A beautiful outdoor table next to a greenhouse with string lights in the background
(Image credit: Andrey Sayfutdinov)

Farmhouse style never goes out of fashion, especially for the garden. It’s a simple, welcoming, relaxed kind of gardening and decorating. Think rustic, non-fussy farmhouse garden décor, soft colors, and lots of flowers, plus plenty of space to have a picnic or informal family dinner. 

What is Farmhouse Garden Design? 

There really are no rules and plenty of room to get creative. A farmhouse garden or outdoor space is typically more relaxed and less formal. It’s not quite as loose or free as cottage style, but the two types of gardens share many elements.

Farmhouse style is also practical to some degree. Form follows function. A farmhouse garden includes vegetables and herbs, maybe even fruit. It might have flower beds for cutting. It follows the natural landscape rather than fighting or reshaping it. 

Farmhouse Garden Ideas

You can take these principles of farmhouse gardening and apply them to your outdoor space to make it both stylish and functional. Here are some ideas to incorporate farmhouse style and practicality: 

  • Use stones liberally as a functional element. Old-fashioned farmhouse gardens used materials available. Stone walls to separate areas, stone walkways, and stone-paved patios are all farmhouse-friendly. 
  • Focus on native plants. Farmhouses don’t bring in exotic perennials or annuals. They rely on the local ecosystem. Choose low-maintenance native shrubs, trees, and flowers. 
  • Keep beds natural. Farmhouse gardens are not formal. There shouldn’t be straight lines and rows— excepting the veggie bed, of course. Let flower beds follow a natural course, with soft lines and edges. 
  • Create a family gathering space, a must for a farmhouse. A patio with a long wooden table is perfect for big dinners. Use reclaimed wood to create an arbor or pergola. 

Farmhouse Outdoor Garden Décor

Once you have the garden planned, or if you already have the perfect space, you can add in outdoor farmhouse décor elements: 

  • Reclaim and upcycle. Rustic is a good word to describe a farmhouse garden. Use repurposed items to enhance the space, like an old barrel for seating, a shipping pallet for a vertical herb garden, or an old watering trough for a planter. 
  • Soft colors. Choose décor that falls on the neutral part of the spectrum. Soft creams, beige, and faded pinks or yellows look great in a rustic space. Let the bright colors come from the garden itself. 
  • Lighting. Outdoor lighting in your farmhouse garden should also have a rustic appeal. Use fairy lights and old lanterns to create an inviting space. 
  • Cozy seating. When the farming is done, all you want to do is relax in the garden. Cozy seating areas are ideal. Use lots of pillows and string up a hammock or two for an afternoon nap.
Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.