Cottage gardens can seem like a peaceful slice of the past carved into this modern world. That doesn't mean that flowers have to be common or even old cultivars; they just have to feel quaint or simple. With all the modern plants to choose from it can be difficult to appropriately choose what to plant in a cottage garden. The cottage garden flowers and part sun perennials that work in one can seem counter intuitive. Improved versions of classic flowers and hard to find native part sun perennials are a great place to start.
Some plants like hollyhocks and digitalis are standard flowers, but typical hollyhocks and foxgloves are often annuals or biennials. Your better option is to buy perennial forms of these plants from perennial nurseries, like Plant Delights. We offer Alcea rugosa, a hardy perennial hollyhock from Russia, and offer perennial selections of foxglove or digitalis. Another group of part sun perennials that work well as cottage garden flowers are the hostas. Hosta flowers are very fitting in a cottage garden, even though they are grown for their beautiful leaves, which will add variety to the garden. We offer a very large variety of hostas for sale.
In the winter and early spring few plants stand out in the cottage garden like hellebores. These part sun perennials have that old fashioned feel, while bringing color in the winter. We offer one of the largest assortments of hellebores of anywhere, and in many vivid colors. These are not the green and gray hellebores you are used to seeing. Even though improved versions of cottage garden favorites work, another great route to take is rare or native part sun perennials.
The jack in the pulpits or Arisaema are a great addition to the cottage garden. These rare and under used plants scream wooded cottage garden, with even the common name sounding of woodsy Americana. The hooded flowers and upright stalks add unusual interest to the garden, while keeping the feel of the garden. Trilliums are another rare plant that adds oddity and foliar interest, while keeping with feel of a cottage garden. You can picture American settlers gathering both trilliums and jack in the pulpits from the woods to add color and interest to their cabins, as they surely did. Native gentians and orchids also tastefully add uniqueness to the cottage garden. All of these and many more plants suitable for the cottage garden can be found at Plant Delights Nursery.