The Difference Between An Annual & A Perennial: and other Life Tips


You might think from reading the title that this is a gardening post.


You’d be right- sort of.

Okay, let’s deal with the flowers first.

An Annual is a plant that has a very short life cycle. It will bloom for you this year only.

They usually come in an assortment of more saturated colors.

Why? Because they are genetically altered from their original parents to do just that- and appeal to you.

Their seeds (if you can find them) are mostly sterile. No use in propagation.

Annuals are shallow rooted. This means you don’t need to deeply water them (the H2O will pass right by) BUT you do need to water them often (close-to-the-surface roots dry out more quickly).

 They are priced more affordably because you will need to come back again and again, year after year.

I use them to fill in visual ‘holes’ in my ground garden and in hanging/potted displays (because they are seasonal), and I need to feel my flower garden is a Chelsea award winner, ’cause I’m that kind of egotist.

As for Perennials, I LOVE them.

Yes, they are pricey, but sooooo worth it.

First off, the selection of shape, color, texture, girth, and history  (yes, they have histories- don’t we all?) is all over the place.

I relish the thought that I have a rose that was smuggled out of France on the heels of the Nazi invasion, by a Swiss gardener, that was handed off to an American soldier, who got it back to his family’s farm in Pennsylvania, where they propagated it and it was presented in single stem form on each table at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945. 

It was named Peace

Oh my. 

Perennials are deep rooted, which means you don’t need to water as often, but when you do water, you need to water for a longer period of time.

These kinds of flowers will be planted once and will reward you for years.


Now, let’s discuss other forms of Annuals & Perennials and how to tell the difference:


Annual moola is paycheck to paycheck, without deep roots, hard-working, and very generous in spirit.

Perennial money is a trust-fund that still doesn’t tip well.


Wouldn’t it be lovely if  Annual love was like Under The Tuscan Sun? Alas, it is usually much sloppier, with less sunshine.

Perennial love is more like The Notebook (I’ll take James Garner any way I can get him).


Annual style was, once upon a time, getting a single tatoo. Look how that’s turned out.

Perennial style is the ability to look at old photographs and not puke.


An Annual vacation is one week to 10 days at the beach.

A Perennial vacation is France.


An Annual child never grows up.

A Perennial child sends you case of assorted wines for Mother’s Day. Oh yea…


Annual food is being a young mother and slinging grub on the table every damn day.

Perennial food happens after the children leave and you make reservations.


So, to sum up, whether you choose an Annual or a Perennial for your garden, be mindful of where you are on your life’s journey, and water correctly…

you will be richly rewarded.

My lovely annual snapdragons Antirrhinum PINIMAGE

My lovely annual snapdragons Antirrhinum ‘Sonnet Pink Mix’

  • Tammy - I am a perennial kind of gal and drink, uh, I mean hydrate regularly. It’s the least I can do for myself. I have a strong stomach when viewing old photos, Love James Garner (stand in line, Missy), and France is on my river cruise list this year. On the other hand, a one night annual has always been on my bucket list. Still living the dream!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - We will garden at midnight- together….ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - Hey! I thought this was “gardening naked!”ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Well it could be- is. Where are you?????ReplyCancel

  • Natalie D - I love this! I garden a little bit, so I love the way you describe the differences between annuals and perennials. Personally, I’m a fan of perennials. I love something that you can rely on, lol.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Of course- it’s always worth a little bit more effort- money. Love ya Nat!ReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - I had a Peace Rose at my house in Phoenix. Alas, the house is gone and apartments are there. I no longer garden. It’s all I can do to keep what I have alive. Fortunately, the lovely cacti that I have just keep blooming as does the rose. My children are perennials so that is all that matters in this stage of life.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Yes- Mari. The children are our final Perennial. The garden that we leave behind. PS: Have I told you how much I appreciate your stopping by here? No? Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Lisha Fink - Your snapdragons are lovely, but I want to see that rose!

    Thanks for the reminder that the things of value are worth the effort. Now I’m off to water my garden.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Lisha, it’s just finished blooming! It will have another ‘blush’ in Autumn so maybe a pic then? Your summary ‘that the things of value are worth the effort’ is a wonderful way to put into a concise sentence what I spent paragraphs saying. My cup (and mouth) runneth over! Thanks for stopping by!ReplyCancel

  • Diane - Absolutely inspired! Sharing . . .ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Are you just the sweetest gal around? I think so! Thank you Diane. Always a pleasure to see you here! XXOOReplyCancel

  • Kathleen O'Donnell - What a great post!ReplyCancel

  • Sue Pekarek - Thank you for the watering difference and such a fun way to think of flowers. We threw a dead rose plant away into a covered garbage can and were in awe when we opened the can some time later and found the rose had come back to life and then replanted it. Peace be with you. ReplyCancel

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