Southern Lady Magazine

Cottage Garden Charm

Take a leisurely stroll among the flowers in a cottage garden inspired by the free-flowing patches in the English countryside.

Though some might consider the British a rather reserved lot, that notion does not apply to their gardens. Colorful medleys of flowers tumble and spill about, while ivy creeps over walls and walkways. The undeniable charm of English plots was the inspiration behind this delightful Southern garden, which takes its cues from the home itself and underscores the cottage character. 

Since the homeowners tend to be quite informal and relaxed, the design reflects that philosophy with stepping stones that meander through pathways and with rockers positioned on the porch to catch the best breezes and views of the garden. 

The property is a shady one, so it was vital to choose appropriate plants that would thrive in these environs. Oak-leaf hydrangeas, ferns, and hostas, as well as rhododendrons and other evergreens, fit the bill beautifully. Rather than filling the yard with lots of statuary and such, focal points were kept to a minimum for maximum impact. 

An ornamental iron gate, pots of trailing petunias, a low stacked-stone wall that circles a cheery plot of purple coneflowers and daisies, an antique door that opens to the guest house—each draws the eye for a closer look and offers a point of interest in the predominantly green space. Although it took several years to establish, the garden promises to delight for many more to come. 

See more delightful Southern gardens and outdoor living ideas in our May/June issue, on newsstands now!