Annuals to Perennials

As warmer breezes blow across our gardens, we are right to be planning which blooms will be pleasing us with their beauty and fragrance for the rest of the year. You really can’t start your plan too soon.

Are you an elaborate garden planner like my mother used to be? I still find her sketches of what she was planning to plant and where tucked in the back of gardening books. Or maybe you’re a reactive gardener like me – hey, look what the neighbor gave us, let’s plant ‘em over there.

What are the conditions for your particular garden? Is the soil in a damp area or will you need to water? What type of soil will you be working with? Will you need to feed and fertilize? What kind of creepy crawlies (sorry to drop the scientific term on ya) may threaten your blooms? How about the all-important sun? Will it be a bright total sun plot or a shady area?

And how will you mix the perennials with the annuals? In our gardens, the perennials, like the hostas, coral bells, and bleeding hearts, are the standard bearers, the base of the garden. The annuals play the role of eye-catching entertainers. Impatiens, marigolds, and pansies really brighten up a garden plot. What bright colors will we bring into the garden with annuals this year? It’s always fun to plan out and then execute the plan.

Planning your charitable giving is a little like a garden plan. You may make regular gifts to charities and non-profits that are your annuals – your church, your alma mater, a local group that does good work for your community. Your Owen County Community Foundation can turn your annuals into perennials with the creation of a permanent fund that makes annual gifts to those important causes after you are gone.

With the creation of, oh let’s call it, the Marigold Fund with a $10,000 bequest in your will, you could continue to make your important annual gifts to the same organizations forever. You can expect the fund to make a payout of around $300 to $400 per year based on recent earnings. As we set up the fund agreement, the contract between the OCCF and you that defines all the details, we can designate that after you’re gone 25% of the payout will go annually to your church, your school, and a couple of your favorite charities. Of course, there are almost limitless options for how you make your personal plan. Those designated charities would receive an annual check – no need for them to apply for a grant – in your name or anonymously if you prefer.

In laying out your plan, you will have the comfort of knowing that your impatiens, mums, pansies, and marigolds will still grace your charitable garden every year. Annuals to perennials. Your generosity becomes a permanent legacy for your community.

The beauty of our Owen County gardens is already blooming around our hills and hollows. Our charities and non-profits are also out there doing beautiful work. Become a gardener of giving and establish your perennial fund to keep those annuals blooming forever.

Your Owen County Community Foundation is committed to helping our communities become better places to live, grow, and work. We value community involvement and charitable spirit . . . and beautiful flowers.

If you would like to know more about how you can turn your annuals into perennials, give me a call at 812-829-1725, email me at, visit us online at, or stop by and visit us in our new office at 60 E. Market Street on the south side of the Courthouse Square. Let us help you with your “garden” plan.