Design Inspiration – Cottage Gardens

Hello!  I came across this amazing cottage garden and just had to share the photos with you all.  I thought these would be wonderfully inspirational for those of us who love the cottage garden look...which is all about creating layers of bloom and foliage.

Cottage gardens can very easily become messy and overgrown.  Avoid this by choosing a unified color palette, using larger shrubs to create structure and by practicing good pruning, deadheading and dividing practices. I have to be honest - cottage gardens are hard to successfully design.  They can take years of playing with plant combinations, color and structure.  If you are a fan of this look I highly recommend spending a good amount of time critically looking at inspiration photos.  Take the gardens apart and see what makes them successful.

Hardscaping makes a huge difference in cottage garden design.  Incorporating trellises, benches, arbors, fences and pathways brings focus and structure to the garden, and can help contain the rambunctious nature of the plants!

This photograph shows some of the garden's structural accents.  Statuary, a large arbor, the fence in the back of the garden, even the mature evergreens and trees - they all contribute to the garden structure.  Also notice the placement of the statue in front of the arbor, tying the two garden beds together.

Do you notice that large ball of light in the far left corner of the picture? See how it balances out the white of the statue while drawing the eye to that corner of the garden?  Here's a close up of what's going on over there...

This planting incorporates two of my favorite plants, the peony and the 'Hakuro Nishiki' variegated willow.  The 'Hakuro Nishiki' deserves a place in all gardens that have the room for it...great color, structure and texture.

This is just dreamy...give me a hammock, some lemonade and a good book and I'll happily spend many an afternoon in this backyard!

All photos from

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