English cottage gardens may seem like a random collection of plants growing in charming abandon, but certain design principles must be followed to keep this informal style of garden from becoming a hodgepodge.
This award winning RHS Tatton Park cottage garden design shows how cottage style can work on even a tiny plot.
Clumps of perennials competing for space with reseeding annual flowers. Rounded shrubs jockying for position with one another. Tall plants rising up in the center of the border instead of at the back where they belong.
This is what an English cottage garden seems to be, but it isn't really as random as it may appear. There is a method to keeping this landscaping madness under control.
Plants in the award winning garden design at the top of this page.
Any plant you love can be used in cottage gardening, but there are a handful of species that fit this gardening style particularly well.
Pink and purple is an eye-pleasing combo that will work around many home styles.
Orange pairs well with yellow or purple and really pops when juxtaposed against deep red foliage.
White flowers work in any color scheme.
Soft tones give an old-fashioned, romantic air to cottage garden landscaping. Intense colors achieve a more painterly effect.