Garden

Top 20 Flowers for a Cottage Garden

The beauty of a cottage garden transports you to a bygone era with its old fashioned flowers and classic charm. Flowers abound with endless blooms in a sprawling, haphazard manor that makes you wonder if they all happened there by chance.

While traditional English gardens may look effortless, they require deliberate planning to achieve year round color and visual interest. Place taller plants like sunflowers and hollyhocks to act as a backdrop with a cascade of heights down to smaller flowers like baby’s breath and pansies up front. Plants must be chosen to provide blooms in every season, from colorful spring bulbs and peonies, to eye catching phlox, coneflowers and daisies in the summer, to rich fall tones of sedum and hydrangea.

With height, bloom time and color in mind, you can create an enchanting cottage garden with ease. Your hard work will be repaid with a low maintenance masterpiece you can enjoy year after year. Plus your vegetable garden will thank you for all the added pollination it receives from the bees and butterflies that flock to your flowers.

If you are looking for a more relaxed style, try planting a Wildflower Cottage Garden!

1. Hollyhocks

Bloom Time: 4-12 weeks, midsummer to early fall

Height: 6’

Spacing: 18”

Lifecycle: Biennial, they will reseed to self-sow

Growing Zone: 3-8

2. Foxglove

Bloom Time: 4-6 weeks, early to midsummer

Height: 2’-5’

Spacing: 15”-18”

Lifecycle: Biennial, they will reseed to self-sow

Growing Zone: 4-10

3. Hydrangea

Bloom Time: 8-12 weeks, midsummer to early fall

Height: 3’-15’

Spacing: 3’-10’

Lifecycle: Perennial

Growing Zone: 3-9

4. Peony

Bloom Time: 1-3 weeks, mid spring to early summer

Height: 3’-6’

Spacing: 2’-4’

Lifecycle: Perennial

Growing Zone: 3-8

5. Purple Coneflower

Bloom Time: 12-16 weeks, midsummer to mid fall

Height: 2’-4’

Spacing: 18”-24”

Lifecycle: Perennial

Growing Zone: 5-8

6. Daisies

Bloom Time: 12-16 weeks, early spring to late fall

Height: 2’-3’

Spacing: 12”-24”

Lifecycle: Perennial

Growing Zone: 5-8

7. Black Eyed Susan

Bloom Time: 12-16 weeks, early summer to late fall

Height: 2’-3’

Spacing: 24”

Lifecycle: Perennial

Growing Zone: 3-9

8. Baby’s Breath

Bloom Time: 4-6 weeks, midsummer

Height: 18”-30”

Spacing: 9”-13”

Lifecycle: Perennial and annual varieties

Growing Zone: 4-9

9. Yarrow

Bloom Time: 12-16 weeks, late spring to mid fall

Height: 2’-4’

Spacing: 12”-24”

Lifecycle: Perennial

Growing Zone: 3-9

10. Sunflowers

Bloom Time: 8-12 weeks, midsummer to mid fall

Height: 6’-15’

Spacing: 18”-24”

Lifecycle: Annual, they will reseed to self-sow

Growing Zone: 4-9

11. Pansies

Bloom Time: 12-16 weeks

Height: 6”-12”

Spacing: 6”-10”

Lifecycle: Annual, biennial, or perennial varieties, they will reseed to self-sow

Growing Zone: 4-11

12. Lamb’s Ear

Bloom Time: 2-4 weeks, early to midsummer

Height: 18”

Spacing: 18”-30”

Lifecycle: Perennial

Growing Zone: 4-8

13. Rose

Bloom Time: 6-8 weeks, mid spring to mid fall

Height: 6”-6’

Spacing: 2’-3’

Lifecycle: Perennial

Growing Zone: 4-11

14. Sedum

Bloom Time: 6-8 weeks, early summer to late fall

Height: 1’-3’

Spacing: 12”-24”

Lifecycle: Perennial

Growing Zone: 3-9

15. Poppies

Bloom Time: 4-6 weeks, midsummer to mid fall

Height: 6”-3’

Spacing: 6”-9”

Lifecycle: Annual and perennial varieties, they will reseed to self-sow

Growing Zone: 3-8

16. Garden Phlox

Bloom Time: 6-8 weeks, midsummer to early fall

Height: 2’-4’

Spacing: 18”-24”

Lifecycle: Perennial

Growing Zone: 4-8

17. Daffodils

Bloom Time: 6-12 weeks, late winter to late spring

Height: 4”-20”

Spacing: 3”-6”

Lifecycle: Perennial

Growing Zone: 3-8

18. Crocus

Bloom Time: 2-5 weeks, late winter to early spring

Height: 3”-6”

Spacing: 3”-6”

Lifecycle: Perennial

Growing Zone: 3-8

19. Hyacinth

Bloom Time: 2-3 weeks, early to mid spring

Height: 6”-12”

Spacing: 6”-9”

Lifecycle: Perennial

Growing Zone: 4-8

20. Tulips

Bloom Time: 2-4 weeks, mid to late spring

Height: 8”-18”

Spacing: 3”-6”

Lifecycle: Perennial

Growing Zone: 3-8

Honorable Mention

It is so hard to stop after only mentioning 20 flowers! To round out your cottage garden, fill in with these lovely additions that didn’t make the top 20:

For more flower inspiration check out Wildflower Cottage Garden Design and 20 Perennials that Bloom all Summer!

What’s your favorite cottage garden flower? Mine are Hollyhocks, just gorgeous! Let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to follow the blog to receive an email when I publish new posts!

12 thoughts on “Top 20 Flowers for a Cottage Garden”

    1. I have most of these planted as well as seeds, so come on over and I’ll split some up for you!

  1. I love peonies! Nothing heralds the arrival of summer quite like them. I love hollyhocks, too, but they don’t love me as I am highly allergic; I call it “getting hocked.”

  2. I would love to grow a cottage garden, but I live in southwest Connecticut with rocky, dry soil and shade for most of the summer We also have herds of foraging deer who put on their bibs when they come to my house and eat plants they’re not supposed to like, such as Echinacea, and Black-eyed Susans. They even decapitated my petunias and New Guinea impatiens this year! Forget about tulips, hostas and hydrangeas. I’d love some tips on how to grow a nice cottage garden with a western exposure under these conditions. Thanks!

  3. This is really appreciated that you have presented this data over here, I love all the information shared. It will be very helpful to understand about top 20 flowers for a cottage garden. Great post to share, thanks for publishing this here!!

  4. I live in VT, zone 4b. It would be greatly appreciated if you woukd include each perriennial plant’s zone info in your future posts because many are NOT perriennial here. Thank you! 🙂🌹🌻🌲🍁

    1. Hi Dawn! Great feedback. I went ahead and added the growing zone for each flower here. Thanks so much.

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