Cottage garden plants like Hibiscus, Alcea and Geranium are charming and informal.The term "cottage garden" evokes certain images...a small, rustic house with a white picket fence and an arbor, surrounded by a small but densely-packed informal garden containing ornamental plants mixed with culinary and medicinal plants in a charming and graceful way.
More Information About Cottage Garden Plants
Cottage gardens and the plants in them, are modest rather than grandiose and informal rather than architectural. Here at Plant Delights Nursery we have an enormous on-line plant catalog and we have searched through it to create this mini-catalog of cottage garden plants that look great in the informal garden.
What is a Cottage Garden?
Traditional cottage gardens are staples of the English countryside and generally contain hardy European plants, but there is no set list of cottage garden plants because cottage gardens may contain any plant that is tough, functional, and easy to obtain. Thus, depending on where you live, you are free to create variations on the cottage garden theme with other plant types like Mediterranean plants, desert southwest plants, US prairie plants, African plants, Chinese plants, Japanese plants, and others.
Traditional English Cottage Garden Plants
The traditional English cottage garden typically contains a variety of plants.
Flowering plants such as aconitum, achillea, alcea, aquilegia, campanula, coreopsis, dianthus, digitalis, geranium, lilium, paeonia, primula, viola, chrysanthemum, and roses
Woodland plants such as alchemilla, anemone, antirrhinum, convallaria, dicentra, hepatica, polygonatum, pulmonaria
Conifers like juniperus or chamaecyparis
Ornamental fruit trees like Punica granatum 'Eight Ball'
Herbs such as agastache, artemisia, calamintha, nepeta, origanum, lavandula, rosmarinus, salvia, saponaria.
Vines such as clematis
Woody perennials such as hydrangea
Native Cottage Garden Plants
There are many non-European plants that fit into this rustic theme. American gardeners can select native cottage garden plants like aster, heuchera, hibiscus, echinacea, eupatorium, rudbeckia, monarda, gaillardia, phlox, oenothera, solidago, veronica, and vernonia.
A chinese or japanese native plant fan could use hosta, aspidistra, iris, paeonia, chrysanthemum, lilium, hibiscus, polygonatum, cryptomeria and others.
And someone living in the Southwest US could really stretch the theme and create an informal garden of desert cottage garden plants like agave, amorpha, anisacanthus, salvia, eupatorium, delosperma, sedum, cheilanthes, yucca, echeveria, erythrina and opuntia.