Best Garden Plants for Your Cottage
By Jill Gardiner
, last updated July 28, 2011
When planning the landscape around your cottage, you’ll want to include some of the best classic cottage plants in your garden. Beautiful, casual, and often fragrant, a cottage garden actually takes some smart planning to achieve that laid back, informal look. When planning your beds and borders, be sure to occasionally deviate from the traditional plant arrangement of low growers in front, tall plants in back, with medium plants in between. A taller perennial towards the front will lend that sense of informality that makes cottage gardens so inviting, while climbing vines that soften structures or draw your eye toward entrances add an air of romance.
Shrubs and Vines
What cottage garden would be complete without roses? Look for old-fashioned rose bushes that have retained their fragrance and don’t forget to incorporate some climbing roses on a trellis, porch, or arbor. Clematis is another great climber that’s equally at home in a cottage garden. Choose different varieties that bloom at different times for season-long interest. For shady spots, try cottage classics like hydrangea (shrub or climbing) and viburnum.
There are several tall plants that you simply must find a place for in your cottage garden. The long, graceful spires of delphinium offer a striking shock of blue that will wake up your perennial bed, while the showy stalks of hollyhock call up memories of grandma’s garden. The interesting flower shape of columbine will catch your eye, even at the back of a bed.
Yarrow, a favorite of butterflies and cottage enthusiasts alike, comes in vibrant colors and pastels; choose whichever works best for your garden’s color scheme. Fragrant, showy peonies will steal the scene in late spring; afterwards its green foliage will provide texture and a place for the eye to rest. Foxglove and Canterbury bells are other cottage must-haves.
Lavender is delicious to look at, to smell, and to eat! Other herbs, such as thyme and sage, are great fragrant and edible additions to the cottage garden. Ladies’ mantle, coreopsis, and veronica are perfect for edging your cottage garden.