Annuals are readily available at nurseries, Walmart and the supermarkets. A wide variety of annuals, e.g. petunias, calendulas, lobelia, enjoy our cool summers, but are susceptible to cold night temperatures, and frost in particular. If planted in pots, they can be covered or sheltered, should adverse weather be in the forecast. It is suggested that no annuals be planted before 15 June, lest they be destroyed by frost.

Some plants grow well from seed if sown in late fall, just before the first big snow. Mix the seed with some cheap soil before broadcasting. Examples are provided below:

Clarkia Clarkia amoena
Various forms of this genus provide are very colorful and bloom in August. They are annuals and may be grown from seed successfully, as seen in this photo of Dwarf Godetia (Clarkia amoena).



Cornflowers Centaurea cyanus
Blue cornflowers are the most successful, but mixed cornflowers – white, pink, mauve and deep purple – are available, too. They need water to germinate, but little once they have developed.


Cosmos Cosmos



Lobelia Lobelia species



Pansies and Johnny Jump Ups (Heartsease)  Viola
Pansies are hybrids of the genus Viola. They are a cool weather favorite and if nurtured will go on from year to year, but in general should be treated as an annual. Although their leaves and petals are delicate, they are surprisingly hardy, being able to tolerate mild frosts throughout the summer period. They are available in a variety of striking colors. Dead head pansies to encourage continuous blooming. Regrettably, deer like them, so be warned!

In early summer trays of pansies are available in the nurseries.

Pansies were created from Johnny Jump Ups, small, wild violas which were often used in herbal medicines in times gone by. The blooms of Johnny Jump Ups are much smaller, but have an appealing delicacy. They reseed easily. They are available from nurseries in the area, or can be grown from seed successfully.

Viola species


Petunia Petunia x hybrid
Most of the petunias we see in gardens today are hybrids. Originally from South America, petunias are related to plants such as tobacco, cape gooseberries, tomatoes and deadly nightshades which belong to the same plant family, Solanaceae. Petunia plants are abundant in the Summit County nurseries from mid June onwards, and grow well in our environment, but should be protected from frost as summer moves into fall. They do well in baskets and planters as will be seen in the streets of Breckenridge and Frisco during the summer.



Water is needed to germinate these annuals and to keep them going through our dry summers. They produce a most rewarding, tremendous show if water is available. The shortness of our summers does not allow the plants to produce viable seed, so new seeds must be planted annually.
Corn Poppies Papaver rhoeas
The traditional color is bright red, but shades of pink are available, too. Corn poppies are the wild variety of Papaver rhoeas.
Shirley Poppies Papaver rhoeas
They are the cultivated strain of corn poppy and may have single or double, red, pink or salmon flowers. The plant on which they grow is much stronger than that of the wild variety and the blooms are impressive.

Corn Poppies/Shirley Poppies

California Poppies Eschscholzia californica
Its genus, Eschsholzia, is different to other poppies, but it belongs in the same order, Ranunculales, and family, Papaveraceae, as other poppies. The California poppy is a colorful annual which blooms well in this environment. The traditional color is a gold yellow, but mixed seed can give rise to blooms in deep orange, white and pink colors. As can be seen in the photo, the poppies look great when mixed with other varieties and baby's breath.

California Poppies


Dahlia Dahlia



We try to educate our members and the community about gardening in Summit County and provide a social setting for informational exchanges to share the beauty of gardening with others.

There's lots going on in our Club and room for many to be involved. It's surprising how much we accomplish in our short Summit summer