Plants for an English Cottage Garden

Sue Williams

English cottage gardens are the perfect combination of charm and artful chaos. Cottage style gardens tend to be very high maintenance, but If you love being in the garden, and like the massed and charming messy look, this is the style for you. Another component of cottage style gardens is planning for a succession of colors so that your garden stays showy and full of color year round. English cottage gardens are planted predominantly using perennials with annuals as fill-ins for bare areas or spots needing an extra bit of color. Most of the huge assortment of perennials that we carry would be suitable, but here is a short list of possibilities:

Perennials for sunny conditions

  • Achillea
  • Allium
  • Aster
  • Astrantia
  • Daylily
  • Delphinium (heavenly blue)
  • Erysimum
  • Eupatorium (Joe Pye-weed, height at the back of the border)
  • Goldenrod
  • Hollyhock
  • Iris
  • Lavender
  • Nepeta
  • Phlox paniculata (tall)
  • Rudbeckia
  • Salvia
  • Scabiosa
  • Verbena bonariensis

Perennials for shaded conditions

  • Bergenia (evergreen)
  • Brunnera
  • Dicentra
  • Digitalis
  • Ferns
  • Japanese anemone (tends to spread, long bloom time)
  • Lady’s mantle (spreads aggressively by seed)
  • Primroses (many species and varieties)
  • Rodgersia
  • Toad lily
  • Viola/pansy

brunnera

delphinium

 

 

About
Sue is the Chief Education Officer and plant resource contact at Watson's. She spends her time teaching our customers and staff about planting and maintaining gardens.
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