A herbaceous border can be as small as any space where you can plant a hand full of plants. It might be a herbaceous bed instead of the big sprawling borders that are normally associated with herbaceous perennials, but there is the opportunity to create an area like this in most gardens.
A herbaceous border or herbaceous bed, is simply an area planted up with perennials which die down in the winter, and re-grow the following spring to give a display of flowering colour throughout much of the summer, providing you choose the right plants.
Many herbaceous borders or beds have other types of perennials in them – besides the herbaceous perennials. This is not a problem, for a mixed border or will give a bit more scope for year round colour and interest.
You do not actually need a specific herbaceous border or bed: you can simply plant a few herbaceous plants in between shrubs – or in specific places where it is not easy to get plants to grow. Herbaceous perennials are a huge range of plants, with one for any spot in the garden – dry, damp; sunny, shaded; sheltered, exposed.
Older herbaceous borders can look messy and unkempt. This is generally because they have not been maintained well, and also to a large degree, because the range of herbaceous perennials in the past, were nowhere as good as those which are available today. Modern herbaceous perennials come in all sizes – right from the newer (small) sedums and saxifrages – up through to stunning heleniums and more.