Cottage Garden Design

Ideas for English Gardens

cottage garden design

A cottage garden design is inspired by beautiful, informal English Gardens of the past. A cottage garden design has a distinct style that contains a mixture of dense plantings of roses, perennials, and annual flowers.

English gardens originated in England in the 1870's. They were functional gardens that contained edible plants as well as ornamental ones. Very unlike the formal English Estate gardens with their tidy formal designs, and mass plantings.

They were traditionally enclosed by hedges (to keep the animals out), and a rose-towered gateway. Nineteenth century flowers such as Delphinium Pansies Hollyhocks Cone-flowers, Peony Plants Foxgloves, Daisies, Pinks, Sweet Williams, Lilies, Lavender, Campanulas, and Lily of the Valley are all typical of these cottage garden design.

When making you own garden, feel free to use perennials and Annuals of your choice. The idea, is to use lots of flowers, in a variety of textures. Plants should be allowed to re-seed to keep bare areas filled in.

You want an informal look with a colorful mixture of flowers, closely planted together. Any flower with that "old-fashioned" appeal will work. Many of the ornamental grasses blend nicely in these gardens.

Roses continue to be the "Queen" of flowers used in this garden design.

Roses to use in Your Cottage Design:

Roses to use in your design could include: Shrub roses, old garden roses, Damask, Gallica, Noisette, and any of the David Austin English roses. (Be sure to choose ones that are hardy to your planting zone) Climbing Roses Bourbons, any from the series of Knock out rose

Climbing Plants

Climbing plants can grow with abandonment, intertwining with the climbing roses or other plants. some good choices would be:


Sweet Pea

Morning Glories

Clematis vines

 Garden Design Ideas

Choose plants and materials to give the feel of a casual country garden. Plant single specimens, and scatter them throughout the garden, instead of clumps of specific color combinations.

You can plant all your favorite flowers, and not have to worry about colors blending, or clashing. You'll have lots of different colors in your garden, giving you lots of combinations for picking bouquets. Arbors and Fences should be made of natural materials for the country look. Wooden fences and gates for example.
The Garden Walkways might be made of natural stone or brick, to have the same casual feel. The same goes for garden ornaments such as a Bird Bath For help in designing your own Cottage garden, try this free garden planning software

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