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Best Top Ten Perennials for Size 

We have grouped our best perennials into sizes. The sizes we have chosen are only indications. Soil, and cultural conditions will be an important factor in determining the ultimate size.

 The reason we have decided on size categories is simply because the questions most asked about plants at garden centres are based upon 'how big will it grow'?

Perennials are a hugely important group of garden plants and can be used in containers, with shrubs or in a dedicated perennial - herbaceous - border or bed.

There are perennials available for most garden positions or situations. This list should give you a starting point if you are new to perennials - or simply give you a reminder if experienced.

They are becoming more popular as garden centres see the benefits of being able to sell small plants in flower at almost any time of the year!

Size Matters!

The best Small Perennials - up to 30-45 cm height

  • Geraniums - not the hanging basket types - which are pelargoniums - the real Geraniums which are hardy herbaceous plants.
  • Hosta - Hostas are invaluable as ground cover for 'difficult' areas, but are also beautiful plants in their own right.
  • Oenothera - A group of plants under the Evening Primrose category. There are several types - including the Evening Primrose from which the oil is distilled. These will always be in the top 10 of any perennials list
  • Diascia
  • Campanula
  • Dianthus
  • Brunnera macrophylla - loves shade and has bright blue flowers - with variegated foliage if you want!
  • Helleborus orientalis
  • Dicentra - Not just the Bleeding Heart, but also the low growing types with fine foliage. Always one of the best selections.
  • Schizostylis
  • Tiarella
  • Ajuga reptans - Bugle for a great groundcover plant. Really hogs - or hugs - the ground!
  • Nemesia
  • Gaillardia
  • Heuchera
  • Coryopsis
  • Geum
  • Sedum spectabilis are stunning for late summer. Certainly ones for the best of the top 10 list.
  • Osteospermum
  • Stachys

  • Medium Perennials The best selection - from 45 - 75cm height

  • Gaura lindermanii
  • Astrantia major - well suited to a wide range of garden positions.
  • Salvia
  • Penstemon - Wide range of colours on this semi-evergreen perennial. Very showy and quite trouble-free.
  • Hemerocallis - The ever popular - and ever-flowering Daylily
  • Papaver orientalis - A wide range of varieties - and a favourite perennial or biennial.
  • Agapanthus
  • Eryngeum
  • Rudbeckia - A varied group of perennials that will always be found in top favourites or top 10 lists.
  • Iris
  • Aster frikartii Monch
  • Crocosmia
  • Symphytum x uplandicum Variegatum
  • Tricyrtis formosanum - Very unusual flowers and a good late summer addition to the border.
  • Lupinus -  Very Showy tall flowering summer perennial

  • Top Ten + Tall Perennials - Over 75cm height

  • Verbena bonariensis
  • Actaea simplex
  • Euphorbia characias. Should always find space for one of this varied range of perennials. Year round interest on some varieties make this a cert for a top ten perennials list.
  • Delphinium
  • Helianthus
  • Rudbeckia Always a favourite for late summer colour
  • Ligularia
  • Verbascum
  • Veronicastrum
  • Rheum
  • Euphatorium
  • Eremurus


See also Biennials


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