Cottage Garden Plants
Fill your yard with cottage garden plants for over-the-top color.
HGTV fan jndesign
Purple coneflower, daisies, foxglove, black-eyed Susans, astilbe and hollyhocks fill this garden. "More than half the plants were split from perennials in other areas of my garden," says the homeowner, "and this turned out to be my favorite bed."
Design a planting area with cottage garden plants, and you’re in for a season-long show. These old-fashioned favorites feature flowers in every color that bloom at various points throughout the growing season. Choose the right mix of cottage garden plants, and you’ll have non-stop color.
If you like the look of picket fences and entry arches, you should explore cottage garden design style. Typically stuffed into a pocket-size patch, this garden boasts a lush, carefree abandon where plants jostle and lean in a tangle of bud and blossom. But cramped quarters aren’t a requirement to mimic the lively display and overstuffed plantings of a cottage garden. You can capture the magic and romance of cottage garden style in a sprawling border, a modest front yard or a cluster of containers.
Cottage garden plants might be annuals, biennials or perennials. By planting a mix of all three plant types, it’s easier to ensure you’ll have the riot of color that typifies this garden style. Tuck annuals between perennials to stage a steady parade of blooms, especially when perennials may be between flowering windows.
Annual salvias make fabulous additions to the cottage garden plant roster with their spikey, colorful blooms. Consider including hummingbird sage (Salvia coccinea), Brazilian sage (Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’) and frost-tender Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) in your cottage garden design for a mix of flower colors all season long.
Self-sowing annuals are must-have cottage garden plants. If you let these plants set and drop seed, you’ll have the serendipitous plant combinations that typify cottage garden chaos. Plants to consider include cleome (Cleome hassleriana), sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima), bachelor’s buttons (Centaurea cyanus), larkspur (Consolida ambigua) and calendula (Calendula officinalis).
Biennials also belong in the cottage garden. These are plants that require two growing seasons to complete their life cycle. In colder regions, that means one year you have a tuft of leaves, followed by flower spikes the following year. In warmer zones, biennials complete their life cycle from fall (planting and leaf sprouting) to spring (blooms). Some classic biennial cottage garden plants are sweet rocket (Hesperis matronalis), sweet William (Dianthus barbatus), forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica) and foxglove (Digitalis purpurea).
Lush Green Outdoor Garden with Bronze Statues
String Lights and Lanterns Illuminate Garden
String up lights and lanterns around your outdoor space to give an enchanting twinkle to any garden party. The soft glow will invite everyone to linger outside in the nighttime summer air. Line lanterns and smaller string lights around your seating area, and hang a few off tree branches for a touch of ambiance.
Cottage Garden With Flagstone Walkway
For her own front yard, designer Margie Grace of Grace Design Associates Inc. matched the hardscape to her home's architectural syle for a cozy cottage garden. To keep the yard low maintenance she laid a large patio using Arizona flagstones, then filled the rest of the space with lush flower beds. A reclaimed concrete bowl is transformed into a water feature that brings the sound of rain to the garden.
Rainbow Rose Garden
Cozy Cottage Garden
There wasn't much of a garden when the homeowners bought this cottage with the idea in mind to create flower beds that would soften the edges of an organic raised-bed garden. Their ultimate goal is to create a landscape where they can "graze throughout the yard on fruits, herbs and berries." Says HGTV fan Craighead, "We still have a long way to go, but we've at least started to establish a country-cottage feeling to our little bungalow in the city."
Planted Cottage Garden Surrounding Concrete Patio With Staircase Leading to Covered Pavilion
Patchwork concrete tile creates a decorative flooring for the open patio. The stain on the wood patio furniture makes a beautiful statement against the surroundings. Concrete stairs travel through planted sections with natural rock retainers to the outdoor living pavilion.
Formal Cottage Garden with Metal Gazebo
A vibrant purple-flowering vine spills over an antique metal gazebo nestled amongst the verdant plants of a formal cottage-style garden. Planting the garden up against the gazebo helps to soften the structure's edges and creates a cohesive design. The gazebo offers a comfortable vantage point from which to view the wetland-like pond and the rest of the lush cottage garden.
Rustic Cottage With Natural Stone Walkway
This comfy cottage has a fantastic front porch with natural branches for spindles and a natural stone walkway that leads around the garden and up the hill to the driveway. The lush forest surrounding the cottage accents the gorgeous stonework and matches the green painted shutters.
Busts can bring a sense of elegance to a garden. Consider adding one to a potting table, as seen in designer Susanne Hudson's Georgia garden. She's the co-founder of the annual Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival, Garden Tour and Flower Show in Douglasville, Ga.
Abundant Backyard Flower Garden With Pergolas
Everywhere you look, HGTV fan Dotsgarden's outdoor space is a riot of color. She says her roses and clematis are "like old friends who come to visit every spring and often during the summer."
Bright and Airy Flower Garden With White Fence
Purple coneflower, daisies, foxglove, black-eyed susans, astilbe and hollyhocks fill this garden. "More than half the plants were split from perennials in other areas of my garden," says HGTV fan jndesign, "and this turned out to be my favorite bed."
Cottage Garden and Adirondack Chairs
Part of the charm of this resort's landscape design is how the residences are incorporated seamlessly into the gardens. Here, Adirondack chairs are nestled next to large blooms of flowers and ornamental grass.
Landscaped Backyard With Spring Flowers
A Cottage Garden with Blooming Bulbs
A garden of yellow tulips and daffodils blossom in this cottage style garden. Planting bulbs separately from other blooming shrubs allows the tulips and daffodils' beautiful blooms to be the focus and so they don't compete with other flowers.
Cottage-Style Garden Bed
A Formal Cottage Garden with Gazebo
Climbing pink roses spill over a wood gazebo in this formal cottage garden, framing the entryway towards the shingled home. A simple rope fence intersects the garden and defines the entry garden from the large expanse of lawn framed by silvery lavender Russian sage.
A Gravel Pathway Through a Formal Cottage Garden
Wooden Bench in Cottage Garden
Easily maintained landscaping and hardscaping creates a serene green space within this cottage garden. A wooden bench is tucked beside a stone accent wall, while a pair of Adirondack chairs are perched on the raised patio.
Perennial Cottage Garden
A pretty picket fence helps provide the structure for the this gorgeous cottage-style garden. Another perennial garden surrounds the gazebo, which is illuminated at night. Posted by HGTV fan retired editor
English Cottage Garden With Covered Dining Area
This beautifully landscaped courtyard includes an arched arbor and stone pathway that leads to a covered patio and outdoor dining area surrounded by container plants and tall topiaries. Traditional chandeliers are covered in leafy vines to continue the garden look.
A Cottage Garden's Colorful Planting Palette
The flowering plants are primarily pink, white, yellow and blue, a soft palette that complements the natural shingles of the home. Flowering shrubs, roses, perennials, annuals and spring bulbs ensure that the garden is in bloom from March until late fall. Plants like iris, alliums, echinacea, roses and foxglove emphasize the cottage style of this colorful garden.
Charming Cottage Garden With Flagstone Pavers
Count on perennials to give a cottage garden design structure and seasonal color. Peony (Paeonia spp.), Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum), bee balm (Monarda didyma), bearded iris (Iris germanica), lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis) and daylily (Hemerocallis spp.) are easy to find and even easier to grow. Perennials like phlox and campanula include species with varying heights and flower colors. Draw from these perennial groups to fill your garden with color and interest.
Work plants with an airy texture into your cottage garden. Position them to fill spaces between other plants and give that sense of floral fullness. Candidates include tall verbena (Verbena bonariensis), lavender, baby’s breath (Gysophila paniculata) and ornamental grasses or grass-like plants, such as hair sedge (Carex flagellifera), pink muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) or fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum).
Shrubs and roses should complete your cottage garden plant collection. Consider using butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii) and summersweet (Clethra alnifolia) to add winter forms to your garden. Classic cottage gardens also include structures and ornaments, like a trellis, stepping stone path, armillary or tuteur. Work these items into your garden to enhance the off-season display.