Gold Flowers For A Cottage Garden

Ilona Erwin

A Sunny and Simple Cottage Garden Plan

There is something about the monochromatic scheme idea that has always attracted gardeners. I think it has something to do with the powerful impact of such a design, but also due to the psychological effect that color has on people.

Color says something to us, and there are times that the message is desired to say something either to ourselves or to the “world out there”. Those messages might just be buried within the fact that we simply like a certain hue.

Yellow and gold have a cheerful effect on people, but they are also attention-getting shades. It matches well with a wide variety of home exteriors, and it might be the hue you are looking for to give the landscape a unified feel with its optimistic, emotionally strong, and friendly appeal.

yellow Asian lily

Lilium produce abundant blooms during early to midsummer

Have you ever wanted a monochromatic garden, one made with most or all the flowers in just one glorious color?

Gertrude Jekyll had the idea of a sequence of “garden rooms” each with their own primary color scheme of one or just two colors. It is an idea that appeals to the designer in us: creating a cottage garden plan with the tapestry texture of one color we love best.


This Golden Afternoon of a Garden

This idea is to have cheerful sunny colors of yellow, spilling out of borders, overflowing urns, and generally shining with golden colors throughout a bustling, productive cottage plot.

First things though:

Have you any idea of what makes the Cottage Garden style?

If the style is as important as the color, to you, then brush up on what comprises the Cottage style. It is a branch of the English style of gardening, but with a few particular traits of its own.

The full and abundant plantings with layers of blooming plants is characteristic of most English gardens, but the Cottage style has a bit of an old fashioned look, with its choice of flowers and the feeling, if not the exact dimensions of a tight garden space crammed with flowers and plants important to small householders. Fruit trees, kitchen produce, and herbs, all might be found there.

Components, plants and history of Cottage gardening can be found in the listed links above, right. Now for the list, which has arrow, below right, to additional suggestions.


Suggested List of Yellow to Gold Flowers

Gold Flowers That Will Fill And Overflow

The following plants can create the look.

Perennial Yellow Flowered Plants

Plant NameNotesBloomtime
Lindera benzoin, shrubnative to USASpring
Buttonbush, shrubnative to USASpring
Kerria, shrubGolden yellow bloom in double and single formSpring
Hamamelis, Witch Hazel, shrubSeveral good types of HamamelisEarly spring bloom
Hypericum, herbaceous perennial and shrub forms. St. John’s WortBright sunny yellow blooms with good foliage.Summer
Euphorbia polychroma, herbaceous perennialEarly yellow bloom with excellent foliage and good fall color.Early season, spring bloom.
Daylily, Hemerocallis flava, herbaceous perennialBloom season varies, yellow varieties among others; check the description.Early,mod. and late season or reblooming.
Baptisia ‘Carolina Moonlight’ Baptisia,’Carolina Moonlight’, herbaceous perennialtough and drought tolerantMidseason
Geum chiloense ‘Lady StrathedenDelicate flowers on thin stems.Early Summer
Lupinus Chandelier, herbaceous perennialThis is a pretty yellowEarly Summer
Digitalis ambigua and D. luteaYellow foxglovesEarly Summer
Solidago, herbaceous perennialGoldenrods are weeds or garden plants… situate carefully.Many wild types bloom mainly in Midsummer to Late
Centaurea macrocephalaThistle flower that needs moisture. Cold hardy.Mid to late season blooms
Yellow Rose varieties. ‘Graham Thomas’ is one of the best.English rose which is hardy to Zone 4Summer
Achilleas, herbaceous perennialYarrows are water conserving plantsMidsummer to Late
Rudbeckia hirta, herbaceous perennialBlack-eyed Susans, widely used for gardens. These are golden dependable blooms on tough plants.Midsummer
Coreopsis verticillata, Thread-Leaf Coreopsis, herbaceous perennialPrairie flower. Long lasting bloom when sheared back midsummerMidseason, May-June to August
Helenium, Sneezeweed, herbaceous perennial‘Butterpat” is a very good cultivar with good yellow color.Midseason
Alcea rosea ‘ Chater’s Double Yellow’Tall double flowered hollyhockMidseason
Helianthus, or Sunflower. Both annual and perennial types.Prairie plant, native, tall. ‘Lemon Queen’ named variety.Midsummer
Iris, herbaceous perennialA number of Iris have golden and yellow colors.Early summer
Laburnum anagyroides, Golden Chain, treeFine ornamental, but also very poisonous in all its parts.Spring
Styphnolobium japonicum aka Sophora japonica, treePale yellow pea-like bloomsSpring
Thunbergia alata, vineBlack-eyed Susan Vine is perennial only in the South.Summer
Bowles Golden Sedge, grassNeeds moisture like most sedges.Yellow foliage

Plants for the Golden Cottage Garden

Some hyacinths are yellow, as are many pansies and violas. Dahlias, foxgloves, lupines, many tulips and primroses come in this color range. Lily bulbs come in some luscious shades of yellow and gold. Look for selections of Asiatic and Orienpets to give a golden glow to the summer.

Named Varieties of Daylily and Iris

The lily form of flower is found in both the Lilium bulbs and in the bushy perennial clumps of Hemerocallis, with different bloomtimes, a full summer season of these fragrant flowers are perfect for cutting.

Daylilies are a Cottage garden’s friend due to their beautiful abundance of flowers and ease of growth and care. In the list of good golden hued flowers a variety list of Hemerocallis is in order.

German Iris dominate late spring and early summer right before the roses come into bloom. Iris is a stalwart plant of the garden and was often included in Cottage garden plans. A list of golden to yellow flowers is also included here.

Daylily Varieties

  • ‘Armani’
  • ‘Autumn Minaret’
  • ‘Baby Fresh’
  • ‘Banana Boat’
  • ‘Beauty to Behold’
  • ‘Crystal Cupid’
  • ‘Forsyth Lemon Drop’
  • ‘Girl Scout’
  • ‘Happy Returns’
  • ‘Stella de Oro’

Iris Varieties

  • Baby Blessed
  • Butter and Sugar (Siberian)
  • Chickee
  • Honey Glazed
  • Lullaby of Spring
  • Refined
  • Summer Olympics
  • Sun Doll
  • Tulare
  • Watercolor
Gray foliage is a natural setting for displaying golden blooms at their best. The plants with gray foliage are often drought tolerant, and love the sunny exposures that bring out the best bloom and color of yellow to golden flowering plants.

Suggested Flower Combinations For A Golden Monochromatic Bed


The lily-flowered tulip ‘West Point’ is a late spring blooming bulb, any and all yellow daffodil varieties bring golden hues to all parts of spring. The little Iris danfordiae can accent the front of the border or edge a pathway. Eranthis and crocus give earliest yellow color to spring.

Doronicum with big yellow daisy with the imposing common name of “leopard’s bane”. Pair it with hostas, especially a golden leaved variety like ‘Sum and Substance’ to cover its spot when it goes into summer dormancy. Golden foliaged euphorbia polychroma is also a nice companion, depending on how much sun exposure your flower bed has.

Sun exposure: When combining plants consider how the amount of sun will affect them. Doronicum takes full sun to part shade. If ‘Sum and Substance’ hostas are grown with it, they will have more yellow tones in their leaves if the area is more sunny. Hostas will not look as well if they are in full sun. Euphorbias are a much better choice in the greater sunshine.

If you love pink, find plants in the Pink Garden Plan.

Love an All White Garden? Sissinghurst has the most famous example. My idea is for a tranquil, scented, white garden.

A Blue Garden? Try this blue garden plan for your yard.

For more detailed information on this design style:


Yellow Flowers

Eremurus stenophyllus and cream roses

Who can imagine a summer perennial bed without black-eyed Susans?

The Rudbeckia fulgida is a strong, freely blooming, golden daisy that gives presence to the garden.

A yellow daylily or two (see the list above), I love the old fashioned ‘Hyperion’, and bunches of feverfew will give a cottage style abundance whether you add other plants or not.

But don’t stop with only those three. Add gold and yellow dahlias, marigolds along the edges, calendulas, and tansy.

Let the large selection of golden flowering plants that populate the summer gardens jumble and jostle together.

There are beautiful yellow roses to consider: ‘Golden Showers’, ‘Abraham Darby’, and ‘Golden Celebration English Rose’.

Achillea filipendula and Lady’s Mantle will give loads of blooms while inserting interesting shapes and foliage. Plant the large A. filipendula at the mid to back and the lower growing Lady’s Mantle along the front.

Some named plant varieties to include…
  • Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm
  • Viola ‘Sorbet Banana Cream’, V. ‘Sorbet Lemon Chiffon’
  • ‘Janie’ marigolds (annual)
  • Calendula ‘Princess Golden’ (annual)
  • Achillea ‘Gold Plate’

When planting cottage gardens, remember that old fashioned, simpler varieties are the traditional inhabitants of such flower beds.


Autumn always has an abundance of golden flowers. Chrysanthemums, now called Dendranthema, can be the central protagonist of the garden and comes in many flower forms. The button flowers of ‘West Point’ will shine in the garden, or try a newer variety like ‘Carrie’.

Don’t turn up your nose at Goldenrods, Solidago – the English gardeners don’t.

Helenium autumnale and Helianthus “Lemon Queen” are two plants of the Composite (Daisy) family that lend their golden hues to a sumptuous fall overflow of flowers that really attract attention.

yellow garden path

Photo by Andrea_44 yellow garden path

– There you go! Try these suggested plants for a golden bed of blooms that fills almost the entire season with cheerful floral sunshine.

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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.