Essential Plants for Your English Cottage Garden: Exciting New Additions for 2024

When it came to creating my quintessential English Cottage Garden in Connecticut, there were certain must have flowers and plants that I wanted to have to help me achieve that charming, romantic look. From fragrant roses to the delicate lavender here is the plant list in Old Castle cottage sun loving zone 6b garden.

Roses

No English cottage garden would be complete without the addition of beautiful fragrant roses. Mine are David Austin Olivia, Queen of Sweden, Generous Gardener, and Scarborough Fair, to name a few!

David Austin – Olivia
David Austin – Generous Gardener

Nepeta

I plant nepeta more than lavender in this garden because I seem to have better luck. I use Proven Winner’s Walker’s Low and Cats Meow. It blooms all season with delicate purple flowers. It also helps keep pests away from the roses.

Nepeta, Olivia Rose, and May Night Salvia

Foxgloves

With their tall spires and bell-shaped flowers foxgloves add height and whimsy to the garden. I use Dalmatian Rose, Dalmatian White , Excelsior and Foxy Hybrids.

Delphiniums

Delphiniums are another tall, stately flower that I believe add drama and elegance to the flower bed. I planted and love the Magic Fountain’s Lilac Pink, but they also come in blue, pink or white. I must admit it depends if they come back for me, so I tend to plant three every year.

Cranesbill Geraniums

With their cheerful blooms but more importantly easy care they are a staple in my garden. I plant them in my borders, and they give a pop of color all season. The varieties I planted in my garden include Cranes-bill and Sanguineum Geranium.

Geranium Lancastriense

Alliums

I love the whimsy of the alliums bulbs I plant in the fall, Allium Ambassador, Gladiator, Nigrum and the pollinator friendly Millennium Allium that give wonderful texture to the garden and whimsical purple spheres from summer through fall.

Nigrum Allium

Peonies

In this garden I have planted Sarah Barnhart which I originally took from my grandmother’s garden and have taken a cutting with me to every house I moved to. They are very hardy and so fragrant. I also have the White Duchesse De Nemours’ and Festiva Maxima in other gardens at Old Castle Cottage

For Spring interest I add Old fashioned Iris, Dianthus, Proven Winners Sweetie Pie, Scabiosa Butterfly Blue, and May Night Salvia.

Old Fashioned Iris

To give late summer color I include Yarrow, Milly Rock Rose Tall, Garden phlox, Veronica Magic Show Pink Potion, Coneflower, Shasta Daisy, and Speedwell Royal Candles in the garden.

Veronica Magic Show Pink

Creating a English Cottage garden is all about embracing the beauty of traditional plants, and for me unifying with a romantic pastel color palette of pinks, purples and whites. Below I labeled the garden layout for you. I hope you can create a romantic space that will transport you to the English countryside every time you walk outside.

Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts featuring shade and other cottage garden beds.

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7 Comments

  1. Beautiful! I have most of the same plants in my garden. . Interestingly mine do not look as beautifully designed as yours . 😂

  2. Thank You. I live in northern Florida and have been creating a cottage garden look for the past two summers. Your garden is beautiful, something I hope to achieve with mine.

  3. Your gardens are beautiful and your blog is so informative. What program do you use to label the plants in your photographs as you did here?

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