How to Create a Cottage Garden


A cottage garden is a style of gardening that has a relaxed and informal feel. The style includes traditional materials and a combination of edible and ornamental plants. Originally English, this style relied on charm and grace instead of grandeur and structure. The goal of this style is to create a home-like environment that is beautiful and inviting.

Plants in a cottage garden

Cottage gardens are filled with colour, fragrance, and texture. They avoid formality and straight lines. The plants used in a cottage garden are often tall, bushy, or low-growing. The plantings should complement the soil type and light and water levels in the garden. You can add a few spikes or dramatic spikes to your borders for extra visual interest.

Traditional cottage gardens didn’t have large lawns, but they did have winding paths and flowerbeds. A traditional meadow area would include perennials like ox-eye daisies, marigolds, and teasels. Sweet peas are another traditional cottage garden plant. Their fragrant flowers fill the air and attract bees and other pollinators.

Plants in a cottage garden should be easy to grow, as they aren’t as fussy as you think. Many of these plants are those that your grandmother or great-grandmother would have grown. These include white campion, ditch lilies, spiderwort, and rose checker mallow.

A cottage garden should include at least one rose plant. Roses are one of the most important elements in a cottage garden, and you may want to grow English roses. They will create a romantic mood in your garden. You can also plant climbers like clematis, jasmine, or petrea. A shrub-like marguerite dais will also look great. Perennials are also a great choice. There are so wide varieties of roses that you can use in your cottage garden.

Traditional elements

A traditional cottage garden has several features in common with English gardens. One of the most common features is the wooden picket fence. The picket fence is a great way to define a space in the garden and was also commonly used to protect crops in ancient times. In addition to serving a practical function, fences and gates also create an element of rustic charm. The key is to find a style that compliments the cottage.

Cottage gardens are also known for their densely packed plant beds near the house. A traditional cottage garden also has a picket fence painted white, which can add a touch of color. In addition, a woven hazel garden edging can be an attractive accent for the cottage garden.

The cottage garden should also have a network of paths. As a rule, a garden path should follow a meandering pattern. If you do decide to have paths, you should plant plants that will blur the edges, such as Alchemilla mollis or erigeron. Cottage gardens should also have a harmonious relationship between architecture and landscaping. The materials used to build the paths should match the property’s overall look.


When planning your cottage garden, consider what perennials would suit this type of garden. The following plants work well with the cottage look: hollyhocks, delphiniums, phlox, daisies, lady’s mantle, and sedums. If watering is a concern, look for drought-tolerant plants, such as succulents and echeverias.

Perennials such as lobelia, or cardinal flowers, are great for cottage gardens. They bloom profusely in spring and can be grown in part shade. They work well with ferns, hostas, and astilbe. However, remember that lobelia can be toxic to small children. Other excellent cottage garden perennials are climbing roses and iris.

Another perennial that would work well in a cottage garden is the Bee balm. This is a hardy, herbaceous perennial that produces long spikes of flowers. The flowers are crown-like at the center, and the leaves are broad and pointed with decorative grooves. The flowers are usually purple but can be pink, red, or blue.

A perennial hollyhock is an old-fashioned staple in a cottage garden. They are very drought-resistant and have long blooming seasons. They are also easy to grow from seed.


Choosing the right hardscape for a cottage garden is important in making the area look attractive. You can create a cozy space with a natural stone path or a shady area with white privacy fencing. A cottage garden is a perfect place to entertain family and friends. Cottage gardens are often characterized by using multiple plants and herbs, and they are ideally suited to entertaining.

Curved hardscape is a common feature of cottage gardens. Use curving stone paths or meandering wood paths to create a naturalistic effect. Plants can grow up the walls or climb the fence. Planting in groups will provide depth and create a visual illusion of height. The best cottage gardens also combine different textures to create interest and depth.

Cottage gardens should be whimsical and include hardscape features that are playful and charming. A wishing well, for example, can be a whimsical focal point for the garden.

Color theory

Color theory is a wonderful concept to apply to your cottage garden, as plants and flowers tend to look more harmonious when grouped. Using color wheels is an excellent way to understand the relationship between different colors and create more pleasing combinations. You can also experiment with different combinations by holding plants up to each other in your garden.

Cottage gardens do not typically have lawns, although you can use low-mow fescue. This type of lawn is very low-maintenance and adds to the relaxed feeling. Cottage gardens are known for their colorful plants. The color wheel will help you choose the best colors for your cottage garden.

To choose the right color scheme, you should first determine what is pleasing to the eye. Try using complementary colors, as they create the greatest visual impact. This can help you draw attention away from an unsightly shed or a certain sculpture or building. You can also use complementary colors to focus the attention on a specific garden area. Bright colors attract pollinators, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when choosing your plants and shrubs.

Perfumed plants

Perfumed plants make a nice addition to any cottage garden. They have beautiful flowers and are often favored by bees and butterflies. You can choose from many fragrant plants for your cottage garden, including the Prichards Variety of bellflower, which produces large, natural-looking flower arrangements. Other fragrant cottage garden plants include aquilegia, also known as Granny’s bonnet, a lovely spring to early summer filler. Aquilegia is also a self-seeding perennial and comes in a variety of colors. The plant has a strong fragrance and is a favorite among hummingbirds and butterflies.

Another excellent choice for a fragrant cottage garden is the dianthus, a flower with fringed petals. This plant has a clove-like fragrance and will bloom in spring and summer. This plant will be very fragrant if the garden is well-sheltered and protected from strong winds.

Another perennial plant favorite of cottage garden lovers is sweet alyssum, which has large, colorful blooms and a spicy fragrance. Sweet peas are also popular plants in cottage gardens, as they make a great cut flower. Sweet peas should be planted in the fall or spring so they don’t get too hot.


Traditionally, cottage gardens have been small plots of land shaded by a small house. As a result, they often feature vertical growing structures. Vine-like plants like clematis, honeysuckle, and jasmine make great green walls. Other options include obelisks and lattices.

You can add rustic elements like old garden tools and watering cans for a more rural feel. Cottage gardens can also include comfortable seating areas that provide a serene environment for reading a book or enjoying the landscape design. A strong framework and deep borders are essential to creating a cottage garden that’s both beautiful and functional.

In ancient times, cottage gardens used to function as food gardens, but today, they are more of a haven for relaxation. They serve as an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of modern living. Many cottage gardens also feature informal plantings that blend in with the overall structure. The structure of a cottage garden is as simple or intricate as the home’s exterior.

Shrubs and trees support the structure of a cottage garden. Deciduous shrubs and trees stabilize the changing plant palette, while evergreen ones add color and seasonality to the design. Choose shrubs and trees with interesting shapes and colors. Minimize grassy areas to emphasize trees and herbaceous flowers.