11 Ways to Make a Lovely Cottage-Style Garden

Written By James
Updated July 4, 2021 by James

11 Ways to Make a Lovely Cottage-Style Garden

How To Make Your Own Garden Like A Cottage

We all know someone who has a garden that looks like fairies could live in it, and I’m sure we’ve all been a little envious at one point or another (I know I have!). Cottage-style gardens don’t have to be confined to cottages and country houses anymore! If you’ve got the space, there’s nothing stopping you! Here we have 11 ways to help you make the cottage garden dream a reality, as well as a few handy tips to consider when you’re planning your new haven.

You might be thinking “cottage gardens are so pretty and peaceful, but I’m sure they’re a hassle to design and implement!”, but with these tips and tricks, you can transform your drab outdoor space into a magical place of serenity much more easily than you’d think! Check it out:

Tips and Tricks

  • Start small. It might sound frustrating, especially if you’ve wanted this for a while, but trust me. You do not want to overwhelm your soil (or yourself) by taking on too much, too quickly. Select a few changes to make and plants to consider and take your time. Enjoy the journey…
  • Invest in your soil. This might sound like an obvious one, but it is something that people often overlook. Treating your soil with organic and pesticide-free compost or manure will hugely improve the quality of the ground and will help your garden blossom!
  • Plan your space. Before you dig your trowel into your freshly nourished soil, think about your desires and the functions you want to achieve in the space. Make drawings! Look at pictures in magazines and online! Have a vision before you begin.
  • Embrace your garden’s natural features. Hills, small streams, and other permanent features can provide the perfect foundation for your new slice of paradise!
  • Location, location, location. Cottage-style gardens are better suited to sunny spots rather than heavily shaded spots. Pick an area that gets a good amount of light, so your plants will be happy!


Even though they might seem like second nature, particularly if you are already a seasoned gardener, these simple pointers will make all the difference. As the wise saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day! Be patient with your garden and have fun. Speaking of fun, here’s the fun stuff now:

Ways to Transform Your Garden

  1. Buy plants that require the conditions you can offer. If you have a small patch of shade, make sure you plant shade-tolerant plants there. If the ground is very moist, look for plants that like to be well watered-in. You get the idea.
  2. Flowers, flowers, flowers! Flowers are the very essence of the cottage garden, giving your space a fresh, interesting, and beautiful atmosphere. They also add colour and attract bees and butterflies which are a gardener’s best friends!
  3. Mix and Match. Cottage gardens need to be interesting and inviting, and you can achieve this by experimenting with plants of different heights and textures. Include different tall grasses, plants with seed heads, and even hanging or climbing varieties!
  4. Consider covering your soil with mulch or bark chips once everything is planted. Mulching protects soil, maintains moisture, and inhibits weed growth so there really is no down-side! It also gives beds a tidy, unified look.
  5. Edging and borders can help to keep your beds contained whilst simultaneously adding an element of sophistication to your garden. There are so many materials to choose from include wood, pebbles, and convenient plastic.
  6. Think about fencing and framing. The quintessential cottage garden must have a border. White picket fences are a common favourite but see what works best for you!
  7. Pathways add interest and synergy to your garden, creating a flow that allows the viewer to access all the hidden treasures you’ve put into place. Gravel, cobblestones, and flagstones are all aesthetically pleasing and durable.
  8. Use unusual planters. Why have all of your flowers and herbs growing in terracotta pots and raised beds when you could plant them in repurposed crates and containers, jars and bottles, or even old wellies! The possibilities are endless, let your imagination run free…
  9. Mirrors, bird feeders, fountains, and rock features add interesting visual stimuli to your garden, attract birds and other small wildlife, and give your garden a sense of magic! You’ll never get bored with these gorgeous features.
  10. Repurposed furniture like tables, old benches, and archways can be a way of making your garden feel inviting and rustic, whilst also being functional. Try inviting your friends round for a picnic lunch in your new haven, they’d be mad to pass that up!
  11. If you’ve got a bit of extra cash to splash, why not invest in a small pond? Ponds are a great way of adding a bit of extra impact to your space. You can fill them with fish, or if you aren’t a fan of aquatic animals, then aquatic plants like water lilies and mosses can elevate your garden to a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle.  

With these tips, ideas, suggestions in hand, you are basically unstoppable! Say goodbye to the days of sitting on a dried-up lawn wishing you were living the idyllic cottage life, because now, you can! Experiment, change your mind, see what works, and above all else, have fun. The inspiration is endless and so are the possibilities, so don’t delay. Get outside and create your cottage garden dream!


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My father, and his father before him, and his father; for the past 3 generations, my family have always been into gardening. The green fingers is a gift passed down to me and I thoroughly enjoy it! I also have worked in the manufacturing department for Bosch and DeWalt so I like to think I know a thing or two about tools and such!
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