Get inspired with this fun and easy gardening DIY project for your home. We’ll show you which annuals and perennials work best together and how to use tone-on-tone to achieve a sophisticated look.

Image of Maria Killam inside of a black circle
By Maria Killam

Before I became a first-time homeowner four years ago, I didn't know the difference between an annual and perennial. It was only when we ripped out our entire front and backyard one year later and started buying new shrubs and plants that I learned what they were.

Since then, I've planted annuals every year because then you have wonderful colour all summer, while my perennials start in the spring and take turns blooming. Perennials usually only bloom for approximately four weeks, for you city dwellers who may not know the difference.

Everyone loves a before and after, so in addition to the photos of my annuals from Lowe's, I thought I'd include some before pictures of the exterior of my garden when we took possession before the transformation happened.

Before & After

Before picture of Maria Killam


After picture of Maria Killam


I have a white-on-white garden, so I usually clear out the white section when I get to the nursery.

My mom loves colour so when she plants annuals, her garden is a riot of colour. This year, I convinced her to go with pink and yellow and it looks much prettier than prior years when she just picked a bunch of random colours.

My advice for a garden that looks like you should charge admission is to do the same. Annuals that are really low maintenance for deadheading are alyssum and petunias. I also chose geraniums to add to the mix.

The day my gardener was here planting the annuals, she asked where I bought them; there were so many in each flat, she wanted her clients to get the inside scoop on where to buy annuals for their gardens.

Adding Annuals

Yellow and white flowers and green shrubbery in front of Maria Killam


Various plants and a green lawn in front of Maria Killam

Potato Vines

Usually my annuals are a lot bigger by now, but we've had a long stretch of rain this spring, so they are only now having a growth spurt.


We ripped out a lot of concrete the year we did this outdoor renovation!


Annuals are great for containers and filling in empty spots in your garden.

White hydrangeas on the right, green lawn on the left

Maria Killam standing at the back of her car with the door open to show flowers inside

White flowers on the left, green lawn on the right

About the Author

Image of Maria Killam inside of a black circle

Maria Killam

Colour Me Happy

Founder and CEO of Understanding Undertones, Maria Killam is a decorator, author, speaker, and internationally sought-after colour expert.

You can connect with Maria on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest

Related Articles