Allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite cool-season annuals: Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima).
This low-growing beauty is native to the Mediterranean region (hence the botanical name maritima), and will grow in just about any garden as long as the temperatures remain fairly cool and the humidity isn’t too high. Folks in the south can grow it in the winter and spring, and those up north can delight in it all summer long. It has a very strong honey-like fragrance which most people enjoy, although there are those who don’t care for it. It grows well from seed, blooming in just 6 – 8 weeks. It works well as a border plant at the edge of garden beds, but I find it especially well-suited to containers. It looks lovely as it grows and spills over the sides, and mixes well with other spring and summer annuals. Here are some of the combinations I’m using this year:
Sweet Alyssum and Yellow Marigold
Sweet Alyssum and Dwarf Snapdragon
Sweet Alyssum and Dwarf Stock (Matthiola incana)
Sweet Alyssum and Yellow Bidens (Bidens ferulifolia)