In Full Bloom: Creating a Fragrance-rich Cottage Garden

Orange blossomed flowers in a cottage garden
There are few greater joys in summer than a cottage garden overflowing with life. A rambling riot of delicate flowers and powdery scents populated with dancing butterflies and fastidious bees. It can be tricky though, to recreate this seemingly spontaneous, tumbling idyll.
Below are a few suggestions for planting tips and flower choices to help those trying to create their own little slice of cottage garden bliss. For those of us without the outside space but who are looking to bring the same feeling inside, there are suggestions of which of our candles and diffusers could help you do just that.


Garden gate surrounded by pink roses

1. Traditional Plants

An English cottage garden is nothing if not traditional. Classical flowers, such as roses, peonies and lavender, should be at the heart of a cottage garden. Roses are a great place to start as the variety is so large. It is easy to find something that will suit your specific aspect or colour preference. By cleverly picking a selection of varieties, you can give yourself the longest flowering period possible in the garden. We suggest some of the older tea rose varieties. Not only are they more traditional but they are also better for all those beautiful pollinators we all want to encourage.

2. Self-seeding Workhorses

Structured informality is key to a cottage garden. Self-seeding plants are not only an excellent way to achieve this organised chaos but can also lower your workload. Plants, such as poppies, will self-seed in their surrounding beds and pop up between other plants of their own accord very happily without the need of any help from you. With a healthy collection of these little workhorses in your garden all you will need to do is pull a few out if you aren’t happy with where they have landed. Let the rambling randomness abound.

3. Layer Upon Layer Upon Layer

Layers are key to all gardens but if used cleverly in a cottage garden these too can add to the deliberate informality mentioned above. Make sure to start some climbers such as a roses or honeysuckle at the base of your walls. These will create a gorgeously textured backdrop to your beds. Small, trained fruit trees can also provide a similar effect. Low lying ground cover will offer the other end of the spectrum either at the edges of beds or mixed into lawns. Trailing plants at the edges of raised beds or pots will also add to the tumble.

4. A Mix of Perennials & Annuals

To keep your garden feeling natural and organic it can be fun to mix several annuals in with your perennials. Whilst we often want the reassuring sight of well-loved regulars popping up throughout the year, it can be very freeing to have the space to experiment with different colours, textures and combinations, knowing that if they don’t work out as planned you can try something new in that space next year.



Jasmine & Tuberose candle on small table in sunlight
Nicotiana is a wide-ranging group of plants but one thing that most share is their heavily scented flowers. Their scent is often at its strongest in the evenings, offering a musky floral fragrance as you wander out into the golden hour. For those without the luxury of an outside space, Nicotiana’s dusk time performance can be recreated by lighting our jasmine scented candle.


Vetiver & Lavender candle sat besides bath tub
Whilst many gardeners can find Lavender tricky to grow in certain areas, it is well worth the effort and a solid staple to any country cottage garden. It is wonderful for pollinators and its instantly recognisable scent offers extra calm and peace to any space. Our Vetiver & Lavender Candle is a great way to gently continue the relaxation indoors.


Cornflower & Meadow Rose candle sat in mantlepiece
It is amazing that for a plant with so many different varieties (some of which carry no scent at all) rose is a fragrance that most people can immediately conjure in their mind. That powdery softness is synonymous with every image we carry of the cottage garden, and one wouldn’t be complete without it. The trick is to mix varieties to keep it fresh and vibrant. For those recreating the effect inside, one candle could do the job of many plants. Our rose scented reed diffuser is both familiar and fresh all at the same time.


Sandalwood & Labdanum diffusers sat on kitchen worktop
More often called “carnations” or “pinks”, these firm favourites carry a scent from a different era. Less powdery than roses, they surround their sweetness in spicier, clove-like fragrances. They offer depth and little mystery to a garden and could be recreated indoors with one of our woody fragrances such a Sandalwood & Labdanum Diffuser.


We are tempted by idyllic visions of cottage garden bliss at this time every year as all starts to burst into life. We hope that now, whether blessed with the space outdoors or no, you have a little more information of how to bring that lively, rambling joy into your home for years to come.