Make Your Cottage Garden Charming: My Favorite Ideas

Make Your Cottage Garden Charming: My Favorite Ideas

It’s not that hard to add charm to your cottage garden. There are so many different ways to do it. I’ll give you a ton of ideas and you can choose your favorites!

Flowers in the Cottage Garden Are the Essence of Charm

This probably goes without saying, but flowers are the essence of charm in the cottage garden. Everything else just adds to it. I have a whole list of dreamy flowers you can use in your cottage garden that are certain to add charm. You can read that list here.

And if you want some dreamy ideas for your cottage garden border, check out this blog here. 

All of that should get you started. Now for the additions to your garden that amp up the charm.

Trellises

Ideas to Make Your Cottage Garden Charming

I placed about 5 trellises around my air conditioning unit at a house where I once lived. In the winter, the pretty trellises broke up the view of the unattractive unit. In the summer, they were covered with clematis.

A trellis in the cottage garden adds charm even if it stands alone.

But when you get a beautiful vine climbing up, it is next-level amazing.

There are so many different styles of trellises so you can be sure to find one you like.

I have a tall, round one in my garden right now, but I love so many of the different ones. I wish I could have them all with a different vine on each!

You can put a trellis in the middle of your garden like I did. Or you can add one attached to a wall. Or create a barrier with a trellis.

They add charm regardless of where you place them and give you height in your garden, as well.

For more ideas on how to add vertical interest to your garden, check out this blog.

Obelisk Trellises

Ideas to Make Your Cottage Garden Charming - Obelisk Trellises

Obelisk trellises in containers add a ton of charm. I’m not even growing a vine in the container. These are ‘Gerber’ daisies my son gave me for Mother’s Day. As beautiful as the daisies are, the trellis is gorgeous on its own. Even in winter, it adds charm to the cottage garden.

Technically, an obelisk when used in gardening, is a type of trellis.

I used an obelisk trellis just to the left of my front steps at one of my houses.

I grew a clematis with the largest whitest blooms on it.

It was stunning when in bloom and added great height and charm to my garden.

I have some concrete containers that flank a bench in my garden right now.

I put an obelisk trellis in each of them. I grow pansies in them in the fall and spring and choose something else in the summer.

It doesn’t even have to be a vine. The obelisks are only a couple of feet high.

They add drama and charm in the summer and winter. With or without flowers, they are gorgeous.

There are so many choices of style here and so many ways to use them. They add interest to your winter garden, just as any trellis will.

I wrote a whole blog on how to add interest to your garden in winter if you want to check it out here. 

Benches

Ideas to Make Your Cottage Garden Charming - Benches

Believe it or not, there is a bench hidden beneath those ‘Annabelle’ hydrangeas. The blooms grew around the side and through the back of the bench. Behind the hydrangeas is a wall trellis covered in clematis that bloomed beautifully in fall. So the area was charming from late spring through fall with blooms. When all the blooms faded, the bench still rested there charming as ever. And it was a great spot to stop for respite.

I have had a bench in every garden I have ever planted!

They are charming and also give a sweet place to stop and enjoy the garden.

I love to plant hydrangeas behind them and let the blooms come over the back of the bench.

I have also placed the bench in front of a wall trellis and let the vine grow behind and even through the back of the bench. So charming!

The potential here is limitless. Make the bench yourself or purchase just the right style that calls your name.

Regardless, charm is inevitable when a bench is added to the cottage garden.

Pergolas

Pergolas can be large and create an outdoor room all on their own.

Or you can choose a small one with just enough room for a bench or a swing.

They are ideal for growing a vine up one side or multiple sides.

Or create a canopy with the vines. Incredibly charming.

The charm will just be upgraded if you add some string lights.

If you choose to use a large pergola as an outdoor room, you can create a trail that leads to it.

Large can be charming in the cottage garden if you do it right.

Birdbaths

Ideas to Make Your Cottage Garden Charming - Bird Baths

A bird bath tucked in some flowers is next-level charming. But even in winter, when the flowers die back, the bird bath remains beautiful.

This is so easy! And the charm is unrivaled! Add a birdbath to your cottage garden to add charm quickly.

I love to plant flowers at the base. I’ve planted zinnias and sunflowers around my birdbath in the past.

Right now I have black-eyed susans and gaura planted in front of it. ‘Ruby Slippers’ hydrangeas are planted behind it.

In the winter, the flowers die back and the birdbath stands alone in all its charming glory.

If you can lure birds into your birdbath, then you know you are doing something right.

I bought a good heavy concrete one and have moved it from house to house for years.

It was a splurge at the time but has been well worth it.

Arbors or Arches

Think of an arbor or an arch as an open doorway that leads to a space in your cottage garden. The most charming doorway in the world!

You can put one at the entrance to your garden or maybe at the beginning of a cottage path.

Or you could use it as a doorway that leads from one area of your garden to the other.

It could be an entrance to a secret outdoor room.

You could put a bench right under an arbor or an arch and create a charming space to enjoy the garden.

If you want to increase the charm in your cottage garden, use multiple arches down a cottage path.

Grow any vine you want up and over the sides of these sweet additions to your garden and enjoy them for years.

Rain Chains

Ideas to Make Your Cottage Garden Charming - Rain Chains

I’m not sure why I waited so long to get a rain chain. I love mine! It is so charming and the sound when it rains is so soothing.

If your garden is near your home or another structure, substitute a rain chain for a downspout.

The charm is undeniable. When it rains, the sound is the best.

It is also a great way to add vertical interest to your garden because it automatically leads your eyes upward.

And it’s lovely in all the seasons.

A rain chain adds charm all year long, adds vertical interest, is easy to install, isn’t very costly, and ADDS SO MUCH CHARM!

This one is a winner!

If you want to know how to hang a rain chain, check out my blog HERE and I’ll tell you all about them.

Pathways

Ideas to Make Your Cottage Garden Charming - Pathways

A charming pathway in the cottage garden can redeem you when this flower or that fails you! It happens! But once you add a charming pathway, it will produce charm for you year-round.

My heart just squeezes when I see a charming pathway.

The cottage garden should be a slow-paced journey and the pathway is the guide.

Take some time to strategize on the type of pathway you want and how you want to border it.

I have a couple of blogs about pathway ideas and also how I created my stepping stone pathway in my cottage garden.

There are so many options at different budgets and effort levels.

All of them can be charming. And the charm will last all winter.

Birdhouses

Ideas to Make Your Cottage Garden Charming - Bird Houses

This is an interior bird house. I coated it so that it would stand up to the weather and then mounted it on a 4’x4′ post. I have started some clematis up the post and hope it does well next year. I think it is super charming in my garden.

Birdhouses can be so affordable and offer a ton of charm in the cottage garden.

You can choose one as elaborate or as simple as you want. Or just build one yourself.

I put mine on a 4’x4′ post and it has given me so much happiness. I think it’s so pretty.

Find one you love and add it to your cottage garden for a dash of charm year-round.

Window Boxes

Ideas to Make Your Cottage Garden Charming - Window Boxes

My son built this basic spec home in our small town and asked me to add some charm to it. I immediately suggested a window box. He agreed but said he didn’t want to water it. ???? So these are artificial hydrangeas!!! The best I’ve ever ‘grown.’

What is more charming than a window box?

I have built homes and sold them for a living for years. When I add a window box to the front window, the charm ratio skyrockets and the house sells.

It’s crazy because adding a window box isn’t that difficult.

Take the time to add a window box to your cottage garden.

You can attach it to the house under a window or set it on a wooden table.

Or buy one that has legs and put it right in the middle of your garden. Or just set it on the ground.

Window boxes are not limited to under windows.

Swings

Ideas to Make Your Cottage Garden Charming - Swings

I asked my son to build this swing for me. I think he knocked it out of the park. Although it is on my front porch, I think you can see how pretty a bed swing would be in the garden.

If you have a big tree in your cottage garden, don’t miss the opportunity to add charm by adding a swing to a limb.

You can also hang a swing from an arbor. Use a wooden seat and some rope and you will have charm swinging back and forth in your cottage garden.

Or choose to hang a bed swing in your garden. It would be lovely under a pergola.

I have one my son built me on my front porch.

I enjoy taking naps there on Sunday afternoons or watching the sunset in the evenings.

A basic porch swing set out in the garden is also charming.

There are so many options on styles here.

Tuck it into some flowers and make your cottage garden one you can immerse yourself in.

Bottle Tree

Ideas to Make Your Cottage Garden Charming - Bottle Tree

This is a bottle tree in my friend’s cottage garden. She is just starting to add her bottles. So charming! I love it!

If you know me, then you know I am kind of fixated on bottle trees.

My friend has one and I am determined to find a place for one in my cottage garden.

They are whimsical and charming.

Add all blue bottles or mix up the colors.

Or add bottles that are meaningful to you.

I’m already saving bottles for the tree I don’t own just yet.

String Lights

String lights make your cottage garden charming 24/7.

The setting of the sun will not close your garden down.

With string lights, you can have friends over in the evening right in the middle of your garden.

The garden becomes an entertaining space.

The lighting it creates just casts a glow in the garden. Nothing harsh, so the charm is just elevated.

Add them to your trellis or pergola or arbor or swing.

Or add lights along your garden path or even in among your flowers.

Lights are an easy and affordable way to create charm in your cottage garden. It’s hard to do without them.

Containers of Flowers

Ideas to Make Your Cottage Garden Charming - Flower Containers

I have annuals planted in these containers. They are simple and easy to grow. I just water them daily and fertilize them occasionally. They are on my front porch steps but blend in with my garden.

Placing containers of flowers in your cottage garden adds dimension and charm and provides a great spot for annuals.

You can vary the height and size and color of the containers.

Use a taller container and plant flowers around the base.

Group several planters or let them flank your bench or arbor.

The charm available here is unlimited.

 

Garden Stakes

Ideas to Make Your Cottage Garden Charming - Garden Stakes

Do you see the little garden stake hidden in the hydrangea? I think little things like this add so much charm to a cottage garden. It’s one of my favorites!

I’m a sucker for cute garden stakes.

I have several in my cottage garden.

They are so affordable and can go anywhere really.

You simply stick them in the ground.

It’s charm on a stick.

Bird Feeders

Ideas to Make Your Cottage Garden Charming - Bird Feeders

In one of my gardens, I placed this bird feeder above some sunflowers and zinnias. I loved looking out my bedroom window to see this lovely area. And it was so simple and inexpensive.

Nothing is easier than putting a shepherd’s hook in the ground and hanging a bird feeder.

And they provide such fun entertainment. I love watching to see if I have any new birds.

But I also love the charm a bird feeder adds to the cottage garden.

They bring some vertical interest, as well.

I have zinnias and sunflowers planted around this bird feeder. The birds enjoy these flowers in the summer as much as they do the feeder.

When the flowers die back in the winter, the bird feeder remains to continue the charm all year.

 

Puppies

Ideas to Make Your Cottage Garden Charming - Puppies

If all else fails, add a puppy to your cottage garden for guaranteed charm! (Meet Waffles, my grandpup.)

Puppies are always charming. Even in the garden.

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.