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Design

6 Great Plants for the Cottage Garden Look

Cottage garden classics

Fine Gardening - Issue 197

Incorporating the cottage garden style into your garden can be accomplished largely by using many of the plants that are hallmarks of the design. Here are some options to get you started.

“The term “cottage garden” conjures up images of a garden that’s bursting at the seams in summer—of herbs, self-seeding annuals, and flowering shrubs mingling together; of vigorous climbing roses scrambling along walls, with poppies, peonies, and showy perennials in vibrant colors peppering the space. It is a style of informality and partially controlled wildness, with plants tightly packed together.”

Read more from Mixing the Cottage Garden Style With the New Perennial Approach

 


 

Bowless Mauve wallflower
Photo: Heather Edwards/gapphotos.com

Ladys mantle
Photo: Jennifer Benner

1. ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ wallflower

Name: Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’

Zones: 6–9

Size: 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide

Conditions: Full sun; average to dry soil

Native range: Garden origin

2. Lady’s mantle

Name: Alchemilla mollis

Zones: 3–8

Size: 18 inches tall and 30 inches wide

Conditions: Partial shade; average to moist, well-drained soil

Native range: Eastern Europe

 

Mexican daisy
Photo: Michelle Gervais

Foxglove
Photo: Steve Aitken

3. Mexican daisy

Name: Erigeron karvinskianus

Zones: 8–10

Size: 20 inches tall and 30 inches wide

Conditions: Full sun; average to dry soil

Native range: Mexico and Central America

4. Foxglove

Name: Digitalis spp. and cvs.

Zones: 3–8

Size: 2 to 5 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; average to moist, well-drained soil

Native range: Europe

 

Princess Anne rose
Photo: Heather Edwards/gapphotos.com

Pale yellow-eyed grass
Photo: Steve Aitken

5. ‘Princess Anne’ rose

Name: Rosa ’Princess Anne’

Zones: 4–11

Size: 4 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; not fussy about soil

Native range: Garden origin

6. Pale yellow-eyed grass

Name: Sisyrinchium striatum

Zones: 5–9

Size: 2 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil

Native range: Argentina and Chile

 


Greg Loades is the author of The Modern Cottage Garden.

To learn more about the cottage garden style, check out Mixing the Cottage Garden Style With the New Perennial Approach

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