Due to a landslip, the A386 north of Orford Mill will remain closed in both directions until further notice. RHS Garden Rosemoor remains open, and diversions to the garden are in place. Please allow additional time for travelling.

Traditional summer delights

Packed full of flowers, and bursting with bees and butterflies, the Cottage Garden is a summer favourite that never gets old

I’m often asked what my favourite area of the garden is. My answer changes from month to month depending on the season, but my answer without hesitation at this time of year is the Cottage Garden.

The informal, flowery planting perfectly fits the summer mood. We have included all the traditional favourites such as geraniums, daylilies, Phlox, delphiniums, fuchsias and catmint. To complement these perennials, we grow a wide range of annuals each year always including, snapdragons, Nicotiana, Cosmos, sweet peas, pot marigolds and Rudbeckia. To my mind, the icing on the cake is the backbone of shrub roses that add delicious scents, helping to create the perfect English cottage garden. To take colour into late summer, dahlias fit perfectly within the scheme. Pots overflow with tender pelargoniums and fuchias. 

For me, the cottage garden gives the freedom to express your flamboyant side and create a truly romantic planting style. The huge selection of herbaceous perennials, annuals and biennials means that this part of RHS Garden Rosemoor is very popular with visitors, often bringing back memories of childhood gardens. These plants are not fickle or difficult to grow, but are traditional garden stalwarts. They are also loved by bees and butterflies, adding another dimension to this very special garden.

More information

Cottage garden delights
Get inspiration of further plants suitable for a cottage garden planting.

Quintessentially English
View a photo gallery of cottage garden designs

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.