Imagine taking a morning cup of tea outside to sit next to a wild arrangement of flowers full of bees and butterflies. You can smell the fragrant blooms while you sip a cup of herbal tea with leaves collected from your fresh supply. As you relax and rejuvenate with nature, you notice new petals starting to unfurl.
If this sounds like your ideal flower garden, you will love creating a cottage garden with these beautiful heirloom flowers you can easily grow from seed.
A cottage garden can be a delightful mix of edible flowers, herbs, and even vegetables.
The look of a cottage garden is informal. It’s a mix of flowers and colors. There are no orderly rows of repetition here. Instead, it’s like a discovery. The more you lean in, the more little details you notice.
How to Plan a Cottage Garden
Even though a cottage garden doesn’t look well planned, to grow successfully, you will want to consider what grows well in your area.
- To start growing a cottage garden, choose a location where you want to encourage a natural habitat.
- You could create a cottage garden on the path to your garden shed. Or around a hammock. Make the focus of your garden a place to enjoy spending time.
- Using seeds that can self-sow is one low-maintenance approach. Also, mixing annuals with perennials will help keep year-round interest.
- Choose flowers and herbs that work for your growing zone and the microclimate of the location. An example of a microclimate is a shady area. This area would need to have plants that grow in the shade.
- Pathways in a cottage garden use natural or simple elements. Think wood chips, clover paths, pebbles, shells, etc.
- Use plants to create a range of heights from ground covers to towering sunflowers.
- Consider watering needs. Work with your natural conditions and sow seeds accordingly.
- Try a mix of bloom times so you always have something flowering.
- Plant flowers in clumps or groups and then alternate with other flowers.
- Add vining plants that can grow up a trellis and twist up tree trunks.
Heirloom Cottage Garden Flowers
Heirloom flowers are the perfect choice for planting in a cottage garden. You can save the seeds, and most flowers will self-sow.
Here are our top 20 cottage garden flowers to cover all the different elements of a cottage garden.
Ground Cover and Short Flowers:
A cottage garden will have varying heights of flowers and plants. You can even have groundcovers that can be walked on. These are some short flowers that can also be ground covers.
Flowers for part shade:
Every cottage garden needs perennial flowers. These are going to come back year after year. These heirloom flowers are excellent choices.
The easy part of planning a cottage garden is having flowers that self-seed. Heirloom flowers are perfect for this. Here are some of our favorites.
Tall spikey-looking flowers add some structure and a sense of strength. These heirloom varieties will be eye-catching.
Frost Hardy Flowers:
Having some flowers that can withstand cold temperatures will give you blooms in early spring and late fall.
Flowers that grow over an arch or up a garden trellis add a feeling of being immersed in nature. Let them wrap around a tree or overtake a fence.
Sunny gardens will attract beautiful butterflies when they’re filled with these heirloom varieties.
Additional Cottage Garden Tips:
- Many cottage garden flowers can be sown in the fall for spring blooms. Check individual seed packages for planting directions.
- Herbs are easy to add to a cottage garden. They are fragrant and have beautiful flowers. Bee balm and lavender are two herbs that mix beautifully.
- Try our wildflower mixes specifically created for your growing area.
- Our Cottage Garden Collection gives gardeners a nice mix of colors, shapes, and heights.
We won’t say a cottage garden is no work, but it is FUN work. It’s a delightful surprise and benefits the local pollinators and natural wildlife. You’ll love the ever-changing landscape you can create with nature. You sow the seeds and see what nature does with the place.