There is nothing more charming than a cottage garden, and planting perennials will help ensure your garden remains carefree and quaint. Cottage gardens require old fashioned flowers, those that are reminiscent of an earlier time, even if the perennials themselves are hybrids or flowers that would never grace any garden in England. Below are some perennials that will flourish in the Houston, Texas climate, while still giving your cottage garden the charm it deserves.
“Pinks.” Pinks have been in English gardens for centuries, often the focal point of the garden itself. Most pinks are easy to grow, and come in both tall and compact varieties, ranging in colors from pale pink to scarlet to mauve. Dianthus are probably the best of the pinks to plant here in Houston, Texas, and they have many varieties to make your garden colorful. All pinks prefer well draining soil and full sun.
Dianthus First Love. This perennial will grow to be fourteen inches high, with pink and white flowers that bloom nearly year round. Plant them in the fall in full or partial sun, or bright shade. First Love will attract butterflies to your Houston, Texas cottage garden. They have small leaves and frilly flowers that are very fragrant. These perennials do well in containers, so you can plant them in gorgeous urns to reflect the level of quaintness you desire in your garden.
Dianthus Amazon Rose Magic. These lovely flowers open white, turn pink, then deep rose. The blooms are very fragrant and will attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your Houston, Texas cottage garden. You can plant in spring, summer or fall, and the flowers will bloom from early spring through the first frost. These perennials prefer full sun. They can grow to be three feet tall, and make a great accent plant.
Cheddar Pink (Dianthus gratianapolitanus Firewitch). The fuchsia blossoms of this flower rise above the silvery blue foliage. Plant these perennials on the border of your Houston, Texas cottage garden because they are low-growing. They require good drainage and full sun, and will bloom from spring through the fall. Cold hardy to zero degrees, this flower is also drought tolerant and attracts butterflies.
Dianthus Corona Cherry Magic. This is a compact plant that is good for growing in tubs, troughs and patio planters. These container flowers are perfect for accenting certain parts of your cottage garden. It will bloom in fuchsia, cherry, red and white flowers from early spring through fall. These flowers will attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your Houston, Texas cottage garden. These perennials like full sun, and do well as an accent or in containers.
Shasta Daisy. This perennial flower can grow to be four feet tall in your Houston, Texas cottage garden. These white flowers prefer full to partial sun, and will bloom from May through November. Root hardy, this perennial will survive the winter and regrow.
Violet. Violets have been growing in cottage gardens for centuries. Their small fragrant flowers bloom in the spring. Violets require full shade, and can grow in most soils. These perennials are hard to kill, disease resistant, and will regrow in the spring if damaged in the Houston, Texas winter. This groundcover will bring a touch of country charm to your cottage garden.
Sweet William. The fuchsia, pink and rose blooms on this lovely perennial will grow to be 6 inches tall. These flowers prefer the full sun, and do well in Houston, Texas container and rock gardens, which can both be used ornamentally in your cottage garden.
Daylily. Whenever I see a daylily I begin to look for the cottage, as a charming one must be near by. The flowers only last one day, but if you plant them in several varieties you can extend your bloom season. These perennials prefer full sun, and will bloom with orange, red, pink and yellow blossoms from April through July in your Houston, Texas cottage garden.