C.L. Fornari's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Annuals I Love for the Northeast and Midwest (USDA zones 3-8).
Snow Princess Sweet alyssum - Lobularia 'Snow Princess'
A flower-making machine that stays close to the ground or cascades over pots. Sun or part sun, a fantastic new alyssum.
Fan Flower - Scaevola aemula
Reliable all-summer lavender-blue flowers. Great for garden beds or boxes and hangers, fantastic to mix in with perennials or in front of shrubs in sunny gardens. Low growing and long-lasting.
Peach Frost Exotic Impatiens - Impatiens Peach Frost
Not your average impatiens! Peach flowers that are more interesting than the standard blob of color, and variegated foliage. Great for shady gardens.
Blue Horizon Ageratum - Ageratum Blue Horizon
Tall, growing two to three feet over the summer. Tolerates light frost so blooms late into the fall. Great cut flower that looks spendid with zinnias. Deadhead early in the season and then forget about it.
You must grow as many as possible. Short or tall, a rainbow of colors, the classic for the cutting garden and the Queens of October in my area, September if your fall is shorter.
Profusion Zinnias - Zinnia elegans 'Profusion Series'
Bedding zinnias (not for cutting) maintain neat mound and are flower-filled all summer and fall. They come in a variety of colors, and you can either deadhead them or not, but they still produce flowers.