Cottage gardens are having a revival as keen landscapers set their sights on the rustic, wild, unstructured look. But don’t be deceived by the free-flowing nature of it all, a cottage garden is often meticulously planned and well-manicured. While they can graduate to become overgrown in nature, they usually start with a formal structure.
When the foundations are designed well, cottage gardens teem with a bright blend of colours, forms and delightful fragrances. Popular flower choices include roses, helenium, hollyhocks, cornflower, silver grass, beardtongues, foxglove, poppies, delphiniums, and sweet pea.
Although the best thing about cottage gardens is that they’re entirely individualistic, which means that you can design your garden to suit your taste. No two garden will be the same and no one garden will remain the same in years to come. So don’t be bound but what people have done before. Let your imagination run wild and design the cottage garden of your dreams.
We’ve done the digging to help you get started. Dive into these 35+ cottage garden ideas and be inspired!
1. Purple flowers
When considering what flowers to go with for your cottage garden you simply can’t go wrong with anything purple. Purple is a classic cottage garden colour and will add a touch of elegance to your space. My top picks are campanula (known as bellflowers), foxgloves, and delphiniums. Combine plenty of purple with a touch of white to lighten things up.
2. Pink roses
Ooh, la la! Pink is another classic choice that you just can’t go without. If you like things feminine and light, go all out with multiple bushes of pink flowers. But if you prefer to mix things up, plant an array of coloured flowers.
3. A place to sit
A cottage garden simply isn’t complete without somewhere to sit. Take inspiration from this quaint little space and create your own area. All you need is a table, chair, and a few pots of plants. And don’t forget your cuppa and a good read while you’re at it.
4. Vintage display
Cottage gardens don’t have to be large. You can create your own cottage garden by designing a simple display like this one. All you’ll need is pots, flowers and greenery – voila!
5. David Austin roses
You can’t have a cottage garden without English roses. And the most beautiful of them all are David Austin Roses. These elegant flowers come in over 200 varieties. They are versatile flowers that are perfect for mixed borders and will fit into gardens of any style.
6. Iris flowers
If you’re looking for a flower that will add height to your garden, look no further than this beauty. Irises come in lots of different sizes, some as short as six inches and others up to four feet. And they’ll also add colour to your yard with a variety of shades on display – pink, purple, yellow, red and orange… the options are endless.
7. Flowery fence
Pink? Purple? Why not both! You simply can’t go wrong with this colour duo, especially not if you’re looking at flowers to plant in a cottage garden. These two colours compliment each other perfectly. And what better combination than lush pink roses and elegant lavender? The smell would be delightful!
If this has sparked you to update your fence, I have put together these 50 front fence ideas which will help you choose between a traditional picket fencing or maybe a more modern rendered wall privacy fence.
8. Postcard view
This quaint backyard is as pretty as a postcard. I can imagine sitting out here by the roses, sipping a cup of tea and enjoying a good read – how appropriate for an English garden!
9. Pave the way
While cottage gardens aren’t always known for their structure, you can create some order in your yard by placing down pavers. I love these stone pavers – they compliment the colouring of the exterior of this home. And the unstructured cut is the perfect choice for a natural style garden.
If you’re looking at paving like this to lead the way into your garden, here are some experts that can help with your stepping stones installation.
10. With a view
How delightful is the view from this gorgeous home? I love how stunning the flowers look against the glowing sunset in the background. This is just proof that your choice of flowers will greatly impact the overall look and design of your home – so choose wisely.
11. Sloping down
If your house is set on a hill, use stone steps to create the perfect grand entrance. I love how these steps weave their way up to the house and are surrounded by plenty of lush greenery.
12. Somewhere to sit
When designing your cottage garden, make sure you consider one of the most important parts – entertaining! You want to be able to not only have a gorgeous garden but be able to show it off as well. And what better way to do that than by enjoying the outdoors from the comfort of your patio. I can imagine this space would be perfect for weekend BBQs and fun with family and friends.
13. Curb appeal
One of the most forgotten areas of home design is the front garden. When landscaping, this should really be at the top of your list. Why? Because it’s the first thing people will see when they visit your home. So make it beautiful with a clean entrance, and plenty of colourful plants and shrubs.
14. Flower wall
I love roses… After all, you really can’t go wrong with them. But there’s something so right about this blooming rose bush. It’s a stunning entrance to this brick home. And it’s the perfect way to fancy up your front garden if you only have a small space. While it may take some time to grow to this height, you’ve got to start somewhere… It’ll be worth it!
15. Flowers on the table
Something I love about cottage gardens is that they usually have so much attention to detail. When I look at these vases filled with flowers, I’m reminded of the garden my grandma had. It was small but filled with the most wonderful flowers in all sorts of colours. But the thing that I remember the most is her attention to detail with flowers and decor on little wire garden tables. It’s the little things that can make a house feel like a home.
16. Pretty arch
Here’s another impressive rose entryway. This is pretty incredible! Once again, this would take a lot of time to grow, but it would be so worth it. If you want to recreate this look, I suggest speaking to a garden designer to see how they can help you.
17. Fairy lights
Ooh la la! This is a magical space… Made all the more breathtaking with those fairy lights twinkling in the evening light. If you want to spruce up your yard, fairy lights is one way to do it. Simply string them up and turn them on. They’ll be sure to impress at your next BBQ.
What’s a garden without a place to relax? Extra points if you can relax by the pool… I love how this design seamlessly integrates the backyard with the pool area. If you want to see something that will work more with your home, here are my favourite pool ideas that I’ve seen.
19. Chickens galore
If you’ve got the backyard for it, why not create your own little chicken hut in your backyard? This is a great way to have your own fresh eggs each week. And it’s also fun to have feathery little friends roaming around the place.
20. Picture perfect
A cottage garden isn’t complete without a perfect cottage entryway. Take inspiration from this one – it’s filled with gorgeous details. First, there’s that lovely white fence which welcomes guests as they enter the front yard. And then there’s the perfectly placed floral bushes, which sit in perfect symmetry.
21. Tiny house
This home may be teeny tiny but for what it lacks in size, it makes up in character. This is just proof that just because you have a small home doesn’t mean you have to skimp out on your garden. One of the best ways to inject life to your tiny garden is to add buckets full of flowers near the front door and around your entryway.
22. Climbing roses
Ooh, another rose-covered cottage! I wish I could create something like this at my house… but I don’t think it would work. However, if you have a quaint cottage-style home like this one, go all out! This will not only look great but it’ll smell divine too.
23. Quaint sitting area
You can’t have a cottage garden without somewhere lovely to sit. If you have a large yard, you may want to create multiple seating areas. But if you have a small space, a quaint little corner will do. No matter what the size, make sure you have somewhere you can enjoy a cupppa.
24. Through the trees
How lovely is this adorable little cottage in the woods? It would be so nice to wander and explore this place. This is proof that a cottage garden can be unstructured, wild and free. And take a look at those blue flowers – they’re a colourful addition to this gorgeous backyard.
25. Around the pool
If you have a pool area, then spruce it up with cottage garden inspired plants. This space is divine with white rose bushes, vines and tall growing trees. And I love the timber barn in the distance – it’s the perfect mix of old and new.
There is a certain elegance here with the grass leading all the way to the pool. And there are so many other inspiring pool landscaping ideas that we’ve put together.
26. Rustic archway
Nothing says cottage garden more than a gorgeous rustic archway like this one. It’s such a cute entryway to this outdoor area. And it would also be a great addition at the front of your house. However you use it, just make sure you go all out and grow green vines over the top – this will look stunning all year round.
27. A place to enjoy
What’s a garden without a way to enjoy it with friends? This cottage garden has been created with exactly that in mind. It’s got a beautiful timber table set with a mix of timber chairs. This is the perfect setup for hosting a garden party. I’m taking this as inspiration for the summer!
28. Cosy greenhouse
If you’ve got the space for it, why not install a greenhouse? This is perfect for the green thumbs. A greenhouse will keep your plants protected all year round. And it’s also a gorgeous place to explore, sit and enjoy nature.
29. Sweet porch
A porch is an extension of your garden, so you need to make sure it looks the part. And I love this little front porch – it is teaming with flowers in pots, popping out of an umbrella, and in the front basket of a bike. Plus, the yellow front door is so much fun – what a way to add a pop of colour!
30. A nod to the past
This side yard is as cottage like as they come. I love how it seamlessly integrates stone, foliage and a large tree to create a gorgeous space. It’s unstructured yet contained, which is what I like most about it.
31. Line the fence
If you’ve got a fence outlining the perimeter of your yard, don’t let it go bare! Take inspiration from this yard and grow a hedge against your fence. A great choice is one that includes a flower or pop of colour.
32. Manor house
A cottage garden doesn’t have to be all roses and lavender… It can in fact be quite simple. Take this space, for example. It includes tall trees, green shrubs and hedges. And this combination makes for an elegant front yard.
33. Go green
Here’s a stunning cottage, made all the more lovely by the colour green. I think the colour is the perfect choice and it blends nature and home together perfectly. And I love the choice of the white flowers in the bush at the front of the house – they stand out beautifully against the exterior green wall.
34. Manicured lawns
How sweet is this little entrance to this cottage? The front yard and driveway is manicured to perfection with gravel covering the ground and pots lining the exterior. I really like how the flowers are in all sorts of colours – from pink to white to yellow and red. This space is teeming with joy!
35. Up the side
This cottage is so very English. I can just imagine the cool air crisp on my cheeks as I wander through this yard. And it would look magical at snow fall. But what I love the most about this design is how the green vine creeps up the side of the building. This is something that you could recreate on the exterior of your house, no matter where you live.
There you have it, 35+ cottage garden ideas. I think you already know which ones were my favourites – the ones with the roses, of course! Now, I want to hear yours. Which cottage garden ideas are you going to use for your home? Comment and tell me. And if you have any ideas that you think I’ve missed, make sure you share them too.