Cottage gardens capture the romance and simplicity of country living, with their lush abundance of flowers, fruits, herbs, and shrubs. This gardening style has its roots in the 19th-century English countryside where labourers would grow a mix of edible and ornamental plants around their cottages. While traditional cottage gardens may appear haphazard, they are indeed thoughtfully curated spaces. If you’re looking to recreate this charming, whimsical style, here’s a list of cottage garden plants to consider:
No cottage garden is complete without roses. Classic varieties like Old Garden, English, or Climbing Roses not only add beautiful blooms but also lovely fragrances to your garden. They’re perfect for trellises, walls, or as stand-alone features.
Foxgloves, with their tall spikes of bell-shaped flowers, are a classic choice. They’re biennial plants, flowering in their second year, and are known for self-seeding, providing a surprise element each year.
Delphiniums are another tall, striking addition to a cottage garden. Their spires of blue, purple, pink, or white flowers create a fantastic vertical element.
Lavender is a wonderful choice for a cottage garden with its fragrant, purple-blue flowers and silvery foliage. It also works well as a low hedge or edging plant.
Hollyhocks are another old-fashioned favourite. They offer height and a burst of colour, typically in shades of pink, red, yellow, or white.
Sweet peas are ideal for adding colour and scent. Grow them up trellises or alongside fences for a lovely display.
Hardy geraniums, not to be confused with pelargoniums, offer a sprawling ground cover with beautiful and bountiful blooms.
Daisies, like Shasta daisies or Ox-eye daisies, bring a sense of cheerfulness and simplicity to your garden.
Traditionally, cottage gardens weren’t just for beauty; they also provided food and medicinal herbs. Include herbs like rosemary, thyme, mint, and sage.
Smaller fruit trees, like apple or pear trees, add structure and provide delicious bounty.
Plants like clematis, honeysuckle, and wisteria are great for adding vertical interest and can be used to cover walls, fences, or trellises.
Perennial and Annual Blooms
Cottage gardens are all about abundant blooms. Consider perennials like peonies, asters, bellflowers, or annuals like cornflowers and poppies.
Remember, a cottage garden is about abundance, charm, and a bit of whimsy. There’s no strict design or rules – it’s about growing what you love. These plants can provide a starting point, but feel free to mix in your favourites. The beauty of a cottage garden is in its seeming spontaneity and the joy it provides.