Top 10 Gorgeous Cottage Garden Plants to Grow

Updated: Mar. 21, 2024

Add classic cottage garden plants, like coneflowers, speedwell and bee balm, to create an easy to care for and pollinator-friendly garden style.

Salvia Violet Profusion
Courtesy of Proven Winners –

Cottage Garden Plants: Violet Profusion Salvia

Salvia nemorosa, Zones 3 to 8

Add a bold pop of purple with this fragrant and wildlife-friendly Violet Profusion salvia. These compact cottage garden plants top out at 16 inches tall and 20 inches wide and makes an eye-catching edge along a pathway, fence or garden bed. Psst—here are 7 perennial plant mistakes you should never make.

Why we love it: As a reblooming salvia, it can produce a second burst of purple flowers in early autumn. Shear back these perennials after the first floral fade to encourage a quick turnaround.

Check out the top 10 old fashioned flowers that never go out of style.

Veronica Perfectly Picasso
Walters Gardens, Inc

Perfectly Picasso Speedwell

Veronica longifolia, Zones 4 to 9

Paint the garden pretty with the bubblegum pink flowers of this pollinator-friendly perennial that grows 2 feet tall and wide. Its graceful, dense flower spikes put on a show for up to six weeks beginning in midsummer. Perfectly Picasso speedwell also make long-lived cut flowers.

Why we love it: The slender flower spikes bloom from the bottom up, creating a striking two-toned appearance. 

Long-lasting rugosa roses are hardy and fragrant cottage garden classics.

Moonbeam Threadleaf Tickseed
Doreen Wynja for Monrovia

Moonbeam Threadleaf Coreopsis

Coreopsis verticillata, Zones 3 to 9

Also called tickseed, these compact cottage garden plants have lacy foliage and grow up to 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide. By early summer the plants are smothered in lemon yellow daisylike flowers that persist for months. For constant blooms, gently shear it after its first flowers fade.

Why we love it: It’s an award-winning perennial that is long lived and easy to grow. Find out how and when you should divide perennials.

Gay Butterflies butterfly weed
Doreen Wynja for Monrovia

Gay Butterflies Butterfly Weed

Asclepias tuberosa, Zones 4 to 11

Welcome butterflies and bees to your cottage garden with several clumps of this low-care perennial that’s both drought tolerant and pest resistant. Sold by Monrovia, Gay Butterflies butterfly weed showcases blooms from mid-to-late summer with fiery gold, yellow and scarlet flower clusters.

Why we love it: Butterfly weed is a species of milkweed, which is the only type of host plant for monarch butterflies.

Raspberry Wine bee balm
Bluestone Perennials

Raspberry Wine Bee Balm

Monarda didyma, Zones 4 to 9

Bee balm is a classic plant beloved by cottage gardeners, as well as hummingbirds and bees. This bold cultivar with aromatic foliage boasts masses of raspberry red blossoms. With plants that grow 2 to 3 feet tall and wide, Raspberry Wine bee balm is perfect for both large and small gardens.

Why we love it: It’s a low-maintenance perennial that’s resistant to deer and powdery mildew.

White garden, herbaceous plants with white flowers, Phlox paniculata 'David'
mtreasure/Getty Images

David Garden Phlox

Phlox paniculata, Zones 4 to 8

Reliable, long flowering and disease resistant, David garden phlox is an outstanding choice. These cottage garden plants grow up to 4 feet tall, with strong stems topped with large clusters of fragrant white flowers. Unlike other cultivars, David offers excellent resistance to powdery mildew.

Why we love it: This summer staple is extremely vigorous, and its nectar-rich flowers entice hummingbirds and butterflies to the garden.

Banana Cream Shasta daisy
Courtesy of Proven Winners –

Banana Cream Shasta Daisy

Leucanthemum superbum, Zones 5 to 9

This daisy has massive yellow flowers that mature to a creamy white, resulting in a multicolored display in spring and summer. Up to 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide, Banana Cream Shasta daisy makes a great border or container plant.

Why we love it: One of the biggest benefits of growing cottage garden plants is having cutting flowers for bouquets. These Shasta daisy blooms last at least two weeks in a vase.

Love daisies? Check out this April birth flower daisy gift guide.

cottage garden plants, Cat’s Meow catmint
Courtesy of Proven Winners –

Cat’s Meow Catmint

Nepeta faassenii, Zones 3 to 8

A perfect perennial for a flower border, this colorful bloomer grows up to 20 inches tall and 36 inches wide. Unlike most catmint types, which tend to flop, Cat’s Meow catmint has tidy, upright growth. Its long-blooming purple flower spikes last from early summer through autumn, attracting bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Why we love it: Catmint is drought tolerant and resistant to grazing from deer and rabbits.

cottage garden plants, Blue Fortune anise hyssop
Walters Gardens, Inc

Blue Fortune Anise Hyssop

Agastache, Zones 4 to 9

This multipurpose perennial checks all the boxes—it’s pest resistant and drought tolerant, and it flowers for months, producing clouds of pale lavender blooms. Pair Blue Fortune anise hyssop with rudbeckia or purple coneflower for an impressive late-summer display.

Why we love it: Its edible leaves and flowers have the fragrance and flavor of black licorice. Steep them for an aromatic cup of tea, or add them to salads and smoothies.

cottage garden plants, Tangerine Dream coneflower
Terra Nova Nurseries

Tangerine Dream Coneflower

Echinacea, Zones 4 to 9

This sun-loving coneflower with a honey scent lights up the summer garden with large bright orange flowers. The compact Tangerine Dream coneflower grows up to 2 feet tall and wide.

Why we love it: Coneflowers are pollinator magnets. Once the flowers fade, the seed heads feed birds such as goldfinches.