Create the look: Cottage Garden Ideas

Create the look: Cottage Garden Ideas

With wild plants, quaint pathways and quarried stone, cottage gardens remind us of the romance and natural beauty of the great British countryside.

But you don’t need to live in the country to build your very own cottage garden paradise. In fact, you can re-create this much-beloved garden style just about anywhere – all you need is the know-how to pull it off.

From picking the right cottage patio slabs to which type of flowers you need to plant, read our guide, below, to bring the endless charms of the countryside to your back garden.

1. Pick the right pavers


For any landscaping look, laying a new patio allows you to transform the entire aesthetic of your garden in a single swoop. But which pavers will bring your cottage garden ideas to life?

You can’t go wrong with Old Town Paving. These stunning pavers use tooling marks and weathered edges to authentically recreate the look of much-desired York flagstone. An oldie but a goodie, timeworn cottage garden paving never goes out of style.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for more contemporary cottage stone pavers, then Natural Limestone Paving could singlehandedly boost your outdoor space. Darker colours, such as Midnight and Steel Grey, offer that familiar cottage paving finish, just with a more modern twist.

Unsure what to do with your cottage patio slabs once they arrive? Check out our Advice Centre for lots of handy info on laying, maintaining and cleaning your new patio.


2. Build traditional walling

With the patio sorted, the next step is to enclose your cottage paving with some charming garden walls.

The traditional choice here is picket fencing. Not only can you paint the wood in any pigment you desire, making it easy to co-ordinate with your garden furniture, but you can also pair picket fences with flowering vines, such as wisteria and climbing roses, for a natural look.

However, here at Simply Paving, we prefer the stoic sturdiness of cottage garden walls. These decorative wall bricks are a great way to neatly divide different areas in your garden, as well as construct sheltered seating. You can even match your newly laid Old Town Paving with our beautiful Bradstone Madoc Walling to create the ultimate traditional cottage garden layout.

To avoid the costly bills of a professional, check out our simple step-by-step guide on how to build garden walling by yourself.


3. Plant the greenery

Back in the day, cottage gardens would be bursting with flowers, vegetables and herbs to feed the family. And just because we can now nip to Tesco for tea, it doesn’t mean we can’t recreate this colourful cornucopia in our modern cottage gardens.

Popular traditional plants, such as foxgloves, snapdragons and pansies are great for evoking the wildness of the English countryside. Geraniums are also an easy way to illuminate your cottage garden paving with that trademark traditional colour, available in a kaleidoscope of options.

How you plant this fantastic flora depends on personal taste and the size of your cottage garden. Plant pots are suited to smaller gardens and can be colour co-ordinated, whereas flower beds allow you to create fabulous flower displays worthy of the Chelsea Flower Show – you just need the space to set the soil!


4. Edge the flowerbeds

While many cottage garden ideas look a little chaotic with a strong emphasis on the informal, there’s still a measure of control to their structure. That’s where garden edging comes in.

Edging not only helps define flowerbeds and pronounce garden paths, but it also acts as a neat border between cottage garden pavers and the lawn. It might not sound like much, but come grass trimming season, you’ll be glad that you don’t have to deal with the hassle of cutting awkward lawn edges.

In terms of styles that suit cottage garden layouts, our rocky stone Old Riven Edging blends seamlessly into a natural aesthetic. Or, if you prefer a more modern style that stands out against your flowerbeds, our Rustic Rope Top Edging offers an attractive contemporary finish.

You don’t even need the help of a landscaping professional to install these neat borders – just read our simple guide on how to install garden edging.


5. Create curving garden paths

So, you’ve laid the cottage stone pavers, built the walls, planted a forest of flowers and tidied the borders. Yet, you still can’t help think your cottage garden layout is missing a crowning touch.

Well, if you’ve got the space to spare, consider laying a winding path around your garden’s most impressive horticultural achievements. These charming curving pathways invite guests to explore, keep unwelcome feet off wet grass and, most notably, are a tried and true hallmark of cottage garden styles.

Keep it simple with our selection of stepping stones or flex your more ambitious DIY skills by cutting paving slabs into shape.


If you have any questions about cottage garden ideas or any other landscaping styles, give us a call on 0800 032 6306 between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week, or start a live chat with us.

Simply Paving, F Mill, Dean Clough Mills, 1st Floor, Halifax West Yorkshire, HX3 5AX. Registered office: Bardon Hill, Bardon Road, Coalville, Leicestershire, England, LE67 1TL © Simply Paving is a trading division of Aggregate Industries UK Limited, part of the Holcim Group of Companies. All rights reserved.