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Cottage Garden Plants

Choose cottage garden plants to help give your garden the traditional English countryside treatment. Whether you live in a rural idyll or the heart of suburbia, our cottage garden selection comprises a mix of front, middle, and back of border plants which help to create the coordinated unruliness that epitomises cottage gardens.

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What is a cottage garden?

The English cottage garden is an informal style of planting that involves using a romantic jumble of plants in densely packed borders, beds and containers. Many gardens favour self-seeding plants such as foxgloves, in order to encourage naturalistic planting. Cottage gardens can also contain vegetables, though many of today’s gardens in this style focus solely on ornamental plants.

Where did the cottage gardening style come from?

The cottage garden concept is said to date back to over 150 years ago, emerging during the Victorian era. Allotments were very popular during this time, and many were actually attached to houses rather than centralised in a communal green space. This allowed people to grow a variety of flowers and produce, creating a very informal style of gardening that was completely tailored to the owner.

The cottage garden was then immortalised and romanticised by painters such as Helen Allingham, and became a regular fixture on postcards and in children's books as a stark contrast to industrialisation.

It could have also been that the cottage style was invented as a rebellion to the fixed, formal gardens that were so popular at the time. Bedding plants had just erupted in popularity and neighbours were competing to create the best displays, so perhaps cottage style was created as a more relaxed alternative.

Popular cottage garden plants

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