Choose fragrant, old-fashioned varieties such as Damask or cabbage roses. You should also include shrub roses and at least one climbing variety.
Train climbing varieties to scramble up trellises or unusual support structures. Create an outdoor alcove by planting a rose on an arbor with a garden bench beneath it.
Grow at least three bushes of each rose variety in your cottage garden. This mass-planting technique will make each variety more prominent than a single rose bush planted by itself.
Plant roses closer to each other and other types of flowers in a cottage garden than you would in a traditional rose garden or perennial border. One of the hallmarks of cottage gardens is that the plants are spaced so close together that no soil is visible.
Grow all of your favorite colors of roses. Cottage gardens are a hodgepodge of color, form and texture. For the best effect, do not adhere to a strict color scheme. Grow many colors of all types of flowers, including roses.