Field of Tulips

Lawns and Ornamentals



Annual flowers are used primarily to brighten the landscape with abundant amounts of color. They are unsurpassed for adding interest to beds or borders or in pots or containers on the patio or deck. They may also be used for cut flowers, rock gardens, window boxes, hanging baskets, screens, temporary fillers and ground covers [ text: University of Missouri Cooperative Extension].

  • Flowering Annuals: Characteristics and Culture, University of Missouri Cooperative Extension publication. Offered as a free pdf download, this site includes chapters on how to define an “annual”? types and special uses, starting seeds or buying plants, soil preparation, seeding outdoors, setting started plants, maintenance, insects & diseases, and uses of annuals.
  • Growing Annual Flowers, an 8-page PDF from University of Montana Cooperative Extension, includes content on planning flower gardens, starting plants indoors and caring for a garden. It also includes diagrams and table of ornamental and cultural characteristics of 73 common flowers.
  • Annuals on the website of the University of Minnesota Extension describes and lists hardy / half-hardy / tender annuals, provides a database to help choose annuals according to their design features, and includes links to general resources on plant propagation, training, pruning, mulching/watering, nutrition, weed management and insects/diseases.
  • Growing Annuals In Containers from Iowa State University Extension is a 2-page pdf that covers how to choose a container and growing media, recommended annuals for flowering or foliage, as well as fertiling and maintaining your container garden.
  • Annual flower trials at Cornell University includes images and data for hundreds of flower varieties.
  • Home Gardening on the Cornell Home Gardening website includes flower growing guides with detailed handouts on 269 annual and perennial flowering and foliage plants, as well as basic techniques for effective garden design.
  • Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance from Rutgers University Cooperative Extension. List includes both annuals and perennials that have shown resistance to deer pressure in their trials.
  • Flower Gardening: Annuals on the CCE of Oneida County website.  Includes fact sheets prepared by their staff on: AnnualsSoil Preparation and on the following specific annual flowering plants, AgeratumBachelor ButtonsBegoniaCockscombColeusFuchsiasGeraniumsGerbera DaisyMarigoldsNasturtiumPansyPetuniaPortulacaSalviaSnapdragonSpeedwellSweet Alyssum & Zinnia.


  • Lawn Care is a 47-page booklet pdf by Lori J. Brewer available on the Cornell Turf Grass website that includes chapters on steps to success, advanced care, starting a new lawn, and lawn care.
  • Cornell Turfgrass Program includes extensive information on lawns, sports turf, golf turf, pests and the environment. See:
  • Lawn Care Without Pesticides by Frank Rossi, Cornell turf grass specialist, is a 20-page publication that covers how to use IPM methods to grow and maintain a lawn without pesticides (2005).
  • The NYS Integrated Pest Management offers a how to guide for lawn care without harmful pesticides.
  • provides online lawn and garden publications for each state.
  • Have a Beautiful Yard without the Chemicals – This NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation page offers tips and resources for having a chemical free yard.
  • Legal Issues Concerning Lawn Fertilizer (1/2012) This NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation page explains new regulations regarding phosphorus-containing fertilizer and runoff. The new law will improve water quality in drinking water supplies, as well as improving recreation and tourism in waterbodies negatively affected by excessive amounts of phosphorus.

Native Plants

The  Westchester Community College Native Plant Center has a list of native plants they consider garden worthy.

Please use this list as a starting point. Native plants often have very specific cultural requirements and success in growing them often depends on reproducing the native habitat. Many references can provide more information on the type of soil, etc. that would be best for a given species. Many of these plants are not available in standard nurseries, but are readily propagated from seed. FLNPS has a members’ seed exchange, and can provide information on propagation. Please see the note on collecting under “Status” below.

Abbreviations & Codes Used in Table:

  1. Cultural Needs: Moisture- Wet, Mesic/Moist/Regular garden conditions or Dry; Light- Sun, part Sun, p Shade, Shade; Soil requirements (only strong preference noted) – Humus-rich woodland, Sandy, Rocky/stony; pH preference (only strong preference noted)- Acidic, Neutral or Lime loving.
  2. Status: NY State or Finger Lakes population status – not necessarily legal status. “Exploitably vulnerable” plants are not indicated if populations are OK in the Finger Lakes. (This status includes nearly all ferns and orchids, and prohibits collection.) Please review legal status and observe all guidelines for ethical, sustainable harvest prior to collecting any seed/spores from the wild. Never collect/dig entire plants.
  3. Bloom time: Mar/Early April=E Spring through Nov=L Fall
  4. Codes: *=particularly recommended for gardens, F=showy fruit, T=used in traditional 19thCentury gardens (does not equate with easy to grow)

Trees & Shrubs

  • Visit the Cornell University Woody Plants Database to find the right tree, shrub or woody vine based on your site’s conditions.
  • The Cornell Guide for Planting and Maintaining Trees and Shrubs is “a benchmark text written for professional horticulturists and home owners alike. Includes reliable tips for properly selecting plants from nurseries, guidance for appropriate site selection, transplanting processes and schedules, drainage management, and soil preparation. Important tasks immediately following planting – from watering, mulching, staking and wrapping, to pruning, fertilizing and anti-desiccant application provide professionals and hobbyists with knowledge to ensure their trees and shrubs flourish and thrive. Regular maintenance practices, including tips for protecting plants during construction, and the importance of monitoring for insect and disease problems are included. Includes numerous drawings, tables, tips, historical references, and a glossary with important terms.”
  • How to Plant Trees and Shrubs from CCE-Suffolk Cooperative Extension is a 2-page guide for homeowners.
  • Cornell Gardening provides several trees and shrub fact sheets on trees and shrubs.
  • Homeowner’s Guide for Beautiful, Safe & Healthy Trees from the USDA Forest Service is a 3-page brochure with general suggestions to help your trees stay healthy.
  • Cornell University’s Pruning: An illustrated Guide to Pruning Ornamental Trees & Shrubs by Donald A Rakow and Richard Weir, III is a 30 page pdf covering pruning techniques for a range of different plant types.