There’s nothing like the look of a classic cottage garden, where sweetly-scented blooms ramble amongst each other in a happy bounty.
Traditional cottage plants are sometimes described as “old-fashioned”—think Grandmother’s cutting garden—and are often long-blooming, easy-care, and delightfully fragrant.
This combination has all of the traditional cottage garden elements. These selections have an extended bloom season, and are drought-tolerant, which means no fuss, no muss beauty all summer long.
The Dianthus and Sweet Alyssum will fill the air with the fragrance of honey and cloves, and the Silene provides unique beauty with its brightly variegated foliage.
This is a real workhorse of a plant. The vivid foliage wakes up early in the spring, and quickly spreads to a nearly 2’ wide mound. Bright pink flowers rise gracefully above the plant, to about 18”.
The flowers bloom pretty much constantly until the first frost, especially if deadheaded. The real star here is the chartreuse and green foliage. Silene prefers full sun and well-draining soil, but this plant is very adaptable.
“Pinks” are a quintessential cottage plant. ‘Firewitch’ has delicate, gray-green foliage that forms a tight mound to 1 foot wide.
Wispy stalks rise about a foot above the plant, topped with bright fragrant magenta flowers. Blooms will continue through the summer if deadheaded. Dianthus likes full sun and excellent drainage.
A very reliable plant, Sweet Alyssum blooms all season long, even into mild winter months! Its tiny, honey-scented blossoms attract hoverflies, bees, and other beneficial insects. An annual, it can reseed itself just enough to pretend it’s perennial.
Will grow to about 6” tall and wide, but is wonderful planted en masse to form a dense ground cover. Likes full or half-day sun and average soil.
These plants do well in the ground or in containers. For a very full look, plant in sets of three about 1 foot apart. They will fill in quickly.