Cottage Garden Plants – Plant List and Garden Design Ideas
Informal and relaxed the cottage garden is a style of garden that suits many Australian homes. Plants are varied and include a range of perennials, herbs and trees.
The origin of cottage gardens is in the plants grown small yards of the homes (cottages) of workers where they were grown in close proximity to each other, allowed to self seed and provided flowers. These gardens were informal (photo right) and productive with a mix of scented, flowering and edible plants, a combination of flowers and bulbs, herbs, roses, perennials and self seeding annuals.
Plants grown in these gardens were selected for the soil and growing conditions of the garden around individual homes, with some plants chosen for shade, others for full sun.
Arches and trellis were used to support climbing and rambling roses, herbs such as thyme, oregano and dill were grown the same garden beds as flowering plants such geraniums, phlox the taller growing hollyhocks and foxgloves.
Fruit trees were included in these gardens and although they originated in workers cottages the style was soon mimicked in informal plantings in garden borders of more stately homes. An with all of those flowers you to can easily create your own colorful romantic cottage g arden to suit your own home.
A List of Plants the Cottage Garden
Now any online list of plants is bound to be incomplete and even controversial, and with cottage garden plants consider that it’s really more about style that the actual plants used, we are looking for a ‘crowded look’ with both flowers and edible plants as well as herbs if we are going for the ‘traditional look’, however all flowers is fine, and even a cottage garden from native plants is possible in terms of ‘look’. But lists are a good starting point so here is ours.
- Aconitum (Monkshood)
- Alcea (Hollyhocks)
- Alchilla mollis (Lad’s Mantle)
- Aquilegia Columbines or Granny’s Bonnets)
- Berry fruit plants
- Campanula (Canterbury Bells)
- Dianthus (sweet Williams and others)
- Digitalis (Foxgloves)
- Doronicum (Leopards Bane)
- Fruit Trees (Plum and Apple)
- Heuchera (Coral bells)
- Iris (Bearded Iris and Siberian Iris)
- Lavandula (Lavender)
- Leucanthemun (Daisies)
- Nepeta (Catmint)
- Phlox paniculata (Perennial Phlox)
- Viola (Violets)
Aquilegia (picture above) make a great Cottage Garden Plant.
Ornaments and Paths for the Cottage Garden.
Fountains, garden furniture and ornaments were not a big feature in original designs, paths tended to be straight and functional, however this is no longer the case and water features that blend in are surrounded by plants, seats, sundials and paths that wind their way through the garden can all be a part if the design. It is really the ‘crowded’ and mixed nature of the plants that will create the feel and look desired.
For a list of online suppliers and growers of garden plants for a cottage garden try our plant finder and A-Z list of garden plants