Design an English Country Garden - Top 10 Cottage Garden Plants and Flowers

Hollyhocks in a cottage garden.An English country garden is fun and easy to design if you have the right elements. Learn how to design a true English cottage garden from our tips, ideas and advice using the right cottage flowers and cottage garden plants for an effective cottage garden design.


When we talk about a cottage garden we are really talking about an English country garden. The plants and flowers that are used in such a garden design, are seen in gardens throughout England. These country gardens conjure up thoughts of romance, bumble bees, butterflies and lazy summer days.

To try and recreate such a garden is not difficult, but to be successful you should choose your cottage plants and flowers wisely with regards to color groupings, know the heights of your plants so that you have proper planning, and finally choosing cottage plants that will thrive in your climate and soil conditions.

So, where exactly does one begin, and what elements are needed to create English country gardens?

A typical English country garden.DESIGNING AN ENGLISH COUNTRY GARDEN

Your typical English cottage garden is small and compact, full and brimming with flowering cottage garden plants.

Typically is surrounds a small, simple house with a porch. And being so confined, the cottage style has no room no need for lawn. Instead, pathways cut a swathe through the cottage garden plants and flowers, usually made of brick, shell, gravel or aggregate.

Where cottage gardens appear haphazard and abundant, success requires careful placement and knowledge of height and spread of your cottage garden plants. Climbing and wisteria give both height and romance to these gardens, especially when they provide a backdrop to other summer cottage flowers such as poppies, cornflowers, Delphiniums, lavender and Erigeron daisies. Of course don't forget that we can't just think of summer. What about for your cottage garden?

A stone bench in a cottage garden.The cottage garden, or English country garden, is best for those who love to garden, for the style is not low-maintenance. It looks informal, as if nature had scattered its seed to paint the various tapestries of color, but in actual fact, it is highly contrived. Making sure that you have a garden that blooms constantly, is no mean feat.

Design Elements for an English Country Garden

Choose simple cottage flowers for your cottage garden design and make sure that they are old-fashioned varieties. Try and choose a color scheme like pinks and whites, or blues and yellows. Where you choose to have a whole spectrum of colors then make sure that the palette is soft.

Warm brick paths, rambling roses and other climbers, pastel perennials and self-sowing annuals such as allysum are characteristic of a cottage style garden.

Choose fragrant flowers for both garden, arbors and houses.

pink valerianLet your garden show your personality. Choose your plants for personal preference and meaning rather than for design.

Plant flowers and plants in small pockets rather than in large drifts.


Your house will be the main focus of your cottage garden design. It is the biggest structure in your garden and you want to be able to see your garden from as many windows as possible. Your house should also match your garden. You cannot have an ultra-modern house with a cottage garden, nor would you have a mock-Tudor house with yuccas and agaves. It would just look very odd. Your house should look old and timeless, even if it isn't if you are to be successful in creating that special cottage style of gardening. See our page on to create that county home feel.

Don't just think of your garden, but also think of your house. Ideally, your house should be covered in some flowering climber to link your house to your garden. Wisteria, honeysuckle, golden shower, star jasmine, clematis, ornamental grapes or even climbing roses such as the lovely "Albertine", will do the trick.

Allysum Lavender wallflowers old fashioned roses


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London tips

1.The London Eye
2.Go to Hampton Court, go there on a riverboat from Westmister or wherever you are in central london, it's a great thing to do. Henry 8th lived there.
3.Go to Portobello Road Market on saturday: clothes , antiques, stuff, junk, records, books, it's brilliant. Go to Notting Hill tube station and follow crowds
4. Walk through Hyde Park, end up at Speakers Corner, an old traditional thing, people stand on boxes and talk, and crowds gather. Continue on to Piccadilly and windiw shop the whole day, End up in Covent garden and see a show at night,
5. National Gallery, National Prtrait Gallery, Tate Modern Gallery

London in 48 hours

Saturday: Portobello Road market( Nottinghill gate)
any other dat:
National Portrait gellery
pie and mash in the east end
brick lane market
Harrods food halls
Saturday and sunday:Camden Market
if you like food: 68 Royal Hospital Road ( that is the name of the restaurant, maybe the best in Europe one of the best in World)
Dickens walk, on the south bank, takes ou through cobbled streets and stuff, great fun way to see good old bits of London.
London Eye
Riverboat trip down to Hampton Court ( henry 8th lived there) and spend few hours, come back on boat have pub lunch at Hammersmith ( need a nice day to do this)
Chinatown and Covent Garden
DON'T miss national Theatre and National Film Theatre both in same place on...

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A Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden
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