19 Dreamy Cottage Gardens

These cozy backyards are the stuff of fairy tales.

When I was in third grade, my aunt bought me a Thomas Kinkade puzzle of a riverside cottage surrounded by a sunlit garden. I probably worked and reworked that puzzle 100 times — or at least until the printed paper started to curl up from the edges of the pieces. That's when my obsession with cottage gardens began.

These days, my childhood fascination hasn't waned, and I often find myself wishing I was sipping coffee and reading a book in one of those Kinkadian havens. (Probably because I live in a second-story apartment with a 3' x 7' balcony.) So, until I get a place of my own, I'll be drooling over dreamy cottage gardens. Keep scrolling to see some of my favorites.

Lilac Pond

Cottage Garden Pond Framed by Lilacs

Cottage Garden Pond Framed by Lilacs

A naturalistic pond is planted with aquatic plants to give the property an authentic cottage garden feel

Photo by: Andrew Grossman

Andrew Grossman

Designer Andrew Grossman carved this charming little pond out of lovely lilacs, water hyacinth and other pond-friendly plants. All that's missing is Christopher Robin with his fishing pole.

Bed Head Backyard

A Cottage Garden's Colorful Planting Palette

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.

Photo by: Andrew Grossman

Andrew Grossman

You know those people that wake up looking effortlessly beautiful? This backyard is them in garden form.

A Charming Country Home with Cottage Garden

A Charming Country Home with Cottage Garden

A one hundred and sixty year old cape-style house is surrounded by a charming cottage-style garden. Natural style landscaping compliments the look with climbing roses, catmint and alliums.

Photo by: Andrew Grossman

Andrew Grossman

Same backyard, different view. I love how the climbing roses and rope fence frame the entryway.

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Lush Window Boxes

Wood Window Boxes

Wood Window Boxes

Fixer Upper hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines installed natural wood window boxes adding color to the front of the Gully home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (detail)

From: Fixer Upper

Photo by: Sarah Wilson / Getty Images

Sarah Wilson / Getty Images

No room or time for a full-fledged garden? Hack the cottage look by filling a few barnwood window planters with fluffy cabbage, dusty miller, purple pansies and trailing ivy.

Yellow Roses + White Picket Fences

Martha's Vineyard Charm

Martha's Vineyard Charm

Whether strolling through down-island towns or up-island reservations, its easy to fall in love with beautiful scenery and Martha's Vineyard charm.

Photo by: Provided by Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce

Provided by Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce

Beautiful is an understatement. These yellow David Austin roses have me daydreaming of summer afternoons in Martha's Vineyard.

Cozy Nook

Photo by: iStock/oversnap

iStock/oversnap

Imagine curling up to read a book on this sweet bench at the end of a wisteria-lined path.

Fairy Tale Folly

Photo by: iStock/Sisoje

iStock/Sisoje

This cozy garden gazebo is right at home in a bed of lush roses, begonia and ornamental grasses.

Black-Eyed Susans

Black-Eyed Susans

Black-Eyed Susans

The Baltimore Pimlico Race Course Preakness Stakes winner's garland is formed from black-eyed Susans, so their profusion near the back paddock of this Maryland horse farm is apt.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Graham Landscape Architecture. Photo by Eric Kvalski

Image courtesy of Graham Landscape Architecture. Photo by Eric Kvalski

This dreamy field of blooms is totally reminiscent of Tom Hanks' and Meg Ryan's iconic meet-up at the end of You've Got Mail.

Cottage Curb Appeal

The American Dream

The American Dream

Fulfill the American dream of a house with a white picket fence. Surrounding a white fence with colorful flowers will make your home stand out in the neighborhood.

Looking for an easy curb appeal trick? Plant colorful, bushy blooms and fragrant climbing roses along the outside and inside of your fence line.

Front Porch Sitting

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RMS-robinelise_shabby-porch-container-garden_s3x4

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Who said a cottage garden was restricted to the flower bed?

The Secret Garden

Grow a Secret Garden

Grow a Secret Garden

What could be more magical than a secret garden?

Photo by: Image courtesy of Lynn Coulter

Image courtesy of Lynn Coulter

I imagine Frances Hodgson Burnett would approve of this rose-clad walkway.

An Avian Refuge

Home Garden With Birdhouse

Home Garden With Birdhouse

At HGTV fan chefboston's home, the garden overflows with Shasta daisies, daylilies and other perennials.

Photo by: HGTV fan chefboston

HGTV fan chefboston

If I were a bird, I'd totally live in this field of daisies and lilies.

Ivy-Covered Alcove

Vine-Covered Arched Entryway

Vine-Covered Arched Entryway

Arches covered in creeping fig vines lead to the back entry of this elegant home. A neutral stone patio provides timeless flooring without distracting from the beautiful architectural details of the walkway.

Even though it isn't technically a garden, this greenery-bowered passageway is giving me all the cottage feels.

Beauty Overflowing

Cottage Garden With Flagstone Walkway

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.

I could spend all day admiring how Grace Design Associates paired mounds of white climbing roses with plant-lined Arizona flagstones.

Hardscape + Landscape

Bucolic Outdoor Space with Masonry and Stone Pavers

Bucolic Outdoor Space with Masonry and Stone Pavers

Using stone pavers and extending the stone wall into the landscape helps embrace the natural beauty of the landscape.

Photo by: 3Sixty

3Sixty

This outdoor space has the best of both worlds: a little bit of garden and a little bit of entertaining space. I'd love to cozy up to that fire pit, too.

Green Thumb

Lawn Chairs in Woods With Green Pillows

Lawn Chairs in Woods With Green Pillows

Sit long enough in these humble wood chairs and the gnomes and fairies may come out to play. The green accent pillows blend perfectly with the lush forest surroundings.

If you spend enough time in this lush green space, you may spot a fairy or two lurking about.

Wistful Wisteria

Brick Pavilion With Wisteria Framed Peaks, Garden and Weathered Gate

Brick Pavilion With Wisteria Framed Peaks, Garden and Weathered Gate

The weathered-finish gate serves both an aesthetic and functional purpose to the space. It creates a dramatic focal point as well as a practical entrance for staging of events. Wisteria frames the peaks of the pavilion, giving it a storybook quality that fits well with the beautiful flower garden and the structure's cottage feel. In an effort to maintain a seamless span, the wooden beams used in the timber frame we hollowed out and reinforced with steel.

Photo by: Kenny Collins, The Collins Group, Inc.

Kenny Collins, The Collins Group, Inc.

Want to make your brand-new outdoor structure look like it's been there for ages? Just frame it with some wisteria.

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Pride and Prejudice 

A Colorful Seaside Garden Frames a Cedar Shingled Home

A Colorful Seaside Garden Frames a Cedar Shingled Home

The coastal, pastoral feel of this seaside garden is emphasized with the soft palette of purple and white plants. Lavender and daisies are combined to create a graceful garden against the grey tones of the weathered stone and wood.

Photo by: Rosemary Fletcher

Rosemary Fletcher

Am I the only one getting major Elizabeth Bennet vibes from this English-inspired garden?

A Fairy-Tale Setting

Intriguing Entry Garden

Intriguing Entry Garden

The entry garden at Carole and Jim McWilliams' suburban home is a picket fence-enclosed room spilling with roses, perennials, annuals and shrubs, making for an inviting entrance.

Photo by: Photo by Ben Rollins

Photo by Ben Rollins

Although it looks like it was plucked right out of a princess movie, this charming abode is actually located in suburban Atlanta. Raise your hand if you'd totally live here. (Raises both arms!)

25 Classic Cottage Garden Flowers

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