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Cottage Gardens | Cottage Garden Design | Cottage Garden Plants

Updated on September 24, 2014

Cottage Garden Design

Cottage Gardens have been around for centuries - and that familiarity is something we find reassuring; ever-present and eternal, cottage gardens evoke images of kindly grandparents and neighbors, conversations over garden walls, and the feeling that life is simple and timeless...

Cottage Garden Design - How to Plan a Cottage Garden

No two Cottage Gardens are alike - and that is part of their charm. There are a few points that will be common to all cottage gardens though, and that is the type of flower grown. Cottage Gardens originally grew a mixture of practical plants. Thses would have been varieties which were necessary for living - medicinal plants, plants used in dyeing cloth and herbs for cooking and keeping the cottage smelling sweet.

We still use herbs in our cooking today, and these are usually termed kitchen-garden plants, grown close to the kitchen door for easy picking.

Modern Cottage Garden designs encompass herbaceous plants, annuals, shrubs and climbing plants. Climbing Plants can ascend walls, fences, trellis or frames at the back of the garden. Taller plants should be next, at the back of the border. Medium-height plants should be grown in the center of the border and smaller varieties in front. Colors and varieties should be mixed - the aim is to cram in as many plants as possible in a colorful way, without any empty spaces. Grown along snaking paths, these riotous displays attract insects such as bees and butterflies as well as people!

Cottage Garden Plants - What to Plant in Your Cottage Garden











Snapdragons (Antirrhinums)





















etc etc

Cottage Garden Maintenance - Looking after your Garden

Mantaining your Cottage Garden consists of the usual tasks of watering, pruning and weeding. Cottage Garden Plants need consistent watering to survive, so a good soaking in the spring and summer months, either in the morning or evening when the sun is less hot, is just the thing. Dead-heading after flowering and weeding the beds are common gardening tasks. Perennials and climbers can be pruned back hard in late summer or early autumn when they have finished flowering. Annuals can be removed after they have had the chance to seed - these can be collected for next year.

Don't get too carried away with the maintenance and forget to enjoy your garden!

Extract from 'Seed Time and Harvest' by Edith Nesbit

I'll plant and water, sow and weed,

Till not an inch of earth shows brown,

And take a vow of each small seed

To grow to greenness and renown:

And then some day you'll pass my way,

See gold and crimson, bell and star,

And catch my garden's soul, and say:

"How sweet these cottage gardens are!"

— Edith Nesbit

Thomas Kinkade Cottages - Cottage Gardens in Paradise

Nobody portrays Cottage Gardens quite like Thomas Kinkade...

Adding a Few Extra Touches

Besides plants, you should feel free to add a statue or two, or a centrepiece such as a sundial or a touch of whimsy such as an animal ornament - gardens don't have to be serious!

Cottage Garden Ornaments on Amazon

Cottage Garden Feedback

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    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 

      5 years ago from Naperville, IL

      Cottage gardens are so charming and inviting. Lovely lens!

    • GardenIdeasHub LM profile image

      GardenIdeasHub LM 

      6 years ago

      I was very interested in cottage gardens and will be back to read more.

    • Rangoon House profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      I love cottage gardens - so romantic and old-worldly. Thank you for bringing this beauty into my weekend.

    • cdevries profile image


      7 years ago

      Cottage gardens are wonderful... a little hard to grow in the hot/dry climate of Texas though, as most of the traditional plants like more of a (rainy) English climate. Nice Lens!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image


      7 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      A lovely lens. I have bookmarked it on my computer.

    • dahlia369 profile image


      7 years ago

      Very nicely done, lovely images! :)

    • hysongdesigns profile image


      7 years ago

      Lovely lens! I love cottage gardens and like to think the new trend of 'food not lawns' is a new out growth of our great great grandmothers gardens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Well done...Loved your lens. Gave me lots of food for thought for my garden.:)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Our cottage garden needs a plan so thanks for all the ideas here.

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 

      8 years ago

      Cottage gardens are delightful and usually full of color. I love them.Nice lens with lots of ideas to get me thinking.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      You have pin-pointed my dream garden! I love your lens.

    • GardenArbor profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @Gamganny: Thank you so much!

    • Gamganny profile image


      8 years ago

      Love a cottage garden. Blessed by an Angel


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