Creating More Living Space Outdoors

Easy Ideas For Your Cottage Style Garden

by Emily Flores

English cottage is one of the most popular styles for landscaping design. Imagine wild profusions of flowers, hidden benches and a romantic getaway in your own yard. That's the appeal of the cottage garden. While such a garden may appear wildly free, in fact it requires a little planning. That said, you can easily implement cottage design ideals to create the lush beauty of such a garden in your backyard.


The flowers that grow best in the English countryside, such as roses and lavender, may not be suitable for your climate. While you can still include a few traditional plants, the majority of your garden should be comprised of flowers that thrive in your area. For example, consider scattering wildflower seeds from a wildflower seed packet in your yard. The hardy plants will grow in the lush profusion that characterizes the cottage garden.

Vegetable Garden

While formal English gardens were landscaped just for pleasure, cottage gardens have to do double duty. Most people in the countryside value their homegrown vegetables. No matter where you live, consider including a planting bed of vegetables. Choose the ones that not only appeal to you the most, but also grow well in your climate. By including at least a small vegetable garden, your cottage landscaping will show the authentic spirit of the original.

Vintage Accents

As the Landscaping Network points out, it's not necessary to include every element of cottage garden décor. Instead, choose a few vintage pieces that create the target ambience. Look around your local flea market or bargain antique store for vintage garden pieces that speak to your sensibilities. For example, consider an old, slightly chipped birdbath or a charmingly antique wheelbarrow. It's also possible to use new accent pieces that mimic being weatherworn. The key is to find items that are charming on their own.

Garden Bench

Along those same lines, cottage gardens are meant for enjoying. As such, you'll want to provide space for you and your guests to lounge in the garden. Consider a bench for seating. You can choose an antique-look bench characteristic of the style. Alternatively, opt for a more modern style that includes storage inside. You can keep your garden supplies inside. Either way, plant annuals around the bench so that it blends in with the landscape.


Another mainstay of the cottage garden is the arbor. This may be one of the more ambitious plans on the list, but it's still relatively easy. Look for a white picket arbor or trellis that's easy to assemble. Erect it in your garden so it takes center stage. Finally, plant a climbing flower at its base, and train the vine over the trellis.

Create a charming retreat in your yard with a cottage garden.