A cottage garden is a dreamy and picturesque style of garden that is quintessentially English. It is known for its informal and relaxed layout which is designed to evoke feelings of warmth, nostalgia, and romanticism. One of the most important aspects of a cottage garden is planting, which is meant to be bountiful, colorful, and fragrant. In this article, we will explore the best plants for a cottage garden, from flowers to foliage, to help you create your own whimsical garden.
Roses are the quintessential cottage garden plant, and no cottage garden is complete without them. They come in many varieties, from climbing roses to shrub varieties, and their delicate fragrance and beautiful blooms add a touch of magic to any garden. Some popular cottage garden roses include David Austin rose ‘Gertrude Jekyll,’ Rosa ‘Madame Alfred Carriere,’ and Rosa ‘The Fairy.’
Lavender is another classic cottage garden plant, known for its attractive scent and striking purple-blue blooms. Not only does it look beautiful in the garden, but it also has a calming effect and can be used in cooking, cosmetics, and aromatherapy. Some popular varieties include English lavender ‘Munstead’ and French lavender ‘Provence.’
Delphiniums are tall and elegant garden flowers, with a profusion of beautiful flowers that bloom in shades of blue, pink, and purple. They are stunning additions to the back of a mixed border or as a focal point in a cottage garden. Some popular delphinium varieties to consider include ‘Pacific Giant,’ ‘Galahad,’ and ‘Black Knight.’
Foxgloves are enchanting biennial or perennial plants that add a romantic and nostalgic look to the garden. They have tall spikes of bell-shaped flowers that bloom in shades of pink, white, and purple. They self-seed readily, so you can enjoy them year after year. Some popular foxglove varieties include ‘Camelot,’ ‘Alba,’ and ‘Excelsior Hybrids.’
Peonies are another classic cottage garden plant, known for their large, soft, and fragrant blooms. They come in shades of white, pink, and red and are popular for both their beauty and their longevity. Some popular peony varieties to consider include ‘Sarah Bernhardt,’ ‘Coral Charm,’ and ‘Karl Rosenfield.’
Hollyhocks are tall and stately flowers that add a whimsical and old-fashioned charm to any garden. They have tall spikes of flowers that bloom in shades of pink, white, and yellow and can reach up to 6 feet tall. Hollyhocks are especially popular in cottage gardens for their reliability and resilience. Some popular hollyhock varieties to consider include ‘Majorette Mix,’ ‘Nigra,’ and ‘Chater’s Double.’
Catmint is a hardy perennial herb that is popular in cottage gardens for its beautiful blue-purple blooms and its ability to attract bees and butterflies. Its distinctive minty fragrance also makes it a popular choice for herbal teas and sachets. Some popular catmint varieties to consider include ‘Walker’s Low,’ ‘Blue Wonder,’ and ‘Six Hills Giant.’
In conclusion, there are many plants that can be used to create a beautiful and enchanting cottage garden. However, the key is to choose plants that are hardy, reliable, and easy to care for. By selecting a mix of flowers, foliage, and herbs, you can create a truly magical and charming garden that reflects the traditional English cottage aesthetic.