Border plants, which line the edges of flower beds, are the perfect finishing touch to any garden landscape. They serve to frame larger plants, fill in empty spaces and can even hide unattractive parts of the landscape such as pipes or bare roots. Small, flowering border plants, whether perennial or annual, are often the most desirable, both for their beauty and for the fact that some have a pleasing fragrance. Many even attract birds and butterflies, adding another dimension to your garden.
Sweet Alyussum (Lobularia maritima)
Sweet alyssum is a short annual that flowers profusely all summer long. This border plant thrives in the sunlight and spreads rapidly, covering the area with its masses of tiny, white, baby blue, purple or pink flowers. Other benefits of the plant include the fact that it has a sweet scent and attracts the flower fly, which eats aphids.
Candytuft (Iberis umbellata)
Candytuft is an annual that is very popular with many home gardeners for its trailing habit, ease of care and tiny, beautiful flowers. The slender green leaves are also attractive. Candytuft tends to form a neat, rounded mound that can be as tall as 12 inches. The tips of the stems, which are lined with the narrow leaves, feature groups of small pink or white flowers.
Lobelia is an unusual border plant in that it can grow in shady areas. Perfect for borders under trees or in front of porches that might cast shade, this short flowering annual only reaches a height of 6 inches. Although it may be short in stature, lobelia more than makes up for it with prolific blooming, producing large bunches of purple flowers. One lobelia plant usually forms a neat mat of dark green foliage about one foot in width. Along with partial shade, this plant prefers consistently moist soil in order to thrive.
Johnny Jump-Ups (Viola cornuta)
Johnny jump-ups are a classic small flowering border plant. These flowers, which are in the violet family, are brightly colored in shades of yellow and purple and will bloom continually from early spring well into fall if they are deadheaded (spent blooms removed). These small annuals will drape gracefully over the edges of borders and are perfect for hot, dry areas of the landscape, as they are drought-tolerant.