Traditional cottage garden flowers are a mix of annual and perennial flowers; annual flowers for a cottage garden include stock, pansy and sweet pea.
Cottage gardens are a tradition which began in England and Europe, yet today can be found in many parts of the Western hemisphere; annual cottage garden flowers are different to perennial flowers for a cottage garden in that they will only bloom once. However, when creating a cottage garden, annual flowers are often chosen for their brilliant colors throughout the flowering season.
Stock for Cottage Gardens
Stock (Matthiola Incana) is both fragrant and colorful for a cottage garden; stock is a member of the Brassicaceae plant family. It is an annual flowering plant, flowering from early spring through late summer depending on the location and climate, and is a plant which is relatively easy to care for.
Traditional stock flowers are tall (up to 30 inches in some species) but dwarf versions of stock are now available; stock is available in a wide variety of colors including lavender, white, red, pink, purple and yellow. Stock is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe and Asia Minor and was often found in traditional cottage gardens alongside other tall flowers such as delphiniums.
Pansies for Cottage Gardens
Pansies belong to the Violaceae plant family and are derived from the viola species; the pansy is a popular garden flower in general, not exclusive to the cottage garden. Pansies bloom early in the spring, and continue throughout the summer months; in some climates, and in some species, pansies may bloom throughout fall and into winter.
Pansies are both fragrant and colorful for a cottage garden; the plant species flowers in a variety of colors and patterns, although all pansy flowers have five petals on a single flower head. Pansy cultivars bloom in shades of yellow, blue, purple, orange, white and red and can be grown in pots and containers, in addition to flower beds.
Sweet Pea for Cottage Gardens
Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) is a member of the Fabaceae plant family and is a tall, fragrant flower which was traditionally found in cottage gardens, as far back as the 17th century; depending on the species of sweet pea, the sweet pea vine can grow to a height of up to 9 feet.
Sweet peas are popular plants in today’s gardens because of their pleasing aroma and variety of colors; sweet pea colors include pink, yellow, lavender, purple, red and white.The sweet pea species blooms from late spring to early summer and provides lasting blooms even when used as a cut flower.
Annual Cottage Garden Flowers
There are many other species of annual flowers which are suitable for a cottage garden but stock, sweet pea and pansy are reminiscent of flowers which have been found in cottage gardens for centuries. Alongside perennial flowers, such as delphiniums, peonies and sweet william, and other fragrant climbing plants, annual cottage flowers such as these will provide both lasting color and visual stimulation to a traditional cottage garden.