There are few landscaping styles that are as charming and inviting as a cottage garden. With its lush greenery, romantic rose bushes and lovely pergolas, it’s hard to imagine anyone not falling instantly in love with its warm beauty. Cottage gardens look amazing regardless of the size of your yard – they might even be more charming if you’re dealing with limited space – so if you’re bored of the old look of your garden and want to create a natural retreat right in your backyard, read on to learn about what the essential elements of a cottage-style garden are.

A classic picket fence

It all starts with a fence, but forget about tall constructions that disturb the natural feel of the space. Cottage-style gardens look best with a traditional picket fence. Not only do they exude friendliness, but they also look amazing with colorful flowers and even aid in showcasing them. Choose a style that goes well with your house’s exterior and it will both frame and complement your lovely garden.

Flowers everywhere you look

Arguably, what makes cottage gardens come to life is the wide variety of the abundant, lush, colorful flowers that create an organized mess throughout the space. Let them crawl up close to the house, perhaps even let the house become one with its surroundings by allowing vines to climb up on your porch and walls. Plant flowers of different heights by your fence to create an interest with layers, and include some of the classic choices such as roses, peonies and coneflowers, while delphiniums and foxgloves are great for the layers in the back. Annuals such as marigold will also bring a splash of color to the mix.

At the same time, keep in mind which plants are native to your area so that it’ll be easier to take care of them. Plant your flowers close to each other, not only for a lush look but also to prevent weeds from overgrowing your flowerbeds. Don’t forget about foliage either, so that your garden continues to thrive even when the flowers are already past their season. A couple of evergreens such as dwarf conifers will ensure your garden is fresh all year round.

picket fence

A pathway to bring it all together

Once you have your lovely flowers, all you need is a pathway to navigate through the space. It will connect the different areas you created and complement the design if you pick the right material. If you want a completely natural look, you can go for pea gravel or use flagstone to create stepping stones. On the other hand, you can also connect your driveway with the rest of the design using granite cobblestone pavers that will give a more solid look. This is also ideal for creating the base for a small outdoor seating area amidst the natural surroundings. Decide which option will go best with your exterior style.

The sound of water

All garden styles greatly benefit from a water feature, so if space allows it, consider bringing the calming sound of water into your design. Nothing elevates the attractiveness of a cottage garden like a tiny pond tucked away that will create an ecosystem of its own in time. You can even build it yourself if you have the know-how and love a rewarding DIY project. Alternatively, if you’re a bit shorter on space, a small fountain or a birdbath that will also bring the lovely sound of birdsong to your garden are amazing options.

At the end

There are so many more options you can explore when designing your cottage-style garden. You can consider upgrading your garden furniture with more rustic pieces that will better contribute to the overall vibe. A pergola, a small gazebo or an arbor are also amazing features you can take advantage of if you wish. Just keep these basic principles in mind, and you will be able to create a beautiful garden in no time.