Annuals that reseed, rain barrels, and events for green thumbs
Ask an Expert: I’d like to interplant my perennial bed with annuals that will reseed, giving me color year after year. Do you have any suggestions?
“Try zinnias, coreopsis, cleome, cosmos [shown above], and gomphrena, all available in a rainbow of colors. Deadheading blooms delays seed production and can extend the growing season. However, when the season is over, stop clipping off spent flowers; instead, allow them to dry and drop their seeds. The seeds will need to make contact with the soil, so be sure not to heavily mulch the area. You can also harvest some of the seeds, store them through the winter, and manually sow them next season.”
Charleston’s rainiest season starts next month; make the most of stormy weather—and score a deal—by purchasing a 50-gallon Ivy rain barrel during the Charleston County Government and Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium sale. Until May 27, residents can order a barrel (discounted to $68 from $129) at rainbarrelprogram.org/ashleycooper, then pick it up at Summerville’s Gahagan Park or North Charleston’s Lonnie Hamilton Public Services Building on June 1 or 2.
Dig In: What’s happening this month?
Japanese maple enthusiasts won’t want to miss this Charleston Horticultural Society lecture. Brothers Matt and Tim Nichols are visiting from North Carolina’s Nichols Nursery, which propagates more than 1,000 cultivars of the ornamental tree. The Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting St. Monday, 6:30 p.m. $10; free for CHS member. chashortsoc.org
May 26 & June 2
Behind the Garden Gate
Join Spoleto Festival USA, the Charleston Horticultural Society, and The Garden Conservancy for tours that each feature eight private gardens. Locations vary. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $75. spoletousa.org