As I've written before, I hate to water. I know I must, but if I can avoid it, I'm happy. So I'm looking for annuals that don't need much water. My search has netted a long list of possibilities for my annual spots this summer. Here are a few suggestions:
Calendula officinalis (common name pot marigold): sun to partial shade, this annual has gold, red or yellow flowers from summer to fall. It grows 12 to 24 inches.
Nicotiana alata (common name nicotiana): Lime green, red, white and yellow flowers from summer to fall in sun to partial shade; I purchased several heirloom nicotianas that I'm sure we'll enjoy - the grower said they will have a lovely scent. These reseed so they will continue to give you pleasure for years to come.
Gomphrena globosa (common name globe amaranth): Blooming late spring to early fall in sun to part shade, this lovely annual flowers in lavender, orange, pink, purple, red or white at a height of 12 to 24 inches.
Cleome hasslerana (common name cleome or spider flower): An unusual bloom in pink, purple or white at 36 to 72 inches, a popular cultivar is Sparkler Mix.
Lobularia maritime (common name sweet alyssum): Flowering spring to early fall, this all-time favorite produces clouds of purple, red, or white blossoms at a height of 3 to 10 inches.
Portulaca grandiflora (common name portulaca or moss rose): These beautiful succulents flower summer to early fall in full sun in orange, rose, yellow and white. At 8 inches tall, some favorite cultivars include Duet, Margarita Banna, Sundial, Mango, Sundial Peach, Sunnyside Flame and Yubi Summer Joy.
Melampodium paludosum (common name melampodium): Yellow flowers in late spring to early fall in full sun at 18 to 24 inches tall; popular cultivars include Million Gold and Showstar.
Dyssodia tennuiloba (common name Dahlberg daisy): These have dainty yellow flowers and thrive in hot conditions from spring through fall. They grow to approximately 6 to 8 inches tall.
Senecio cineraria (common name dusty miller): This annual makes an attractive foliage plant that works well in the foreground, and its gray makes it a good plant for bringing other plants together. It comes in many varieties.
Gaillardia pulchella (common name blanket flower): Annual gaillardia is a low-growing, colorful plant in warm colors that appears fringed; it grows in full sun and blooms from summer to early fall at 18 to 24 inches tall.