How to Create a Cottage Garden

Especially popular during Victorian times, the cottage garden requires an abundance and variety of plants. Similar terms for this type of garden are the country garden or the English garden. Knowing how to create a cottage garden will allow the avid gardener to enjoy a wide variety of plants, both useful and ornamental.

Steps

  1. 1
    Familiarize yourself with the elements which make up a cottage garden.
    • These types of gardens are informal and composed of a wide variety of plants and herbs. Herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano, and rosemary are often components of cottage along with flowers. Traditionally, cottage or country gardens were kept close to the house or cottage for easy access.
      Image titled Create a Cottage Garden Step 1Bullet1
    • Shrubs and small flowering trees are often included in the country or cottage garden.
      Image titled Create a Cottage Garden Step 1Bullet2
    • Plants include a widely diverse mixture of annual and perennial flowers which are suitable for the climate and native to the area.
      Image titled Create a Cottage Garden Step 1Bullet3
    • Plants are grouped closely together and spill out onto walkways and other areas. This type of garden is a bit "messy" and gives a feeling of wildness and abundance.
      Image titled Create a Cottage Garden Step 1Bullet4
  2. 2
    Choose traditional "old-fashioned" flowers and herbs for your cottage garden. Of course, any plants can be used as long as they are not too exotic or hard to grow.
    • Cone flowers, black-eyed Susans, cosmos, lavender, hollyhock, iris, daisies, roses, sunflowers, Dianthus, zinnias, and snapdragons are among the many traditional varieties of flowers grown in a cottage garden.
      Image titled Create a Cottage Garden Step 2Bullet1
    • Roses and other flowering shrubs add vibrant color to your cottage garden. Rose of Sharon (perennial hibiscus) or crape myrtle are hardy shrubs you might include as they require little care once established.
      Image titled Create a Cottage Garden Step 2Bullet2
    • Small fruit trees evoke a country garden feel, provide blossoms in the spring and fruit at harvest.
      Image titled Create a Cottage Garden Step 2Bullet3
  3. Image titled Create a Cottage Garden Step 3
    3
    Plant one type of flower together in large groups to make an impact; single plants can sometimes get lost in the mix.
  4. Image titled Create a Cottage Garden Step 4
    4
    Repeat colors to give a sense of balance and harmony to your cottage garden.
  5. Image titled Create a Cottage Garden Step 5
    5
    Consider adding traditional features such as a picket or wicker fence, trellises, arbors and pathways to make your cottage garden more appealing.
  6. Image titled Create a Cottage Garden Step 6
    6
    Include bird baths and bird feeders to encourage wildlife to come into your garden. Use a variety of types and styles for both visual appeal and variety of birds and other wildlife.
  7. Image titled Create a Cottage Garden Step 7
    7
    Grow a few vegetables among the flowers. With your cottage garden close to the house, you can easily step outside to pick a tomato or cucumber for lunch.
  8. Image titled Create a Cottage Garden Step 8
    8
    Share your plants with friends and neighbors. Usually, cottage gardens include plants which are easy to propagate. Divide lilies and iris. Gather seeds and cuttings and start more plants to pass along to neighbors and friends so they can start their own cottage gardens.
  9. 9
    Decorate your cottage garden with whimsical items found around your home or at garage sales and flea markets.
    • Park an antique bicycle in your garden and put a flower pot in the basket. Use wrought iron chairs and tables to hold tubs or pots of flowers or herbs. You might even use a pair of old rain boots as planters to add charm and personality.
      Image titled Create a Cottage Garden Step 9Bullet1
    • An old bathtub or canoe can be used as planters. Be sure you allow for drainage.
      Image titled Create a Cottage Garden Step 9Bullet2
  10. Image titled Create a Cottage Garden Step 10
    10
    Provide benches, hammocks, swings and comfortable chairs to relax in.
  11. Image titled Create a Cottage Garden Step 11
    11
    Think about adding window boxes packed full of flowers to enhance your cottage garden theme.

Article Info

Categories: Theme and Feature Gardens