Important Cottage Backyard Concepts: 5 Methods To Dive Into The Cottage Backyard Pattern

Cottage gardens have evolved a lot over the years. From the basic English cottage garden style of old, you can now try specific styling themes such as a xeriscape cottage garden, a shrub cottage garden or, for those short on space, a cottage garden in containers. Learn how to achieve these cottage garden looks with ease.

5 Essential Cottage Garden Ideas

Cottage gardens of yesteryear maximized small garden space with herbs, edibles and flowers planted close together. Today’s cottage gardens ramp up this style. The ‘cottagecore’ trend, for instance, brings together a bounty of edibles and flowering plants with harmony and balance in mind.

The romantic feel is still intact in all these cottage garden layouts, which feature colorful plants of different heights and textures, fusing plants for structure with ideas for elegance and charm. Plant them with the tallest in the back for the best effect. Here are five ways to transform your space with quaint florals and romantic flair.

1. Cottage Garden Containers

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If you live where yard space is limited, but you have a porch or balcony, a container grown cottage garden Is ideal. For maximum impact, plant several containers that can be moved in and out of your display, so it is in constant bloom for each season. Start with a colorful annual or perennial for the main plant in each pot and surround it with fillers.

Plants to try include vines such as morning glory or sweet pea, sprawling plants such as verbena or petunia, and trailing herbs such as thyme or oregano. You can add foliage plants such as coleus and leaf lettuces. Arrange the pots in a long planter box for the best display.

2. Xeriscape Cottage Gardens

cottage garden xeriscaping with black eyed susan display

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The idea of cottage garden xeriscaping is to utilise the carefree color and character in a low maintenance way with drought-tolerant plants. Choosing plants adapted to dry conditions will decrease maintenance chores such as watering. Planting them close together also will reduce weeding chores.

Look for drought-tolerant plants like autumn sage, bearded iris, purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, cosmos, gomphrena, butterfly weed, rose of Sharon shrub and desert willow tree (hardiness zone 7 and above). This is one of the most easy-going cottage garden ideas, but irrigation is important until plants are established.

3. Shrub Cottage Gardens

cottage garden display with ceanothus shrub

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One smart and easy way to style out a cottage garden is to feature bushes and small trees among the flowers and edibles. Several shrubs work well for a cottage garden theme. A flowering redbud tree will attract pollinators in the spring. A chaste tree is a large shrub with colorful spikes that bloom all summer. Popular hydrangeas come in all shapes and sizes to fit your garden.

Native Ceanothus produces fragrant blooms similar to lilacs, and a butterfly bush is a must-have in a cottage garden to attract scores of butterflies. Perennial plants that grow into shrubs include varieties of salvia such as autumn sage, Cleveland sage and Brandegee’s sage.

4. Winter Cottage Gardens

cottage garden display with flowering japanese kerria

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These cottage gardens get their ethereal look by incorporating plants with evergreen foliage, as well as berry-producing plants or those with interesting seed heads. Broadleaf evergreens such as camelia, rhododendron, boxwood and sweetbox keep their leaves year round. For evergreen conifers, choose yew or juniper. Red twig dogwood does not keep its leaves but sports bright red stems in winter. Japanese kerria drops its leaves in fall to reveal green stems all winter.

For plants with interesting seed heads for winter cottage gardens, choose sedum, rudbeckia and coneflower. Hydrangeas tend to retain their flowerheads though winter. Ornamental grasses such as fescue and blue oat grass are good types to try. For berries, you can include viburnum and beautyberry,

5. Cottagecore Gardens

cottage garden display with flowering passion flower vine

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Similar to a cottage garden, the cottagecore garden just involves a bit more planning and space for a lush, balanced aesthetic. This popular cottage garden layout features design rules such as composition, harmony, color, flow and focal point.

Incorporate colorful perennials, reseeding annuals, evergreens for winter interest, fruits, vegetables, and ornamental trees and shrubs. Flowers figure prominently in the design. These can include wildflowers, roses, hydrangeas, passion flower vine, blueberries, strawberries, lilies and herbs.

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