We show you not just the top 10 Perennials for borders we also show you how to plant them for a stunning display.

Top 10 Perennials for Borders

The perennials you should choose for your garden will very much depend on the location of the border. So before you buy make sure you know whether you have a border in the sun or shade. Here are the Amateur Gardening’s team’s top picks for perennials for borders:

Top 5 perennials for sun Top 5 perennials for shade
Delphinium ‘Guardian’ Astilbe ‘Brautschleier’
Gaura ‘Dwarf Pink’ Hosta (various vars)
Geranium ‘Rosanne’ Dicentra spectablis
Schizostyliss ‘Pink Princess’ Aruncus dioicus
Penstemon ‘Amelia Jayne’ Euphorbia characias


Perennial border

Perennial border


A well planted herbaceous border should last for years so before committing to planting its worth setting out plants to make sure you’ll be happy with the finished display. In general, place tallest varieties at the back of the display, though the odd taller plant mid- or front can add good effect. Jot down the layout and remove pots


Autumn is the ideal time to plant a border ready for the following year. Plants establish in the ground quickly, before the cold winter weather sets in and will take off quickly once spring arrives. Perennials can look sparse when first planted. But then, when they are in full, lustrous leaf, they knit together beautifully. Always follow the advice on the plant label as this will give the exact information for your chosen varieties in terms of planting distance and soil requirements.


Fork over the site removing weeds. Spread out several bags of compost and mix this into the soil.

Then it’s time to plant. Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball and deep enough to add compost and a handful of bonemeal.

Perennial Border Planting

Feed with bonemeal


Tease roots and plant Remove plants from the pots and tease away roots from the root ball, especially if roots have formed a dense mat. Place in the hole, checking the plant is level with the soil and backfill around the root ball. Firm in around the plant.

Perennial border planting

Tease the root



Ideally you will have watered the plants in their pots ahead of planting, but they should also be watered once planted. You can either use a watering can after each plant has gone into the ground (pictured) or use a hose on the whole display.

Perennial Border watering

Water thoroughly



A mulch layer will help soil to retain moisture, will suppress weeds and it offers plants some protection from cold. Spread a handful around each plant, and then go over the whole bed once fully planted, filling more mulch in the gaps

Perennial Border Mulch