Creating A Beautiful Mess With Flowers: What To Grow In Your Cottage Garden

Beautiful Mess With Flowers

March 15th, 2021   |   Updated on June 29th, 2022

First of all, we’re going to need to talk about what a cottage garden is, right? To make it easier to understand, let’s compare a formal garden(the most common) to a cottage garden.

A formal garden requires order and good spacing between each plant to thrive in its respective areas. In contrast, cottage gardens hold those orders and spaces with less regard and allow you more freedom to do what you love doing!

A cottage garden mixes and blends many colors of the flowers and plants that you’re growing into one whole amalgamation of hues and shades reminiscent of kaleidoscopes.

They’re for more casual gardeners that want a little corner full of color throughout the year. So what do you want to plant in this secluded area of gardening freedom?

Dianthus Flowers

Dianthus flowers are undoubtedly the perfect flower for cottage gardens. Many of these flower’s variants are perennials that allow for long periods of blooming, often from spring to fall.

A beautiful mixture of single-toned and two-toned petals shows off a range of hues from white and red to a pale pink and a deep purple. Not to mention how they can give off a cinnamon-y or clove-y sweet smell!

One of the great qualities that the Dianthus flowers have is that they are quite at home when growing in gardens despite having hardiness that ranges from zones 3 to 9.

No matter which variant you choose for your garden, they will all be delighted with a direct sunlight treatment as well as a bed of soil with good drainage and air circulation.


There are many types of lavenders that one can grow, so in the end, it will all come down to personal choice.

You can choose your type depending on the outcome you want, like the flower-shape, the color and shade of the flower, or even the flower’s smell.

Keep in mind that not all lavenders end up as the color the name suggests; some end up with lighter hues similar to pastel colors.

Much like the dianthus flowers, you’re going to want to choose a spot for the lavenders that give them direct sunlight treatment and well-drained soil.

However, those are probably the standard conditions for many of the flowers growing in home gardens. Drier climates can yield a perennial lavender, whereas wetter climates can yield an annual lavender.

Phlox Flowers

Many of these flowers suitable for cottage gardens have one thing in common: to have long periods of flowering, and the phlox flowers are not an exception.

Though they do have a short flowering period of mid to late summer, the variety of their heights, colors, and fragrances compensate for this short bloom. Not to mention how they are low-maintenance and disease resistant!

The phlox cultivars(variety) are mostly perennial. However, depending on the habitats that these plants once grew, they will require different conditions to grow optimally.

Woodland natives like Phlox divaricata require partial shade. In contrast, Bog-heavy natives like the Phlox paniculata are keener for the full sunlight treatment!

Aquilegia Flowers

Another great addition to what goes into your cottage garden would be the Aquilegia flowers. However, suppose you’re seeking specific color combinations when it comes to these flowers.

In that case, you’re going to need to choose carefully. They all share the same appearance of having a bonnet-shaped flower that can often have two tones. They often give darker notes to the cottage garden simply because of the cultivar colors.

These flowers would be lovely to get simply to fill the season gap between the last spurt of spring and the early budding of summer.

Aquilegias grow best in fertile and moist soil but remember it still has to have good drainage. These flowers could do with a bit of both direct sunlight and partial shade as for the sun.

Campanula Flowers

These are the sort of flowers you would get if you want to fill out those shady spots if your cottage garden is overlooked by a fence or a wall.

Much like the aquilegia and the phloxes, the campanula flowers also have their cultivars. Still, the color scheming seems to remain uniform among them. It will only vary in vibrancy – some will look like a deep purple, while others look like a pastel blue.

You’ve probably already come across these bell-shaped flowers among gardens or even by the pavements like the Campanula Poscharskyana since they’re commonly seen growing between the cracks of paving stones.

The standards pretty much go for the campanula as well; moist but well-drained soil, direct sun to partial shade, and good air circulation.


Collectively, these flowers are mostly perennial, so they’ll do great when it comes to their growth throughout the spring to fall seasons.

Though it was mentioned that there’s no order to plant the flowers, you should keep in mind that there are suggested areas for where you should plant them. Lastly, plant what you love!