How You Can Create a Cottage Garden of Your Own

Ilona Erwin

Cottage Garden Cheatsheet

Do you admire the pictures, but have been unsure of how to put together your own cottage garden? Why not start with one corner of your yard or a front dooryard entry?

If the abundant and romantic look is something you decide you want, it is a matter of plants spreading out into borders, and “garden rooms” by way of division and seeding. This way, the flowers will anchor the design throughout the garden. Eventually you will have that Cottage Garden.

Three Simple Things To Remember

1. Make a list of the Cottage garden plants you want.

cottage garden plants

Grows on shows what you can do with a small corner

Start out with plants that will give you the full and abundant look that is characteristic of the cottage style. There are many old fashioned choices of plants that will look much more at home in this type of garden than the modern hybridized versions.

For truly traditionalist garden makers, The Cottage Garden Plantlist

A compilation of Golden blooms, The Gold Cottage Garden



2. Not to say you shouldn’t have an overall plan. A larger vision of the landscape design is always a great benefit. It saves time and mistakes. This does not require strict rules to follow, but simply gives some structure and guidance to a gardener (which will be appreciated on trips to the garden store).

With a plan you are free to look for the best plants and possibly pick some up at a discount, because you already which ones you want.

To understand the elements of this style, Cottage Gardening



3. Make a sense of enclosure.
If making your own plan, one easy tip is to center a cottage garden around a path, and cozy up to a corner or the house. That will help provide the enclosed, intimate feeling that this style embodies. Keep the scale stepped in layers of interest, but broken here and there.

Keep the front of the planting low and spilling onto the pathway, arrangements of middle ground (mid-height) plantings with the occasional tall spire or even a small ornamental tree. Weave twining and vining plants, or include a climbing rose, attached to the tree, draped on a fence, or to the side of the house.

Cottage gardens benefit from personal touches such as an ornamental trellis or tuteur

See The Quaint Cottage Garden to answer the question whether this garden is for you and cottage garden advice.

A Garden Tuteur

Giving vertical interest and saving precious growing space, this attractive tuteur will hold bean plants, or morning glories and bring a traditional, charming point of interest into the plan.

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Ilona Erwin, author

Meet the Author

Ilona Erwin

I started working on this website beginning in 1998, when it was part of Ilona's Reflecting Pool. Since then I've branched out into a number of online endeavors and work at writing lots of content for my sites. "Ilona's Garden" remains my primary site and is dedicated to home gardener's success.