Purple coneflower

Photo: Alex Galt, US Fish & Wildlife Service

Each garden is unique, but there are a few general givens. No matter the style, gardens are personalized to the gardener’s tastes. They enhance a home’s exterior appearance, and enrich and improve outdoor living areas.

Perennials for creating these areas come in a vast number of varieties and several sizes. While planting large, mature perennials offers instant gratification, there are enticing reasons to plant little perennials.

Small pots allow for quick and easy mass or group plantings. If the space to be planted is large, little pots will be quicker to plant and easier to establish, both of which will save the gardener time. Consider large, beautiful stands of Black-eyed Susans or several perennial hibiscus planted together. The look is easy to attain with little perennials.

Small perennials are a great option for the patient gardener. Though they take a little longer, the plants catch up fairly quickly to more mature perennials. Keep in mind the old (and wise) adage pertaining to a perennial plant’s nature: “First sleep, then creep, then leap.”

Thymus serpyllum

Photo by H. Zell, Wikimedia Commons

The first year a perennial is planted, it won’t do much more than it’s already doing in the pot. The second year it will produce a few more stems, spread out a little more, maybe stand a little taller. It’s in the third year that a perennial plant really shines and starts to show what it can do for the landscape. During the first two years the plant is building strong and healthy roots, so by the third it is ready to put more energy into growing and blooming above ground. This is true of any size perennial pot.

Gardens are constantly evolving, and many gardeners would agree that’s one of the best parts of gardening. Small plants are an excellent way to experiment in the garden and try something new. Of course, smaller plants also mean a smaller price, so experimenting is that much easier.

When adding little plants to an existing garden, be aware that digging and dividing might be required within a couple years if the plant is placed too close to other plants. Though they are little, be sure to give them the space they’ll need when they grow big.

Little perennials are a great way to plant a whole new garden! Try a white garden, a butterfly and bee garden, a mailbox garden, a rock garden, or any garden of your dreams.

A couple ideas to try:

Sunny Butterfly and Bee Garden

  • Yarrow
  • Coneflower
  • Coreopsis
  • Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)
  • Penstemon

Mailbox/Boulevard Garden

(tolerates salt spray from roads)

  • Palace Purple Heuchera
  • Daylily
  • Sedum
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Creeping Thyme

Tonkadale carries a wide variety of perennials in little pots. Let your imagination go wild, experiment, create a whole new garden, or change the look of an existing garden – little plants make it easy!