Small flowering border plants

Written by karen carter
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Small flowers are good choices for border plants. They provide great colour spots and are short enough to frame the taller plants in the garden. They disguise the tall stems of other plants and hide bare areas in the garden edges. Some small flowers bloom for a short while then provide greenery for the rest of the season, but other flowers show their colours all season long until touched by the first fall frost.

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Annual Candytuft

Annual candytuft (Iberis Umbellata) forms 8- to 12-inch mounds of narrow, green leaves. Tiny flowers cluster together on top of stems in puffs of white, pink, purple, rose and red. These annual flowers do not need much maintenance and tends to freely reseed itself.


Bloodroot flowers (Sanguinaria canadensis) grow 4- to 6-inches tall and form dense clumps. White petals surround yellow-orange centres that appear in spring, but last only a couple of days. Bloodroot leaves stay green all summer if kept moist with regular watering. Bloodroot flowers are used in borders around spring bulb gardens.

Carpathian Harebell

Carpathian harebells (Campanula carpatica) forms tidy mounds of dark green leaves. They grow 9-inches tall in good-draining, fertile soil. Blue-purple and white blossoms are cup shaped and appear in the early summer. Mulch around the Carpathian harebells to conserve soil moisture, and deadhead dying blooms to promote flowering.

China Aster

China asters (Callistephus chinensis) look like bushy daisy blossoms. They bloom in white, cream, pink, red, purple and blue shades from late summer until the first fall frost. These annuals grow 12- to 24-inches tall with green, toothed leaves. China asters offer late season colour to flower garden borders.

Edging Lobelia

Edging lobelia (Lobelia erinus) forms mounding clumps of small, narrow green leaves. Five-petal flowers bloom in shades of blue, purple and pink on top of 6- to 8-inch tall stems. Edging lobelia blossoms from late spring until the first fall frost. Plant this annual flower in partial shade in areas with hot summers.

Ozark Sundrops

Ozark sundrops (Oenothera macrocarpon) are showy perennials with sprawling stems that grow 6 to 12 inches tall. Flowers are bright yellow, saucer-shaped blooms in late spring and early summer on top of clumps of narrow pale green leaves. Ozark sundrops are drought- and heat-tolerant.

Pasque Flower

Pasque flowers (Pulsatilla vulgaris) produce early blooming cup-shaped flowers. The nodding flowers are deep purple and followed by fuzzy clusters of seeds. Pasque flowers grow 6- to 12-inches tall in well-draining soil. These flowers do not survive in wet soil.

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