10 Classic Cottage Garden Plants

By: , (Author of FRESHCUTKY)
Image by Tammi Mild

The term “cottage garden” most often refers to an informal ornamental planting of flowers near small homes or other garden structures. By concept, cottage gardens are meant to have a less organized, free-flowing design aesthetic. They are also characterized by bright color and an immense quantity of blooms. Those who wish to create a cottage garden of their own are truly limited only by their imagination. Below, we have outlined many popular cottage garden plants.  

10 Must-Have Cottage Garden Flowers

  1. Allium – Allium flowers in a cottage garden are quite common. In fact, most gardeners delight in the production of large, attention-grabbing floral spikes. Though the size and color of allium flowers will vary, many may even naturalize to return season after season. 
  2. Bee Balm – Many cottage garden flowers also serve to attract pollinators to the growing space. These perennial flowers can be easily grown from seed, and thrive under a wide range of growing conditions. 
  3. Daffodils – Spring flowering plants for a cottage garden are essential. Daffodils, for example, are often among the first flowers to produce blooms in early spring. Though yellow daffodils are more traditional, cultivars in shades of white and pink can add unique flair to growing spaces. 
  4. Delphinium – Delphinium plants are celebrated for their bright, true-blue flowers. Delphinium flowers are also prized in ornamental gardens for their magnificent tall spikes, which are covered in florets. Many taller species of delphinium may require staking to make certain their flowers remain upright. 
  5. Dianthus – Biennial and perennial species of dianthus add both color and fragrance to the garden. Blooming in shades of white, pink, and red, open-pollinated varieties of dianthus are known for their sweet, clove-like fragrance. 
  6. Foxglove – Foxglove plants produce tall, prominent floral spikes. As a biennial, ornamental gardeners should expect flowering to begin in the second season of growth. Like many ornamental plants, it should be noted that foxglove is highly toxic
  7. Hollyhocks – Among the tallest cottage garden plants, hollyhocks serve to add interesting height and appeal to the growing space. Mass plantings of hollyhock flowers are also useful in the creation of a living privacy screen between neighbors. 
  8. Roses – A cottage rose garden is sure to add fragrance to yard spaces. Both shrub and climbing roses can help to frame flower beds and bring attention to garden structures.
  9. Sweet Pea – When allowed to climb a tall trellis, ornamental sweet peas can quickly fill the garden with a profusion of bloom. Though also quite beautiful, many choose to grow Lathyrus odoratus for their enchanting fragrance. 
  10. Tulips – Tulips are commonly used in cottage gardens to border paths and frame patios. These bulb flowers can also add a great amount of curb appeal when planted in front of fences or near mailboxes. 
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