers.

Cosmos (vase life 4-6 days)-these are like sweet overgrown daisies to me.  They come a spectrum of pinks and white.  They are delicate but pretty flowers.

Larkspur (vase life 5-7 days)-this is the annual version of your perennial delphinium.  Impressive spikes of blues, pinks and white!

Snapdragon (vase life 7-10 days)-another impressive spike in an array of colors.

Sweet peas (vase life 4-5 days)-this is a vine so you’ll need a trellis.  But the fragrance is why I love these.  They smell like heaven!

As you fill your vase with fresh cut flowers be sure to check out the landscape as well.  There are  a number of perennials and shrubs that will help beef up that arrangement.  Look for hydrangeas in bloom, grasses for a wispy elegance, foliage from trees and shrubs and the list goes on!

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Winter landscape dull no more!

Brighten your winter landscape by decorating your annual pots and beds with evergreens.  Or lighting your trees to make a festive glow. There are so many options available that can really make your landscape pop!

We like to use:

  • many assorted evergreens, to give each of our designs depth.
  • branches such as magnolia, winterberry and birch poles to give height and dimension.
  • accents to make each design your own: pine cones, ribbon, ornaments!

We design around your style and tastes.  Contact us for more information.

This area of the home is where most of the activity occurs, so it was the perfect area to decorate.

Birch poles give these planters much needed height in this open area.

Accents selected by the homeowner are added to the front entry pots.

A metal sphere adds a twist to this entrance planter!

Don’t forget to light up your landscape!

photo by Linda Oyama Bryan

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You don’t have to wait til May…

To have beautiful spring flowers.

There is that small window of time from winter to full on spring where we are stuck with not much blooming around us.  An easy remedy is to fill your planters and a few planting beds with forced blooming plants.  From pansies, tulips to hyacinths it’s easy to get that burst of much need color!

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Just because…

Just because the leaves have fallen, the grass goes dormant and it’s getting cold doesn’t mean you can’t spruce up your annual pots!

There aren’t any “winter” flowers to add but you sure can display some beautiful winter greens in your pots!

What a warm welcome on a cold day!

There is quite the assortment of beautiful evergreens in varying shades of green to blue that will last until spring.  Add in branches, berries, pine cones and seed pods.  For added color you can include ribbons or lights!  It’s all up to your imagination, don’t let the winter doldrums limit you!

Holiday Pot

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Don’t want to brave the cold, then call on our team to get the job done for you! Just contact us here: Van Zelst, Inc.

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Bring on spring!

Extending the look and the season by adding containers throughout the landscape is a terrific way to accessorize–in a small space or as focal points within a sweeping environment.  Containers allow you to incorporate plants into the patio or near the home, add height and artistic appeal, and update the garden from season to season.

We can start by punctuating the landscape with bursts of color as early as Late March into April.  We use forced bulbs, branches, pansies, and other cold hardy annuals to welcome spring. Contact us now, Van Zelst Inc, to bring instant color to your yard!

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Has Fall finally arrived?

Is summer really over?  It’s starting to feel like fall with cooler days and nights.   Let’s talk about fun fall annuals.  We mostly think of, and see, a lot of mums and pansies.  But there are a plethora of other plants to fill your landscape with later fall colors!

As with most annuals we look forward to various colored flowers, but did you know that you can also use leafy greens and ornamental peppers to spice up you fall planters?!

Ornamental peppers produce colorful little fruits that are round or pointed. They are so attractive in their own right that they can be grown just for show — not eating. The peppers are indeed edible, but usually flavor is lacking compared to peppers grown for the table.

Kale is the new super-food, but did you know ornamental kale and cabbage look great with mums and pansies?  They are varied in colors and texture.  And the cooler it gets the brighter the colors become!  And like the ornamental peppers these plants are also edible (but really are too pretty to consume!).

Another great foliage plant to add to your planters is Heuchera.  There are many varied  colors from golden yellow, deep purple to caramel colored leaves!  These plants are actually perennials but can serve as an “annual” in your planters.

Whether you mix them up or plant en mass, there are lots of options for fall color!
Contact us now to get your garden blooming for fall!

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If it feels like fall, it must be!

My favorite time of year.  Although our first official fall day won’t be until September 23rd!  With a string of cooler days and nights the plants are telling us fall is coming!  Some of the leaves are just starting to change and the summer annuals are looking pretty sad.  So now is the time to switch it up and add some color to those planters.  You could get another two months from them!

So fall makes you think of mums, kale and pansies.  These might be the staples of the fall annual garden but there are lots of other materials you can use to brighten up those fall planters.

Check out these fun planters filled with color and fun textures!

This one is filled with pretty purple mums, bold annual rudbeckias, millet, weeping ornamental pepper plants and pansies. It certainly brightens up a drab corner.


This planter is accented with a fun contrast of purple and white. We used annual fountain grass, black pearl peppers, himalayan honeysuckle, ornamental kale, mums, pansies, weeping ornamental pepper and then accented it with a cute white pumpkin.

Try mixing it up by adding some of these accents to your fall planter!

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Stretch…

Extending your annuals season to season. We all get excited for summer and filling our planters with beautiful annuals. But why sell yourself short when you can have plants in all the seasons.

Start your spring off with a planter filled with tulips, daffodils and pansies. These are great early plants that will bring a bright spot to your entryway.

Here are a few more ideas to fill your planter!

  • Curly willow for height.
  • Beautiful hydrangea for a focal point.
  • Snapdragons, ranunculus and stock for a punch of color.
  • Ivy for added green.

Get more ideas here!

And when summers flowers fade don’t forget fall and winter annuals!

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