Potted Cottage Gardens: Growing A Cottage Garden In Planters

Potted Cottage Garden Full Of Flowers
potted cottage
(Image credit: UllrichG)

The gardens of the wealthy in old England were formal and manicured. In contrast, “cottage” gardens were delightfully haphazard, mixing veggies, herbs and hardy perennials. Today, many gardeners want to bring the charm of the cottage garden into their own yards.

A true cottage garden requires a bit of backyard, but even those without one can achieve the appealing look with a cottage garden in containers on a patio, front porch or balcony. Read on for information about container-grown cottage gardens and tips on how to grow a cottage garden in planters.

Potted Cottage Gardens

If you love the natural look of a cottage garden but just don’t have the time or space, you can start growing a cottage garden in planters. A cottage garden in containers allows you to capture the essence of this look without a lot of fuss or expense.

Potted cottage gardens work well in small patios or decks since you can shift the containers in and out of the sun as they become ready for the limelight. For the best luck in growing cottage gardens in planters, use a variety of pots that offer a succession of changing displays from spring through fall.

The key to creating this type of continuous display is to select one cottage garden plant to play the central role in each container. Then, fill in around the iconic plant with smaller filler plants. Packing the containers full of flowers and foliage goes a long way toward creating effective potted cottage gardens. You need the tight mix of color and texture mix to get that cottage garden look.

Plants for Container Grown Cottage Gardens

So what to plant to create a container-grown cottage garden? Cottage garden plants for pots should include climbers, sprawlers and mounders to get the charm of the unruly look. Here are just some examples, but you can choose nearly anything that fits with various edibles, herbs and flowers:

  • For climbers, consider easy-to-grow morning glories or fragrant sweet peas, both classic elements of a cottage garden.
  • Sprawling varieties of verbena or petunia work well in potted cottage gardens to create the windblown look. Herbs with trailing stems, such as thyme and oregano, look very cottage-like spilling over the container sides too.
  • Add great foliage plants like coleus as mounders to cram the container with texture and color. You can also use veggies, like leafy lettuces or kale, for this purpose.
Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.