Cottage Garden Ideas

Cottage Garden Design in 1800 hundred

Cottage garden-cottage garden ideas
Cottage Garden

English or cottage-style gardens are very unique which brings with it much flavor with its beauty and appeal that is filled with beautiful flowers giving off such a pleasant aroma. Cottage gardens can be fun and adventurous with their many garden features and narrow curvy paths or walkways made of pebbles, rocks, or concrete which gives not only that beautiful scenery but that sense of being in an old English setting.

History of cottage garden

Cottage gardens have a rich history, in fact, it is believed that these gardens arose in the old English days back in the 1800 hundreds when British peasants installed these gardens around their homes planting fruits, vegetables, herbs along with flowering plants, beehives, and livestock that provided food for their families.

Cottage gardens were crowded with plants. In other words, these peasants made the most out of the little space they had ensuring every bit was used because they knew that their survival depended on it.

Today these gardens are on the rise or have made a come back as many persons are creating or going back to those old English days.

Steps to installing your cottage garden

Breaking the rules

One of the rules for installing a cottage garden is breaking the rules. These gardens are not like the traditional gardens but rather creating a garden where garden plants are jammed together creating a pleasing picture as your garden shows off its many flowering plants in an array of colors. What I love about cottage gardens is it gives such a comfortable and inviting feeling that says home sweet home. This is your oasis or your garden paradise where you can kick back and relax in your private kingdom along with family and friends.

Steps in planning a cottage garden

In deciding to start a cottage garden a plan must be put in place for garden success.

  • Know which plants are involved in a cottage garden and learn about them as much as possible for example. Shapes, height, width, water requirements, fertilizer requirements, plant pest, and disease
  • When choosing plants, plants should be healthy. Sickly plants present challenges
  • Besides flowering plants include herbs such as basil, chives, rosemary garlic, etc… Herbs give off sweet aromas that have your mind racing towards thinking of that next dish you would love to prepare. For more on herbs and their many benefits follow the links.  Herbs are natural healers
  • Choose traditional flowers that are used for this kind of garden
  • Plant groups of flowering plants, plant in groups or masses
  • Repeat colors through the garden to bring balance
  • This may sound somewhat strange but plant a few vegetables among flowering plants remember it is all about breaking the rules and creating that English setting
  • A few boulders scattered throughout your garden is perfect for a more natural look

Some flowering plants that can be added

These are just a few of the many plants that can be added

Cottage garden flowers-cottage garden ideas
A Flower Garden
  • Roses
  • Lavender
  • daffodil
  • Tulips
  • Irises
  • Peony
  • Daisy
  • Foxglove
  • Perennial geranium
  • Violet
  • Lady’s mantle
  • Sweet william
  • Climbing Vines

Garden features

bike-with-flowers-cottage garden ideas
Colorful Flowers

Garden features play an important part in cottage gardens that will really complement your cottage garden.

  • Birdbaths
  • Adding a few garden benches
  • What about a hammock or two
  • How about an old bicycle with a basket across the handle with flowering plants or garden herbs
  • Add picket fences
  • Using trellises will give that added flavor
  • Using discarded items such as an old bathtub or other containers to hold plants

Additional information

  •  If possible have a soil ph test done
  • Adding organic matter is a must because this will condition your soil for proper plant growth
  • Know your plant’s water requirement. It’s best to group plants together that has the seem water requirements
  • Never block windows and other areas that can become a security hazard. Low growing plants should be planted in these areas while taller plants can be installed in places where they are free to grow without causing obstruction but if you insist on planting a few tall plants in front of your window ensure at all times that they are pruned to a height that allows for a good view from inside your home
  • Remember proper planning and preparation is the key
  • keep the use of garden pesticides to a minimum to avoid killing beneficial insects and other wildlife
  • Have a plan to keep track of the monthly maintenance of your cottage garden
  • When fertilizing always follow as directed on the label. There are quick release, slow or controlled release, and natural organics

Having fun

Above all have fun and don’t overthink this garden project just go for it as those creative juices begin to flow.

The final word

Recreating these gardens that have been around from the 1800 hundreds can be so much fun as we get a feel of generation past and what they did by not only beautifying their surroundings but feeding their families along with using natural ways in keeping each other healthy and happy so let’s go for it and create this garden setting as we go back to the 1800 hundreds.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

9 thoughts on “Cottage Garden Ideas”

  1. Hi Norman,

    thank you for this well-written guide on cottage gardens. I am wondering: What size should your property have AT LEAST in order to build such a garden? We have a “normal” backyard with huge portions of grass. It is very open, I am sometimes wondering if I could bring a bit more shaded, “hideout” areas to our garden. A cottage garden could be ideal for that scenario.

    All the best,

    • Hello Chris so happy  to meet and to help you. A cottage garden dose not have to be that big remember when these gardens was first started they were not that big. Infact when first starting out it is advised to start small and build from there so starting on a small scale is good just as a test to give it a try and then from there you can continue to develope your garden. Hope this help, wishing you the best of success.

  2. I love this whole idea, I love gardening and have always wanted to do this type of garden, alas all my property is in full sun. I may do one using the drought tollerant flowing plants that can handle North Central Texas. Can you send me a list of some.

    I did notice some sentences that might need your attention. (Using discarded items such as an all bathtub or other container to hold plants) are you sure you want to say all bathtub or did you mean to say old bathtub?

    One more place is, (as we get a feel of generation pass). Did you mean to use pass or did you want to say generations past?

    You did a wonderfu

    • Hello Lynn so happy that I could help and thanks so much for your help. I have read this post a few time so it was and over sight I will make the correcting also I have been using Grammarly for a while but still it dose not work for me as it should because I have been told by other members of my post having mistakes. Thanks again and wishing you the best of success. I will send you the list. Thanks again.

  3. Growing a cottage garden sounds like a lot of fun. I have a friend who owns a house on Staten Island. He was asking me if there’s a good way to make his front and backyard look nice.

    It seems a cottage garden is the answer. He loves flowers, so you should expect more flowers than other plants on his yard.

    By the way, you mentioned something about pesticides. I read somewhere before that certain plants naturally emit substances that repels insects. What do you recommend?

    • Hello so good to meet you. There are some plants that insects hate I wrote and article on this a while back. This is a good way to keep pest population low. Hope this help. Have a good day.

  4. I love the garden features you have listed. I don’t have a garden house, but I need to do some major landscaping in my yard. I really loved the picture of the cart with the flowers. That is something I could see myself having. So the list of flowers was great. Thanks for the super informative post.

    • Hello my good friend so so haapy to see you. Hope all is well. Cottage gardens are really amazing and the good part is we can create our gardens to have that look and feel of the 1800 hundreds. I am glad that I could help, thanks so much for your kind words. Have a good day.


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