More than 11 easy & beautiful cottage garden flowers to grow in your borders, beds, and containers in pastel shades for both sun and shady areas.
June is the most amazing month for gorgeous blooms! Cottage garden flowers come alive in June, putting on a show that we try to enjoy as much as possible.
Because we know the dry days of August and September are not far away – and the borders will show signs of browning, the roses will have suffered from blackspot and the clematis will be no more.
There are lovely things about mid-summer and fall blooms (especially when you plant for those times), but we have to enjoy the lushness of the early summer foliage and blooms while we can, right?
So I’m sharing the beautiful, easy cottage garden flowers that bloom in June (and many beyond) so you can add to your lists of tried and true shrubs and perennials that will give you that English style garden look many love.
But it’s not all blooms that I love, either – I’m also sharing a list of great plants for shade – even dry shade, which is one of the hardest areas to plant.
Cottage Garden Flowers To Grow – Sun
In the southern facing border above, these perennials and shrubs are blooming or starting to bloom:
1. Pale pink rose campion. It reseeds maybe a bit too easily, but it’s also not invasive and no problem to pull, move, or replant. The airy blooms go with so much and helps give that slightly messy cottage garden look.
2. May Night Salvia. Hiding to the right of the second rose campion above is this salvia that blooms for weeks in June and has a second bloom if you cut it back.
3. Alaska Shasta Daisy. It’s ready to burst into bloom next to the salvia and will bloom into July.
4. Daylilies – yellow Stella D’oro and the taller dark pink variety shown above. They have a ton of blooms here and will bloom from June through July. The Stella D’oro will continue to bloom off and on until frost!
5. Clematis. This lovely lilac clematis is putting on its huge show – I love how it covers the trellis and brings a great vertical element to a plain house wall like this (also works it’s magic on plain fences, too).
6. Roses. Where would a cottage garden be without classic roses? They deserve a few photos of their own:
David Austin ‘Windemere’ Rose. This is probably my favorite rose, a very light pink old fashioned rose that blooms all season long. Talk about beautiful cut flowers! Especially when the buds look like this:
Cut a few blooms, add in a few sprays of buds and you have an incredible little vase of flowers.
Fun fact: I found this rose on clearance after it’s blooms had faded for $3.00 (yes – $3!). I love it when the deal that is merely to fill a bare spot turns into such a prize!
David Austin ‘Mary’ Rose. Such a wonderful pink color – and look at all those petals! The smell is lovely on this, too.
If you want an old fashioned cottage garden, you need to look into David Austin’s roses. There are a ton of colors and styles to choose from, but all have that old-fashioned look and smell with new disease resistance and reblooming ability. Truly the best of both worlds.
Unnamed Blush Pink Floribunda Rose. Ah, I wish I kept the name of this rose. It’s a mixture of cream and pink with a hint of peach and the shape is more of a classic tea rose, but on an easy care small floribunda shrub. The closest I can find is a variety called ‘French Lace’.
The Fairy Rose. This has been a favorite of mine for many years. In our Portland bungalow, I had a hedge of these that lined the picket fence and they were showstoppers when in bloom. Which is pretty much all summer. Here they are planted in a back border along with a purple hardy geranium, which look nice together.
Cottage Garden Flowers & Plants – Shade
Shady areas are probably the most difficult to create a cottage garden and dry shade is the hardest of all.
The photo above may seem fairly boring, but this is an extremely dry shade border that’s under a huge fir tree. But it is lush and full, even if the only thing blooming at the moment is Ladies Mantle – and lush and full in dry shade? It’s almost a miracle (or maybe it’s just the right plants and regular soaker hose deep watering…).
While the Brunnera to the right of the Ladies Mantle just finished blooming, many of the other things here are variegated which is a great way to bring interest and ‘color’ to a shady area.
Best Cottage Plants For Shade and Dry Shade:
1. Variegated Bishops Weed (seen in the photo above, lower right corner). Invasive anywhere else, it’s only in dry shade that you are thankful it keeps spreading at a much slower pace!
2. Ladies Mantle. Another plant known to be a reseeder, this doesn’t spread as much in dry shade as it does in moister areas, making it a great choice. It doesn’t always last through the winter in our zone 8 PNW area, but it fills areas nicely, as you can see, when it does.
3. Brunnera. One of my absolute favorites for dry shade – the silver-tipped ‘Jack Frost’ is my favorite, but the regular green variety self-sows which, again, is only lovely because dry shade is such a hard area to get things to grow. If you have moist shade, stick with ‘Jack Frost’ which hasn’t seeded for me at all.
4. Small Japanese Maples. They fill in areas nicely and many work well as an understory to taller trees.
5. Hebe. This is my other favorite dry shade plant. The June blooms you see here will continue into July and then bloom sporadically through the fall. It’s planted here under a huge Japanese maple that takes up most of the water (again things grow here using deep watering with soaker hoses). There are actually two planted here – aren’t they glorious? And they make wonderful cut flowers, too.
I only wish I had kept the variety name of this! I thought knowing it was a Hebe would be all I needed, but there are seemingly hundreds of varieties and most don’t look like this. Sigh.
Another good reason to write everything down in a garden notebook, right?
More Sun Loving Cottage Garden Flowers
The garden area you see above used to be a driveway if you can believe it. In addition to the daylilies I’ve already mentioned, this bed holds more tried and true perennials and shrubs:
1. Hydrangea. Of course – what cottage garden would be without at least one, right?
2. Spirea. The shrub on the left that had its first flush of blooms in May. It has been trimmed up and will continue to rebloom if the old blossoms are sheared off through the summer.
3. Campanula/Bellflower. The purple blooms of this short perennial will last through the month of June.
4. Perennial Foxglove. This has reseeded all throughout our property and I love it- it’s a quintessential cottage flower. It pops up here and there and the tall spikes are so welcomed in April and May. You can see the last of a second bloom drooping above.
5. Fleabane. This low growing perennial is perfect for the front of beds and is another reseeder that is tame, allowing you to pull or replant where you want it. It’s long bloom time is so welcomed in a cottage garden!
Do you have any pastel-colored cottage garden flowers you love that didn’t make this list? Let me know in the comments!
This article has been updated – it was originally published in June 2013.
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