An annual plant is a plant that usually germinates, flowers, and dies in a year or season. 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. In gardening, annual often refers to a plant grown outdoors in the spring and summer and surviving just for one growing season.
Perennials, especially small flowering plants, grow and bloom over the spring and summer and then die back every autumn and winter, then return in the spring from their root-stock, in addition to 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.
The geranium is an annual flower named for the horseshoe-shaped band of dark color in the leaves of most varieties. Annual geraniums are upright bushes covered with red, pink, salmon, white, rose, cherry-red, or bicolored flowers on long stems held above the plant.
Trees are an important component of the natural landscape because of their prevention of erosion and the provision of a weather-sheltered ecosystem in and under their foliage. They also play an important role in producing oxygen and reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as well as moderating ground temperatures. They are also elements in landscaping and agriculture, both for their aesthetic appeal and their orchard crops (such as apples).
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m (15–20 ft) tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience. Small, low shrubs such as lavender, periwinkle and thyme are often termed subshrubs. An area of cultivated shrubs in a park or garden is known as a shrubbery. When clipped as topiary, shrubs generally have dense foliage and many small leafy branches growing close together. Many shrubs respond well to renewal pruning, in which hard cutting back to a ‘stool’ results in long new stems known as “canes”. Other shrubs respond better to selective pruning to reveal their structure and character.
Vegetables and Herbs
Growing fresh vegetables, herbs, or fruits provides a great sense of joy and accomplishment. A vegetable garden can also reduce the family’s food budget, and it can be a source of hard-to-find vegetables such as Chinese cabbage, horseradish, and pak choi. One of the main reasons that people garden is that vegetables from the supermarket cannot compare in taste, quality, or freshness with vegetables grown in the home garden.