Cottage Garden Plants in the UK
A traditional cottage garden is enclosed with a wooden picket fence with arches, trellises, and arbors over the gate ways and the seating areas and walkways that go between small planing beds. Each bed with the same or similar plants. The cottage garden plants in the UK come in a wide variety of colors and sizes, enough to fill up a cottage garden of any size.
Delphinium is a perennial that is a favorite for an English country garden. It produces glossy, dark green leaves and blue, red, white, and yellow flowers that bloom from late spring to early summer. Dwarf varieties grow to 2 feet tall and regular can reach a height of 6 feet. The plant does not do well in hot weather. It needs to be in a place where summers are cool and moist, full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.
Dutch garlic (Allium hollandicum) grows to 3 feet tall and 3 inches wide. It produces spreading grey-green leaves that grow from 12 to 25 inches long and bell-, star- or cup-shaped purple flowers. The plant needs full sun and fertile, well-drained soil. Dutch garlic is strong and hardy once it becomes established. It is adaptable to both cold and hot climates. Wear gloves when handling the bulbs. They can cause skin irritation.
Eastern Purple Coneflower
Eastern purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) produces smooth stems that grow to 2 to 5 feet tall, leaves that are large at the bottom of the stems and smaller at the top and lavender flowers with a brown center that grow on the top of the stems. The flower petals droop down so that the brown center is the highest point of the plant. It can grow in full sun or partial shade and like a soil that is well drained.
Florence fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is also known as finocchio, anise and sweet fennel. This biennial plant grows to about 2 feet tall and produces hair-like foliage the first year and in the second year it also produces foot-long stems that support clusters of small gold colored flowers. Florence fennel is a Mediterranean native that is widely grown in both Europe and North America. The bulb is edible and the hair-like foliage is used in salads, soups and as a garnish. The plant needs full sun, cool temperatures and a good mulch to keep the soil moist and the weeds away. Florence fennel has the extra benefit of being attractive to butterflies.