Elements of a cottage garden

Cottage garden and path

How to create the quintessential cottage garden full of old-fashioned flowers, lavender-lined paths and fruit trees. This planting harks back to a time when gardens weren't planned, they grew. It's about abundance and informality, at its best when allowed to develop gradually.

The basics
Like every garden, this style has three main elements - vertical, horizontal and planting. It is how you marry these together that creates the distinctive cottage-garden look. In this case, the verticals are the walls of the house, the greenhouses and sheds, and the plant supports and fences. These must be clothed with an abundant mix of climbing plants to create the right mood. The horizontals include the paths and edgings, planters - and water. They enclose, contain and anchor the planting while the water, vital for plants and wildlife, is present in water butts, ponds and pools. The planting must include a profusion of climbers and ramblers, perennials, edibles and annuals allowed to self-seed wherever they like. 

Planning a cottage garden: all the elements you need to consider

Pick the perfect cottage-garden plants

You might also like...

How to create a woodland garden
See more classic cottage-garden plants
Plants to pick for the location or the look you want


by 2 people

Rate This
Comment Print

Post your comment

Join us here...

Click on a magazine title to see all its online features and news
Stain buster Our guide to removing smudges, spots, and other spills.
See more stain busting solutions >


Directory View all offers


View by magazine : View by magazine Prima