4 Tips for Designing Your Dream Cottage Garden

Designing a cottage garden can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Follow these expert tips to create your dream cottage garden that will attract wildlife and provide a charming, informal space for relaxation.

1. Choose the Right Plants

Cottage gardens typically feature a mix of flowers, herbs, and sometimes vegetables. Opt for old-fashioned varieties and mix different heights, colors, and textures for a visually appealing look. Some classic, cottage garden plants include roses, hydrangeas, lavender, salvia, Shasta daisies, and veronica. Herbs like lavender, rosemary, and thyme not only add fragrance and beauty but also attract pollinators.

For a full list of our Perennials, click here

2. Create Soft Edges and Embrace Informality

Cottage gardens are known for their informal, relaxed feel. Avoid rigid geometric shapes and instead opt for curved borders and meandering pathways. Use plants to create soft edges and blend different colors and textures for a naturalistic look.

3. Add Climbing Roses

Climbing roses are a quintessential feature of cottage gardens. Train them to climb up trellises, arches, or walls to add vertical interest and a romantic touch to your garden. Choose varieties with a strong fragrance to enhance the sensory experience.

Two of our favorite climbing roses to encapsulate the cottage garden look are Aloha and Wollerton Old Hall™.  

Aloha is perfect for smaller gardens or an area tight on space as she climbs extremely upright. We love her as an addition to a vertical cut flower garden! Her fully double, 4-5" flowers feature 60+ petals in perfect symmetrical form and delightfully rich, rose-pink coloring with a darker magenta reverse.

Wollerton Old Hall™ is just a dream! She is one of the most fragrant of all English Roses. Her strong, warm, and intensely floral fragrance is in the myrrh family with gentle hints of apricot. The plump buds, with attractive flashes of red, open to form beautifully rounded, chalice-shaped blooms of soft apricot gently aging to a subtle cream. She routinely receives 5-star reviews and is highly coveted. We recommend planting this rose where her strong scent can be easily appreciated.

Wollerton Old Hall

4. Encourage Wildlife

Cottage gardens often attract bees, butterflies, and birds, adding to their charm and ecological value. Include plants that attract pollinators, such as agastache, lavender, monarda (bee balm), and penstemon. These plants provide nectar and pollen for bees and butterflies while adding beauty to your garden.

To cultivate a charming cottage garden, start by choosing the right plants, such as roses, hydrangeas, lavender, and daisies, which thrive in this style. Create soft edges and embrace informality, allowing plants to spill over paths and blend naturally. Incorporate climbing roses to add vertical interest and a touch of romance to your garden. Lastly, encourage wildlife by including a variety of plants that attract pollinators and birds, fostering a healthy and vibrant garden ecosystem. These tips will help you create a beautiful, flourishing cottage garden full of character and life.