Guide to cottage gardening

Use our planting and design tips to create your own cottage garden with a Western twist

Cottage garden bench
Photo by Robin Cushman

How to design a cottage garden

Cottage gardening is an attitude, not a location

You can achieve a cottage effect in the heart of the city as well as the suburbs. All you need is a passion for plants and a willingness to mix them all up.

While English-style gardens draw heavily on hardy perennials, you can accomplish the same look of artful chaos with any plants appropriate to your climate. (See the Sunset Plant Finder.)

Indeed, Mediterranean plants and succulents like agaves work quite well in coastal and desert plantings.

Click ahead for a look at how the traditional cottage garden can morph to fit your own personal gardening style.

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