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35 Cute cottage garden ideas

By Elise Hodge

Published: June 27th, 2020

Roses, plenty of greenery, and rustic touches - you can't go wrong with a cottage garden!

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Alexander Hoyle

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Blooming White

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.

Cottage garden
Source: dachstuebchen

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!

Cottage garden
Source: Oak Tree Cottage

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.

English garden
Source: North Lodge Cottage Garden

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Ellie Frost Gardens

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!

Cottage garden
Source: Cup of Tea Home

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!

Cottage garden
Source: Claire Smasset

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Cup of Tea Home

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Psd Architects and Builders

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Psd Architects and Builders

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Mitchell Wall Design

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.

Cottage garden
Source: HGTV

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!

Cottage garden
Source: Acorn Cottage

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Lottie by the Sea

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Karen Snyder

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.

Cottage garden
Source: French Country Cottage

18. Relax!

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.

Cottage garden
Source: My 100 Year Old Home

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.

Chicken coop
Source: Antique Farmhouse

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Willard Creative

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Shiplap and Shells

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Jenny Rose Innes

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Jenny Rose Innes

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Country Gardens Magazine

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Sanctuary Home Decor

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Country Home Magazine

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!

Cottage garden
Source: Helen Norman

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Bloom Greenhouse

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!

Cottage garden
Source: The Pickled Rose

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Old Silver Shed

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Paul Havel

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Christian Daw Design

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.

Cottage garden
Source: patticakewagner

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!

Cottage garden
Source: Monalogue

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.

Cottage garden
Source: Duffers102

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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elise H

I've recently moved into a new home and I've been having so much fun decorating it with pretty wall prints and Scandinavian-inspired furniture. So as well as being a freelance writer, I'm always on the lookout for new design pieces for my home!

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