Create a Charming Cottage Garden

Add a little romance to your garden with our favorite cottage garden flower and design ideas.
One of the hallmarks of a cottage landscape is movement in your beds.

Cottage Landscape - Add Curves

A classic English cottage garden is popular because of the natural feeling they evoke. They feature a colorful array of practical, easy to grow flowers, shrubs, and trees in a traditional setting.

Photo by: Designs By Elizabeth

Designs By Elizabeth

Charming, romantic cottage gardens are believed to have originated during the Elizabethan era. According to historians, they began as informal plantings of vegetables, herbs and fruits around English homes and probably expanded to include flowers and shrubs as families became a little more prosperous and had more leisure time to garden for beauty as well as for food.

Violets, daises, hollyhocks and many other flowers were commonly found in these lovely gardens. Today this "old-fashioned" design is still popular with gardeners who want a natural, casual look.

For a true cottage garden, choose plants with lush, many-petaled blooms; climbing vines, such as clematis, wisteria and honeysuckle; rambling roses; and a rich variety of fragrant flowers and herbs. Don’t forget lilacs, hydrangeas and other blooming shrubs.

Perennials make an excellent backbone for these gardens. Tuck daffodils, crocus and other bulbs or annuals in and around them, and add an apple, pear, or crabapple tree if you have room. Remember to let your plants mingle and blend together, and avoid putting them in straight lines. Part of the fun of a cottage style garden is letting your plants grow exuberantly.

Cottage Garden Flowers

See All Photos

Shop This Look

Add heirloom plants, if you wish, but don’t hesitate to try modern varieties that have been bred to resist diseases and re-bloom vigorously.

Next Up

Cottage Garden Plants

Fill your yard with cottage garden plants for over-the-top color.

How to Grow Foxgloves

Prolific blooms make foxglove a great plant for your cottage garden. Find out how to grow and care for these pretty, dramatic flowering plants.

Cottage Garden Design Ideas

Discover what it takes to create an eye-catching cottage garden design that’s big on beauty and low on maintenance.

19 Dreamy Cottage Gardens

These cozy backyards are the stuff of fairy tales.

How to Grow and Care for Agapanthus

Learn how to successfully plant, tend and enjoy African lily from garden (or pot) to vase.

Hollyhock: Our Favorite Flowers

These fast-growing blooms look great in cottage gardens.

Cottage Garden Primer

Find out the elements that make a cottage garden and how to create one for yourself.

Primrose Pointers: Follow the Primrose Path

Bright color and edible petals distinguish the primrose flower, a cottage garden staple.

Japanese Anemone: Our Favorite Flowers

These beautiful blooms will shine in any garden.

Flower Garden Design Ideas

Give your yard a splash of living color by adding flower gardens. Get tips for creating a beauty spot in any size yard.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.