A Cottage Garden as Front Yard Landscaping: How To Do It

A Cottage Garden as Front Yard Landscaping: How To Do It

If you love a cottage garden, there’s no reason you can’t use cottage garden style to landscape the front of your house.

Traditional landscaping is nice but if you want to rev up your curb appeal and be charmed out of your socks every time you come home, take the plunge into cottage gardening.

It’s easier than you think.

Most people think a cottage garden has to be placed in the backyard or a section off to the side called their ‘flower garden’.

Or they assume it will be a massive project to create a front yard cottage garden.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

I’ll show you the steps for designing a cottage garden as your front yard landscaping.

It doesn’t have to be difficult.

Start small, get the hang of it, then you can expand it to a larger area in time.

7 Steps to a Cottage Garden as Your Front Yard Landscaping

As you are designing your cottage garden as your front yard landscaping, keep in mind that cottage gardens are relaxed and wispy, and romantic.

Think about creating the most welcoming path to your front door.

I always want my cottage garden to say, “I’m so glad you’re here. Come on in.”

My gardens are a little wild and forgiving so my guests can know they are entering a place where they can take a deep breath and relax.

I want my guests to be smiling by the time they reach the front door.

1. Establish your sidewalk

Cottage Gardening as a Front Yard Landscaping: 1. Sidewalk

A stepping stone pathway as a front sidewalk adds all the charm to your cottage garden.

Chances are you already have a sidewalk at the front of your house.

From here on, I’m going to make the assumption you have a sidewalk from your driveway to the front door.

Whatever form that sidewalk is, you can make it work as a border for your cottage garden.

However, a stepping stone pathway will set your cottage garden up for ultimate charm if you can lay one.

I have a stepping stone front sidewalk at my house and I LOVE it.

It adds charm in all seasons.

You can read my blog HERE to learn how I did it.

A pathway in the cottage garden is a large part of its charm.

Other cottage path ideas are equally lovely.

I talk about different options for a charming cottage garden path in another blog you can read HERE.

2. Choose a Location for a Bench

Cottage Gardening as a Front Yard Landscaping 2. Bench

Add a bench to your front yard landscaping to increase the charm and romance of your cottage garden.

I know it sounds crazy, but I always start out deciding where I am going to put some seating, usually a bench.

A cottage garden is designed for immersing yourself in.

It isn’t merely increasing curb appeal.

It is a place of repose and thoughtfulness and enjoyment.

Cottage gardens are notoriously romantic, so a two-person bench is a perfect invitation to get cozy.

Also remember that a bench will cost you money initially but will require little upkeep, plus it will look great in winter.

You can even add some outdoor pillows if you want some color.

For more ideas on how to add winter interest to your cottage garden, check out my blog HERE.

Get an idea of where you want to put the bench then we will work around it.

And don’t get too stressed about it. We can alter the location as we go.

3. Choose a Spot for a Trellis.

Cottage Gardening as a Front Yard Landscaping 3. Trellis

Add a trellis to your front yard landscaping for cottage garden style.

Cottage gardens are known for all the added décor.

A trellis is one of my favorites because it not only adds charm but also adds vertical interest.

Plus it is another addition that remains beautiful even in winter.

Add a vine and you will be feeling fine. (I had to do that.)

Seriously though, a trellis is hard to beat.

I placed a 4-foot-tuteur trellis just to the right of my front porch steps at one of my houses.

I grew a ‘Henryi’ clematis on it. It was STUNNING.

If I had to do it over, I would have put a taller trellis there.

For more tips on how to choose the best vine for your trellis, see my blog HERE.

At the house I am at now, I have a round 7-foot trellis near the corner of my house closest to the driveway.

It gives some height at the corner where I wanted.

You could also put an arbor at the beginning of your sidewalk, or maybe just a few feet from the driveway.

Grow some clematis up a trellis on each side and create a welcoming, entrance to your home.

You can learn about different ways to use a trellis in your cottage garden in my blog HERE.

Pick a spot for your trellis and move to the next step.

And once again, don’t get too stressed about it. It can be moved later if you change your mind.

4. Choose your anchor plants.

Finally, we are getting to planting!

Some people who create cottage gardens will only advise you to add perennials.

I’m a big fan of perennials myself, so I’m not here to argue.

However, if you are adding a cottage garden as your front yard landscaping, you may want to consider how it will look in winter.

Anchor plants are great for giving weight to your garden, but they can also give structure as well as winter interest.

My favorite anchor plants are boxwoods.

They hold their leaves so beautifully and make a great backdrop to perennials.

I have 4 planted at the back of my front yard cottage garden right now right at the foundation of my house.

I planted ‘wintergreen’ boxwoods (2 years ago).

They are growing slowly but should be the ideal height at maturity so pruning will be at a minimum.

In my last garden, I planted a series of ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas in front of my porch and then planted some boxwoods in front of them so that the white blooms exploded out from behind the boxwoods in the summer.

In the winter, my evergreen boxwoods looked amazing with the dried brown blooms of the hydrangeas behind them.

When I cut the hydrangeas back in early spring, the beautiful boxwoods kept up their faithful show.

I have done the same with ‘Knock-Out’ roses.

Boxwoods combine well with both.

I have a whole list of anchor plant options in my blog about adding winter interest HERE.

5. Choose Border Plants

Cottage Gardening as a Front Yard Landscaping 5. Border Plants

Add dreamy border plants to your front yard landscaping to give a truly relaxed cottage garden style.

This is so much fun!!!

With traditional landscaping, you would be told to plant your shorter plants at the front near the border, BUT WE AREN’T DOING TRADITIONAL LANDSCAPING!

In cottage gardening, the border is lined with plants of all heights and textures, and colors.

I like to add several of the same plant or flower together, creating a swath of color before moving on to a different flower or plant.

Consider switching up the heights of your border plants and also the colors.

Most cottage gardens utilize pink, purple, yellow, and white, but my son gave me some red ‘Gerber’ daisies for Mother’s Day.

I planted them in my cottage garden and they were beautiful.

No rules, right?

So do what you want.

Experiment until you find your style.

And for more help on finding dreamy border plants, check out my blog about just that HERE.

6. Fill in with Blooming Perennials

Cottage Gardening as a Front Yard Landscaping:6. Blooming Perennials

Blooming perennials in your front yard landscaping are the heart of cottage garden style.

This is the best part! It is also the heart of cottage gardening.

It’s time to add the perennials you love the most.

When I’m choosing which perennials to plant, I consider several things.

Things to Consider When Choosing Perennials for Your Cottage Garden

  1. When will the perennial bloom?
  2. How long will it bloom?
  3. What is the height of the perennial?
  4. What is the color of the perennial?
  5. What is the texture of the perennial?
  6. How easy is the perennial to grow?
  7. Will the perennial spread?
  8. Will the bees and butterflies love it?
  9. Do you love it?

Consider all of these but if you can’t say ‘yes’ to number 9, skip it. Don’t buy it unless you love it.

For a list of my favorite cottage garden plants, see my blog HERE.

In time, you will develop your list of favorites. In the meantime, hopefully, my list in the link above will help.

7. Add Décor to Your Cottage Garden

Cottage Gardening as a Front Yard Landscaping 7. Cottage Garden Decor

Add cottage garden decor like birdhouses to your front yard landscaping and up the charm.

Cottage gardens are known for all the décor added in.

These add great year-round interest and are a low-maintenance addition to your garden.

You can add bits of whimsy here and there or choose a bit more formal style with less whimsy and more stately pieces.

If whimsy seems a bit much for you, add a sweet bird bath.

Or add a water feature near the bench you have already found a home for.

Statues add such beauty to a garden but can keep it a bit more formal.

If you prefer whimsy, you can add all that I have mentioned above, but also consider a stretch of picket fencing, a bottle tree, some garden stakes, a birdhouse (or two), or maybe some concrete rabbits here or there.

For more ideas on charming cottage garden décor, see my blog HERE.

 

I hope your mind is now open to planting a cottage garden as your front yard landscaping.

There’s no reason you have to be traditional.

Bend the rules a bit and put your cottage garden right out front so you can enjoy it EVERY DAY!

 

Tracy Crosland, owner of Hey Honeysuckle

Written by Tracy Crosland

I was born and raised in small town, Tennessee. As an adult, I found myself thrown into the construction business, building new homes in our little town. My son has now taken over the business, which means I do what I want - a lot of playing in my cottage flower garden (zone 7). I hope you feel the love in my garden and in my blogs and that we can be friends.

For more about me, click HERE.

I want to know more about you!

Follow me at all the sites below. (And when you do, please say “hello.” I’d love to hear from you!)

 

My Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your First Cottage Garden

My Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your First Cottage Garden
(IN A WEEKEND!)

Cottage gardens make me happy!
I want you to be happy too…so this one’s on me.

  • Learn to create your first cottage garden with step-by-step instructions
  • A checklist to keep you on track
  • Images to inspire
  • Increase the value of your home by thousands
  • Explode your happiness quotient
  • Oh, yeah. It’s free! Free happiness.

I want to be happy! Give me the guide!

 

My Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your First Cottage Garden

My Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your First Cottage Garden

Cottage gardens make me happy!
I want you to be happy too…so this one’s on me.

  • Learn to create your first cottage garden with step-by-step instructions
  • A checklist to keep you on track
  • Images to inspire
  • Increase the value of your home by thousands
  • Explode your happiness quotient
  • Oh, yeah. It’s free! Free happiness.