Planting the perfect cottage garden

Colorful, whimsical and low maintenance. Those are the common characteristics of cottage-style gardens — and what makes them our most popular Plant By Numbers landscape design.

As part of our Spring Bloom “What’s Your Garden Style” survey, we asked San Antonians to vote on their favorite style of gardening. And as promised, the winning style is the focus of the next Plant By Numbers design release.

And the winner is … cottage garden!

Characterized by abundance and eclectic combinations of color, texture, natural curves and shapes, cottage gardens are inherently low maintenance. Whimsy is also the rule, and often cottage gardens include meandering pathways, flower studded archways, or other visual vignettes that draw the eye.

Bountiful blooms and edible herbs are staples of cottage gardens, and usually roses are incorporated as well.

Our upcoming release includes five cottage garden designs.

  1. Archway design incorporates vining roses to invite visitors to your home.
  2. Border bed highlights a shed or hides a fence with climbing blooms.
  3. Tea nook provides an area of respite to enjoy a relaxing moment of pause surrounded by bountiful greenery.
  4. Showcase bed displays a sculpture or bird bath framed with distinct plantings.
  5. Side yard transformation brings color and distinction to an often-forgotten space.

Sun and shade versions of each design will be available with maintenance tips provided.

Learn more at

Picture of Emma Jones
Emma Jones
Emma Jones is a former Planner for the SAWS Conservation Department. She has a background in plant ecology and has worked a variety of jobs including farmer, carpenter, and cheese monger. Growing up in the arid west gave her serious respect for water and the native plants that can thrive without it. In her spare time, Emma enjoys exploring the city on her bike, hiking in the hills, cooking up something spicy, and loud music of all kinds.
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