5 easy ways to add cottage charm to your garden

What’s in a cottage garden? They come in all shapes and all sizes, but share one common thread… loads of that sweet cottage charm. We have beautiful breezy sun filled skies here on the East Coast, and one of my favorite activities when the weather cooperates is long leisurely bike rides through the neighborhood. I like to check out what’s blooming around town and see what’s new. It’s like my Pinterest board of “charming exteriors” come to life. What better way to learn what thrives here than to see it first hand at the neighbors cottage — and copy it. Grin. Here’s what I’ve got going on in my cottage style garden.
Cottage Fix blog - cottage garden hanging basket

1. Add seasonal hanging baskets and potted plants.

This is probably one of the easiest ways to add a dose of cottage charm and seasonal color to any garden or patio area. There’s nothing easier than visiting Lowes or your favorite local garden center and bringing home a beautiful prepared hanging basket. Just chuck it on a hook and you are done. Don’t forget to water and read the tag to see if your choice likes to cook in the sun or prefers a bit of shade like me!

Cottage Fix blog - cottage garden potted plants and flowers

Potted plants bring seasonal color to the garden, not to mention curb appeal to the front entry. We’re always after that ever elusive curb appeal around here. Bright spring color wakes up the front entry and will bloom all through the summer. Above, I mixed a pot of pink dahlias with white cascading bacopa. The tiny boxwood stays green year round and I change out the surrounding space with annuals. This spring I chose rainbow petunias.

Cottage Fix blog - dahlia bloom

And don’t forget about planting in the fall. Potted cabbages in chippy pots add interest and texture to the patio. Kale and cabbage stay pretty and green almost entirely through the winter here on the East Coast.

Cottage Fix blog - cottage garden in the fall with chippy clay pots and cabbages

2. A garden gate

Why not replace your existing plain gate with a cottage charmer? I found this one on Etsy and it was made to order for our measurements. I even got to choose between black, cream, and unpainted. We added the chicken wire to prevent Miss Paisley from going on any expeditions around town.

Cottage Fix blog - cottage style garden gate

3. Check yard sales for vintage garden furniture

Outdoor furniture is one of my favorite items to hunt for at yardsales and thrift stores. People seem to get rid of it all year long, even when it’s prime season for entertaining outdoors.

Cottage Fix blog - vintage garden furniture

I think vintage garden furniture has so much charm and character. I purchased the white table and chairs above at a yardsale for twenty dollars, it just needed a fresh coat of paint. The black chippy chairs were a roadkill find and didn’t need anything but a new home. The bench was another yard sale score.

Cottage Fix blog - cottage garden bench

4. Fill up your garden with flowering trees and shrubs

I like to use flowering trees and shrubs because you get a lot of bang for your buck. We also like to plant annuals and perennials, but if your looking for big color for little effort that comes back season after season flowering trees and shrubs are the way to go.

Cottage Fix blog - white azaleas in bloom

Azaleas tend to get a bad wrap. They tend to hang on to their dead blooms for a while, but I like them. They’re inexpensive and never fail to welcome spring with their showy blooms each year. We purchased a few last year for under three dollars a plant. But go with what you like. There are so many flowering trees and shrubs to choose from—pick your favorite.

Cottage Fix blog - cottage garden in the spring with flowering shrubs

Flowering trees are one of my favorite features to add to a cottage style garden. There are so many beauties to choose from. It’s nice to pick a few that bloom at different times of year, a spring bloomer and a summer bloomer…so there is always something in bloom.

Cottage Fix blog - cottage garden with the redbud in bloom

5. Let it grow wild

Not everything needs to be perfectly manicured. Ivy and other vines let go for a while give a casual cottage look.

Cottage Fix blog - ivy in the cottage garden

Let periwinkle, ivy, and vinca fill in large beds. The more space the pretty vines and ground cover take up, the less space there is for weeds to grow.

Cottage Fix blog - azaleas and ground cover

Be sure to not let ivy grow up into the trees; it will choke them out. The ivy below is in dire need of a haircut!

Cottage Fix blog - ivy in the garden and climbing up the tree

Farmer Brown says, “The nice thing about gardening is that you can do as much, or as little, as you want. It’s always there waiting for you.”

xoxo Sally

Sharing with Something To Talk About , WOW, Share Your Style, Shabbilicious Friday, and HomeGoods Summer Entertaining

10 thoughts on “5 easy ways to add cottage charm to your garden

  1. Lin

    I love it! Everything is so lush and pretty. Here we are still waiting for the snow to stop falling. Maybe this week, as rain is in the forecast and little green leaves are starting to appear.
    Enjoy your beautiful garden, Sally!
    xoxo,
    Lin

  2. kelly

    You have such a pretty property! I love all of the mature trees and flowers everywhere. You brought up some great ideas to add personality to your gardens.

  3. Kathy

    Great ideas Sally. i love that gate. Fingers crossed it has finally warmed up here so that I can go to Lowes!
    Have a great weekend!

  4. Robin

    oh my goodness your garden and your house are the epitome of charming…I’m inspired! Thanks for linking up to Shabbilicious Friday xo

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