Cottage Flowers to Add to Your Garden

Do you dream of beautiful garden spaces in your yard? I know I do. I tend to be drawn more to old-fashioned gardens like the ones at my grandma’s house. Her rose garden surrounded by arborvitaes. Her cutting flower garden that created beautiful bouquets in the living room all summer long. But unlike my grandmother, I prefer more of a messy garden with graceful cottage flowers. Today I’m sharing some of my favorites for Cozy Living Saturday.

White picket fence with pink heirloom roses and lavender salvia


Hollyhocks are an old-fashioned flower with multiple blooms on a single stem. They don’t require a lot of work, but since they can grow up to 9 feet, be sure to plant them in a sunny to part-shade area that’s protected from strong winds. This beautiful flower is a biennial, which is its only drawback. Zones 3-8.

Pink Hollyhocks in a Cottage Garden


Snapdragons were one of my favorite childhood flowers. My grandma (we called her Mimi) had these in her cutting garden every year. I loved plucking off a bloom and gently pressing its sides together to make the flower “talk.” These flowers always looked great in Mimi’s arrangements. Snapdragons are an annual flower that prefer full sun but can tolerate part shade. Depending on the variety you choose, they grow anywhere from 8 inches to 3 feet tall.

Yellow Snapdragon in Cutting Garden


Campanula, aka “bell flower” comes in a variety of types. They remind me of a fairy tale garden with fairies using their bell-shaped blossoms for umbrellas. Their happy nodding heads are so charming in the garden. Campanula is a group of over 300 annuals and perennials. They do best in Zones 4 and up and prefer full sun and well-drained soil.

Campanula Flower in a Cottage Garden


Rudbeckia is a hardy flower that adds a nice shot of yellow to a cottage garden. They also make a great cut flower and look great planted in masses, growing to about 2 to 3 feet in height. Plant these native beauties in full sun with well-drained soil. Zones 3 to 7.

Beautiful rudbeckia flowers in the garden


Cosmos are a personal favorite flower of mine. They’re so dainty with petals that look like they were colored with watercolor paints. Like most cottage flowers on this list, cosmos prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They grow 1 to 6 feet in height. Pinch them back early on if you want bushier flowers. Zones 2-11.

A Field of Cosmos Flowers


Delphinium (or larkspur) is well-loved for its most common color of pale blue, but they come in other colors, too. They put on a beautiful show in the garden. This herbaceous perennial can be short-lived due to its susceptibility to disease. Delphiniums can grow to 7 feet in height depending on the variety, with most varieties faring well in Zones 4-7.

Blue Delphinium Flower


English Daisies are a charming addition to a cottage garden – or any garden for that matter. This shorter flower makes a great border plant. They do re-seed so be forewarned that you might need to tame this cutie from time to time. English daisies grow from 6-12 inches tall and prefer partial sun. Zones 4-8.

English daisy flower blooming in garden


Sunflowers are tall and work well as a backdrop in a cottage garden. You’ll find a lot of varieties and won’t regret adding this regal bloom to your landscape. Like its name suggests, be sure to plant these beauties in full sun. Varieties grow anywhere from 2 to 10 feet tall. Zones 4-8.

Sunflowers in the Garden Bed


Phlox is a prolific bloomer that will attract butterflies to your garden. You might find bees and hummingbirds enjoying their nectar, too. There are two varieties – garden phlox which is upright and grows about 3-feet tall, and creeping phlox which is great for borders and rock gardens. Both are perennials and prefer full sun, although garden phlox enjoy afternoon shade. Zones 4-8.

Pink Phlox attract butterflies to your yard


Heirloom Roses are a must-have in a cottage garden. They tend to be more finicky than their modern counterparts but are generally more fragrant. There are numerous varieties, each one with its own gardening requirements. Visit Heirloom Roses for more information.

Pink Climbing Roses on a Garden Arbor


These cottage flowers are my top choices for creating an old-fashioned, messy flower garden, although there’s even more options you can consider. It’s never too late to start planning your outdoor spaces – that’s what’s so great about gardening. Not to mention you can move plants around and treat your yard like a canvas that you can tweak and edit with every passing year.


And now, be sure to visit my cozy living friends below to see what they’ve got going on this month!

Cozy Living Series - April 2021

Duke Manor Farm / Creative Cain Cabin / Finding Silver Pennies / Town and Country Living


Cozy Living Series - April 2021

Vinyet Etc. / Hymns and Verses / A Stroll Thru Life



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  1. Aw, loved seeing all these beautiful flowers while sipping my morning coffee. I agree, I like a more “messy” garden. I like it to look a little bit wild and overgrown. LOVE the sunflowers and roses. Hoping to add more roses to our yard this year but it means getting rid of the wisteria…

  2. Oh i love a messy garden filled with tons of flowers of all kinds. I think they are the best. All of your choices are fabulous, I would love to have them all growing in my yard.

  3. It’s wonderful to sit and look at flowers in the morning and I so enjoyed this, messy is my choice! Have a Happy Easter!

  4. Messy flowers blowing in the breeze or growing tall through a white picket fence…perfect! I’m hunting the right cottage style flower to replace the pretty blue lavender I couldn’t seem to grow last year..back to the drawing board:) Thanks for the lovely inspiration this morning.

  5. I love the messy cottage garden look, too, Jennifer. Mother Nature doesn’t plant flowers in straight lines.

  6. I love all your choices and have some in my gardens. My paternal grandmother had the most beautiful rose garden along her backyard fence when I was a kid. Alas, I don’t have many roses, but the ones I do grow make me think of her. Happy Easter!

  7. Beautiful, I love flowers but I need easy to grow varieties. My favorite garden is a cottage garden and yours is always stunning. I can’t wait for spring and all the flowers to bloom.

  8. Your article is sweet and the flowers are very pretty and a good choice but, you neglected to list the specific varieties you pictured. Especially where the roses are concerned. If you want an old fashioned cottage garden add zinnias, daisies, digitalis and the tall fragrant flowering tobacco (nicotiana). Also plant lillies. You might also add annuals such as dianthus, batchelor’s buttons, nigella, heliatrope, verbena boneriensis, iris and larkspurs.

  9. I guess either this entire article was written with a particular growing zone in mind, or the reader is assumed to be more knowledgeable than I. I found the article to be so generalized as to be pointless. Or, perhaps I missed the point. I was looking for information and instruction, but received an opinion. Was THAT its point?