My Journal

Cottage Garden Border Plants

I am often asked about my favourite cottage garden border plants. The truth is, almost any plant can be used in a border – just make sure you provide them with the correct growing conditions and they will thrive! In this blog, I’ve created a small set of border plants that not only work really well together, but will look amazing in a cottage garden.


Also known as ‘African Daisies’. They are a tender perennial and will come back year after year, as long as they are protected from extreme winter conditions. Their blooms will last well into Autumn if you keep on top of pruning and remove spent flowers as soon as you see them. I find that these look best when positioned at the front of a sunny border amongst taller grasses.

Verbena Bonariensis

Flowering from July, this plant is an ideal addition for anyone who wants to welcome butterflies into their garden. Closely followed by the buddleja plant, the Verbena bonariensis is like a butterfly magnet! They are a perennial plant that will welcome a spring pruning once you begin to see their green shoots popping through. This plant isn’t overly fussy on soil conditions and will do well in most gardens provided you keep the soil moist and don’t let it dry out. A real triple threat plant as it brings height, colour AND scent to your summer borders!

Echinacea Purpurea

I love all echinacea’s but there’s something about the pink varieties that always end up in my basket when I visit the garden centre! They are an extremely hardy perennial that will reward you with stunning pink blooms year after year. Echinacea’s prefer well drained soil so keep your plant away from clay and thick ground. Echinacea’s are natures gift that keep on giving right through to the following season as you can admire their quirky seed heads throughout the winter before you prune in spring.

English Lavender

I particularly love English lavender in a border, they are a quintessential cottage garden plant and a bee lovers’ favourite. English lavender looks lovely at the front of a border and brings wonderful textures and scents to your garden. I often find myself cutting some fresh lavender sprigs and putting them into a vase beside my bed or in a bathroom. Many studies have shown that lavender oil can help improve your quality of sleep and is a great, natural method to help you relax – plus
it smells great too so it’s really easy to enjoy the benefits of fresh lavender!

Japanese Anemones

Japanese anemones will thrive in shady conditions. These tall plants look great positioned at the back of borders as they grow between 3 – 5 feet tall! They tend to spread wildly so dividing larger clumps every few years is often recommended upkeep. I love making a handpicked posy on a summer afternoon with these flowers as they’re really pretty!







Borders are a great way to bring height, colours and textures to any garden and allow you to be really creative with your plant choices. There are no rules when it comes to adding borders to your outdoor space just be creative and get plating!

Happy borders = Happy gardeners!

Katie x

Katie's expertise is transforming clients' gardens with their video calls and garden visits...