Plants for a Colourful Garden Border

Updated July 19, 2017

Colourful flower borders give any gardener the chance to use some of her favourite annuals. The popular marigolds, pansies and petunias dress up flower beds in every region. Try something new and plant rose ground covers or trailing geraniums. Many perennial plants, as well as annuals, serve as colourful border plants in a flower bed.

Ground Cover Roses

If you want lots of colour in your border, try ground cover roses. These roses, paired with shrubs such as boxwood, add interest and energy to an otherwise boring landscape. Roses such as Flower Carpet and Knock Out need no pruning or deadheading. Referred to as self-cleaning, the spent blooms drop off of these two trademark roses, freeing the gardener from the chore of deadheading. They grow up to three feet tall and spill over the border. Clipping them back works to control invasive spreading, if desired.


Plant petunias for a colourful easy-care border. This annual flower blooms all summer long and removing spent flowers encourages blooming. Petunias tend to get leggy at the peak of summer, but cutting back revives them for additional blooming. The two types of petunias are grandifloras, which produce double fringed flowers, and multifloras, which grow smaller flowers but bloom profusely. Petunias come in a variety of colours. Purple Wave Petunias earned the title of 1995 All-America Selection and are a popular variety throughout the country.

Sweet Allysun

Sow the seeds of Sweet allysum Lobularia maritima (Brassicaceae) in the border for year-round white blooms if you live in the warmer climates. Sweet allysum thrives in hot weather. At the height of the summer heat, this plant may become leggy. Trim the flowers back to promote further blooming for the season. This native of Southern Europe, now naturalised in the United States, germinates in 15 to 20 days and reaches eight to 12 inches tall.

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About the Author

Julia Margaret writes for various online publications, specializing in gardening topics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from California State University, Northridge, and studied horticulture at UCLA Extension. Margaret also holds a Master of Arts in special education.