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Table of Contents
Theme articles

  • What Are Annual And Biennial Plants? by Elizabeth Punter
  • Using Perennials As Annuals by Jim Kohut
  • The Miracle and Suspense of Seeds by Carla Zelmer
  • How to Read a Seed Packet by Carla Hrycyna
  • Seeding Annuals Outside by Susanne Olver and Linda Pearn
  • Dancing Queens of the Garden: A Spotlight on Annuals by Marilyn Dudek
  • Uninvited Annuals by Frances Wershler
  • Impatiens – Busy Lizzy has never been busier by Dorothy Dobbie
  • Falling for Flowers (the Cool Ones!) by Carla Hrycyna
  • Marigolds by Miles Duncan
  • Touch-Me-Not by Shirley Froehlich
  • Petunias by John Van Beveren
  • Understanding Coleus: the Garden’s Kaleidoscope by Dr. Bob Bors
  • The Nonstop Begonia - An Exotic for Prairie Gardens by Allan J. Murphy
  • Osteospermum 101 by Jared Van Beveren
  • Dahlias for the Prairies by John Rempel
  • Fuchsia by Sue McLeod
  • The Other Potato Plants – Ipomoeas and Solanums by Carla Hrycyna
  • The Ukrainian Mal’va by Orysia Tracz
  • Cool Annuals by Alfred G. Prins
  • Annual Vines by Valerie Denesiuk
  • Swayed to Use Grasses by Carla Hrycyna
  • Annuals for Shade by Dorothy Dobbie
  • Biennials by Ed Czarnecki
  • Biennial Vegetables by Ed Czarnecki
  • Callas and Cannas – The Other Lilies by Carla Hrycyna and Claire Berube
  • Geraniums by Ray Mryglod
  • Seed to Success by Carla Hrycyna
  • Designing Flowerbeds with Annuals and Creating an English Cottage Garden in the Prairies by Rosie Chard
  • Osteos by Ray Myrglod
  • The Sun’s Flower by Evelyn Ione Turner
  • Recommended List of Annual Flowers for Manitoba
  • Recommended List of Cut Flowers by Carla Hrycyna and Ed Czarnecki
  • Insects which Feed on Annual Plants in the Prairie Garden by Terry Galloway

General Articles

  • Benefits of Companion Planting by Jeannette Adams
  • Companion Planting by Ken Land
  • Growing Gladiolus by Ken Land
  • The Story of a Hummingbird by Carla Hrycyna
  • Popular Poppies by Frances Wershler
  • The New Garden Complex at the International Peace Garden by Douglas Hevenor
  • Pond Plants by Ken Land
  • Window Pain by Sherrie Versluis
  • Musings of a Zone 1 Gardener by Darm Crook
  • Problems and Solutions for Pine and Cedar Trees and Shrubs on The Prairies by Michael Allen
  • Hellebores – Pushing The Envelope And Raising The Bar by Sandy Venton
  • The Gardens of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission by Warren Otto
  • Acidifying Garden Soils by Ieuan Evans
  • To Demystify the Alpine by Amanda Botincan
  • “Fast Plant Nation” by Colleen Zacharias
  • 50 Years Ago – The New African Violet by A. W. Sellers
  • The 2009 Prairie Garden Award for Excellence by Linda Pearn
Carla Hrycyna
Carla Hrycyna

The 2010 Prairie Garden

Annuals & Biennials

The guest editor, Carla Hrycyna, is president and co-owner of St. Mary’s Nursery & Garden Centre Ltd. Fifteen years of retail greenhouse management blends nicely with her natural flair for landscape design. Carla is also the primary grower for St. Mary’s Nursery instilling the “sown and grown by St. Mary’s” philosophy. Carla has been nominated for Manitoba Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 award.

The Guest Editorial

PetuniasOver the past quarter century, gardening has undergone significant change. Gone are the days of simplistic landscape design when a city garden may have consisted of only a select number and type of annuals. The focus on residential curb appeal through the use of annuals was virtually non-existent nor did the garden exist as a typical venue for a recreational pastime. Displays of large colourful gardens were generally restricted to the formal grounds of large institutions or paired with vegetable gardens in rural communities.

Gardening in the 21st Century has gained interest not only as an enjoyable pastime but also as a growing movement to beautify and enhance life in communities and urban centres. The desire to create luxurious gardens with all elements of plant material has exploded. The knowledge and creativity to achieve this goal has also evolved with a wealth of resource material available to today’s home gardener. The 2010 issue of The Prairie Garden explores the theme of Annuals and Biennials and will enhance the reader’s understanding of the diverse selections available at local garden centres.

Recommended List of Annuals for the PrairiesThirty years ago The Prairie Garden featured the topic of annuals which today takes on a new meaning. Gardeners across the prairies continue to explore beyond the boundaries of the traditional definition of annuals. The interesting result is that some of the plant selections and their uses described in this edition of The Prairie Garden may not conform precisely to what has been past practice.

“The Miracle and Suspense of Seeds” by Dr. Carla Zelmer begins by portraying the process of seeding in easy to understand steps. The stage is then set with landscape designer Rosie Chard’s article “Designing with Annuals” which provides practical uses for garden favourites including dahlias, begonias, fuchsias, gladiolas and impatiens. The reader will be introduced to new ways to enjoy old favourites combined with an appreciation for exciting new introductions and color selections.

GeraniumsGeranium varieties, for example, have expanded from zonal (bedding) varieties to ivies, scented and Regal, including novelties such as Vancouver Centennial and the intriguing Crystal Palace Gem. Petunias have undergone dramatic change, as described in John Van Beveren’s article, with many new varieties on the horizon. Older floribundas and grandifloras are now combined with mini petunias (Piccola Series), Calibrachoa, Wave, and Cascade. This scenario is the same for many other annual varieties.

Increased demand for the use of plant material in an ‘annual’ capacity has driven gardeners to experiment with the use of perennials in their plantings. Not only do we use perennials hardy to our zones for both beds and containers, but the more adventurous of us are exploring the use of tender perennials for the impact of a single season of display.

ContainersA garden can be planted for all seasons. Annuals, although limited to a single growing season, play an integral role in adding color, texture and drama to the garden. Whereas the harsh prairie winter dictates to a large extent the plant choices available to gardeners, the choice of annuals is almost endless. Within these pages you will find inspiration to seek out the many selections now available at your local garden centre. Readers will enjoy the 32 pages of stunning photos and anticipate the opportunity that springtime brings to plant some of their favourites.

With this edition, The Prairie Garden is proud to continue in its commitment to contribute the most up to date information on plants available to the prairie gardener. “The science and history of plants teach us, but it is the wisdom of a true gardener that inspires us.”


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An annual plant is one that usually germinates, flowers, and dies in one year. True annuals will only live longer than a year if they are prevented from setting seed. Some seedless plants can also be considered annuals even though they do not grow a flower. A biennial plant is a flowering plant that takes two years to complete its biological lifecycle with an over-wintering between the first and second year.

©2017 The Prairie Garden Committee