Tiny Flowers, Big Interest – Stunning Plants That Have Little Flowers


By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Huge hydrangeas,cheery sunflowers,and dinnerplatedahlias are good at making their presence known, but what if you want somefiller type blooms? Small flowers that make a big impact are not a thing offiction, they’re an actual fact. Plants with small flowers are abundant,leaving one with lots of varieties and colors to choose from. Continue readingto get some ideas on different options for tiny flowers, big interest.

Tiny Flowers, Big Interest

Plants that have little flowers are great in mixed bloomcontainers, rockeries,and colorbeds. They have the ability to fill in and spread out in most cases,creating a living carpet of color. Plants with small flowers usually have anabundance of blooms and will provide that “wow” factor in a largemanner.

Baby’sbreath is a classic floralarrangement filler but there are many more small blooms with bright colors,heavenly scents and perennial convenience. Such plants often have interestingfoliage, too, which can peak interests even when the plant is not in bloom.Creeping varieties are useful in alpinegardens. Those that cascade fill hangingbaskets with eye-catching color.

Creative color bowls benefit from smaller flowers. They canpeep around foliage plants and are excellent additions to decorate around anexisting potted specimen. In the landscape, using plants with petite bloomsoffers the opportunity to sneak them in here and there; thus, brightening upotherwise dull or colorless spaces.

Suggestions for Plants That Have Little Flowers

Annual blooms bring an early pick-me-up after winter. Thisstarts the garden season off with a bang. Impatiensare wonderful tiny bloomers and offer an option for shaded areas. Marigolds,with their classic lion-like heads, provide unmatched golden color and come inmany variations. Pansieswill survive a freeze and often reseed, so you will get them year after year. Primrosesthrive in the cooler season and come in a wide variety of bright hues.

If you are a penny pincher, annuals are probably not rightfor you. There are still numerous small flowering perennials that make a bigimpact. For example:

  • Heather – Early blooms in deep tones and feathery foliage are highlights of planting heather.
  • Lily of the Valley – Delicate bell-like flowers and bold foliage make lily-of-the-valley a plus.
  • Bugleweed – The pretty leaves and creeping nature of bugleweed are packed with tiny spikes of springtime blooms.
  • Fairy foxglove – The fairy foxglove produces sweet little lavender flowers set high above the leaves.
  • Forget-me-not – A classic, forget-me-not is a no-fuss plant with tiny periwinkle blue blooms.
  • Lobelia – You can’t go wrong with lobelia with its fine foliage topped with deep blue flowers.
  • Thyme – Thyme is drought tolerant with edible foliage and bright purple to red flowers.
  • Rock Cress – There are dozens of varieties and colors of rock cress, and their spreading habit is useful in rockeries.

There are also plenty of well-known flower varieties thathave dwarf forms. Even sunflowers have a miniaturized version that would beperfect for containers or added into garden beds.

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Read more about General Flower Garden Care


Plants for small gardens: 10 great choices

What makes a good plant for small gardens?

As a general rule of thumb, good plants for small gardens work hard by providing eye-catching form, fragrance or consistent bright colour – or a combination of the three. Think about what your would like for your garden, then establish the amount of time you have to garden. If you are busy, consider plants with a compact, tidy form and those that are easy to grow.

These 10 plants produce long-lasting, fragrant flowers and unusual foliage or form.

Rosa ‘Bonica’

This pretty little rose produces perfect clusters of dainty powder-pink flowers. It holds an RHS Award of Garden Merit, it’s hardy, repeat-flowering and above all resists disease. It is is therefore one of the better plants for for small gardens.

As with any other rose, put down plenty of manure in spring and deadhead regularly throughout summer to promote flowering.

Asplenium scolopendrium

Asplenium scolopendrium is also known as hart’s tongue fern. It bears shiny, wavy-edged fronds that unfurl in early spring and look lush all year.

Like all ferns, it thrives in shady areas and so is for gardens shaded by neighbouring buildings. Plant it in soil that has been improved with plenty of leaf mould and ensure the soil doesn’t dry out while the plant is settling in. Once established, hart’s tongue fern will tolerate dry soil and needs little attention.

Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote Blue’

Lavender is renowned for fragrance and ‘Hidcote Blue’ is no exception. This English lavender produces dense spikes of purple-blue flowers mounds of steely, grey-green foliage. A row of plants makes an excellent informal hedge. Alternatively, grow it in pots on either side of the front door.

Lavandula angustifolia a sunny, well-drained position. Cut back the stalks after the flowers have faded in late-summer, and carefully trim is back in April, taking care not to cut into old wood.

Lavender ‘Hidcote Blue’ – Wyevale Garden Centres

Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna

This shade-loving shrub makes an eye-catching addition to any small garden. This evergreen plant will form a dense thicket over time, and its shoots are a unusual shade of purple-pink before fading to a dark green as they mature. Sarcococca really shines in winter, however, because it bears masses of wonderfully fragrant white flowers that will have neighbours and passersby sniffing the air. The flowers and their purple berries are a valuable winter food source for garden wildlife.

Prune this RHS Award of Garden Merit winner back in early spring, and then apply a generous 5-7cm mulch of well-rotted compost around the base of the plant.

Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum Viridis’

Acers are usually a good choice for small front gardens especially, and this acer has eye-catching, feathery leaves that turn bronze in autumn. Its elegant and compact shape makes it the perfect choice for gardeners without much space to work in.

Plant it in a sheltered spot where it will be protected from wind and all-day sun. Keep it well watered, fertilise generously in late-spring, and remove any dead branches in towards the end of autumn.

Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Viridis’ Photo: Shutterstock

Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’

To add bright colour to your small garden from late winter to summer, plant this colourful and low-maintenance wallflower in your borders and terrace containers. It produces beautiful mauve flowers on long, elegant stems, and will flower for months on end.

‘Bowles’s Mauve’ needs little attention and because of this, it is one of the best plants for small gardens. Keep it in a sunny spot and provided it is well drained soil need not be especially fertile. Take care to protect it with fleece in areas where severe frosts are common.

Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ – Wyevale Garden Centres

Penstemon ‘White Bedder’

This handsome, easy-to-grow perennial is a great plant for small gardens because it produces large, white, foxglove-like flowers from July to October. Deadhead it regularly so it will continue flowering until the first frosts, and fork in plenty of organic matter to ensure soil is well-drained.

Once it has finished flowering, apply a dry mulch around the base of the plant to protect it from frost damage over winter.

Aster x frikartii ‘Mönch’

This Aster is the perfect choice for anyone without much time to dedicate to their garden. because it is resistant to disease, grow quickly and flowers prolifically. Planted in full sun, it will produce gorgeous lavender flowers from mid-summer to mid-autumn. As a result, this hard-working plant for small gardens ‘Mönch’ scores top marks.

Stake ‘Mönch’ with canes in early spring, and water and deadhead regularly. After it has flowered, cut its stems to the ground, then mulch generously with compost or well-rotted horse manure.

Trachelospermum jasminoides

This woody, evergreen climber is one of the best plants for small gardens. It is particularly eye-catching due to its rich, dark green leaves. These turn a beautiful shade of bronze in winter. From mid-to-late summer, it produces clusters of highly fragrant white flowers. Trachelospermum jasminoides is ideal for growing up a trellis or even along a balcony railing and is therefore on of great plants for small gardens.

Also known as star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides, grows best against a warm, sunny wall in fertile and well-drained soil. In areas prone to severe frosts, it is probably wise to bring it into greenhouse or conservatory.

Trachelospermum jasminoides – Wyevale Garden Centres

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Hadspen’s Cream’

This cheerful perennial produces small, bright-blue flowers in spring above large, heart-shaped leaves that are bordered by a rich cream colour. This hardy and disease-resistant perennial thrives in a shady spot with well-drained soil. It also requires very little maintenance and is consequently one of the best plants for small gardens.

For more plant inspiration, find out about our Top 10 Plants for Shade here.


Spirea japonica (Japanese spirea)

Spirea japonica is a bushy deciduous shrub whose stems produce clusters of delicate pink flowers in summer. Fairly fuss-free, it will bring some colour to your city, courtyard, cottage or coastal garden where it can grow to 1m tall.

• Sun – Full sun or partial shade
• Position – South, North, West or East facing
• Exposure – Exposed or sheltered
• Moisture – Well-drained or moist but well-drained
• Soil – Sand, chalk or loam


There are lots of ways you can dress up your landscape, and the details make all the difference. Your choice of garden edging for lawn and garden borders is one detail that can help unify the whole while adding a touch of your personal style. You aren’t limited to plastic, metal, and stone for your edging and pathway projects. Why not consider a “living” edge, using plants to define the borders?

Plants create a natural appearance. They are dynamic, adding motion, attracting wildlife like birds and butterflies, and contributing to year-round color or bloom progression along garden paths and around garden beds. Plant borders also complement and soften the edges of hardscape elements like pavers, arbors, garden art, stepping stones, and other outdoor structures.

A great border plant must be of a scale to fit within the overall landscape plan. It should stay in place without constant pruning. It must be suitable for the location and should not have acute pest or disease problems. The texture and color should complement the garden space.

Check out these 20 plants to use as lawn and garden borders.


Designing Medium To Large Gardens

If you have a larger space to work with, or even a hellstrip (the green space between the sidewalk and the road) in front of your small city property, you can have a lot of fun with a big display of Tulips, Daffodils, and more. We'll review four beautful fall bulb plantings with big impact.

Trench planting is an easy way to plant a large number of bulbs all at once, rather than one by one - a great technique for lare scale plantings. Learn More About Quick & Efficient Trench Planting

When planting a very large number of bulbs, we highly recommend choosing a mix of flower varieties that will bloom in succession, to make the flowers last throughout the season. You can plant a mix of bright colors, or go for a simple harmonious look. Our Fall Flower Bulb Collections help make garden design easy!

Style 1: Create A Flower Bed Beneath A Tree

Plant a curved area to frame a trees on your property. The added color is especially nice while trees are leafing out for summer. This planting features a mix of brighly colored Tulips for a big, enjoyable display of spring color.

A big swath of Tulip bulbs makes a huge, colorful statement in the spring.

Always plant the pointed ends of bulbs up.

After: the rainbow of Tulip blooms frame this tree nicely.

Style 2: Creating A Flower Border

Create a big splash of color to add curb appeal and brighten up your yard! Perfect for bordering the edge of your yard, lining walkways, and adding color to fencelines. Come spring, the colorful blooms welcome guests and passerbys with a cheerful display.

Trench Planting is a quick, efficent method for planting lots of bulbs!

The spring display was fantastic.

You will have plenty of blooms to cut for endless bouquets!

Design 3: Round Bulb Spiral

A lot of gardeners like to get creative with their spring-blooming bulbs, and a popular way to do this is to create a bulb spiral. Our co-workers Hazen and Mary brought the spiral to life with 250 Tulip Bulbs, using two contrasting flower colors for interest.


Watch the video: Tour of Our West Side Garden! . Garden Answer


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